Tempe, AZ - While bowl hopes won't rise or fall based on this game for either team, both Arizona State (4-5, 2-4) and Washington (4-5, 2-4), are hoping to get out of their current funk. Arizona State is heading into this game having fallen well below their lofty expectations, and reeling in a three game losing streak. Their season has arguably spun out of control, and if they lose to the Huskies this week, it comes dangerously close to getting derailed completely. The Huskies, on the other hand are coming off yet another close loss, and looking to put that disappointing game behind then as quickly as possible.
Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
When: Saturday, November 14, 2015
12:00 p.m. Pacific; 1:00 p.m. Mountain
TV Info: Pac-12 Networks, Kevin Calabro (play-by-play), Yogi Roth (analyst) and
Lewis Johnson (sidelines) providing the commentary.
Radio Info: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7; Sirius (137) and XM (197)
Arizona state currently leads this series at 17-15. They are also sporting a 9 game winning streak in the series, which goes back all the way to 2001. The Huskies won that year 33-31 with a 30 yard field goal as time expired. Ever since then, it's been awful. There have been some close games, but at the end of the day, the only thing that has mattered was the score. It really hurts to think about. The last time the Huskies beat the Sun devils, I was a senior in high school.
The last time Washington and Arizona State played was last year. It was a stormy night in Seattle, and was also, at least partially, the catalyst the loss one Troy Williams. That game stunk. Both teams were anemic on offense, and neither team could really throw the ball for most of the game. After the ball left the QB's hands the ball had a tendency to make a 90 degree turn before bouncing out of bounds. It almost resembled a game of ultimate Frisbee, with all the movement the ball had in the air. The game was tied at 10-10 with 3 minutes left in the game. But the Sun Devils were able to score a touchdown. Then they snagged a pick-6 to ice the game and win it 24-10.
Sun Devil Offense
2.76 - Average gain per rush on third down
4 - Interceptions thrown on second down (that's 50% of their total!)
6.7 - Average yards gained per passing attempt
59.1 - QB completion percentage
63.4 - QB completion percentage on third down
167 - Average rushing yards per loss
182 - Average rushing yards per game
227 - Average rushing yards per home game
278 - Average passing yards per game
306 - Average passing yards per home game
Sun Devil Defense
3.38 - Average yards per rush allowed
5.64 - Number of yards they give up per play
6.59 - Number of yards they give up per play in a win
8.1 - Number of yards per passing attempt they give up
12 - Number of sacks and tackles for loss per game
26 - Number of passes over 25 yards surrendered this season
49.2 - Opposing QB's completion percentage in the third quarter
58.9 - Opposing QB's completion percentage
122.67 - Number of rushing yards they give up per game
155.4 - Number of rushing yards they give up per home game
460 - Number of offensive yards they give up per game
484 - Number of offensive yards they give up per game in a win
533 - Number of offensive yards they give up per home game
Questions Needing Answers
Will the turnovers decide to stay in Seattle this week? How many sacks will the offensive line give up without Trey Adams? Can the O-line hold up under serious pressure from the Sun Devil front 7? Which Husky receiver will have the most receptions? Which running back will get the most carries?
Will the injury bug continue for the Husky D? Can the front seven rebound from last weeks mediocre showing? Will they have difficulty containing Mike Bercovici when the play breaks down? Will we see some sacks again? Please? Can the defense set the tone early on in this one? And then perhaps carry it through the entire game?
Will this losing streak finally end? Will the Huskies huddle more than usual on offense to mitigate the stealing of their offensive signals? Does it even matter? How many minutes in this game will expire before the refs make a boneheaded call? What about the second boneheaded call?
The experts are saying that these two teams are going in opposite directions. The Husky offense is finally starting to gel, and it looks like they don't need to rely on their defense to keep the games close. However, they've also had a propensity to put the ball on the ground at inopportune times, putting their defense in awful positions. It's pretty rough when the opposing offense gets to start multiple drives in the red zone.
Arizona State, on the other hand, has lost three in a row, and their season is sitting on the edge of a knife. They definitely have more to lose this in game than the Huskies, and I think that will give the Huskies the edge. The Sun Devils are probably going to be playing this game up tight, which is going to hurt them as soon as they make their first mistake.
The Huskies, on the other hand, should be playing pretty loose. Hopefully the coaches have addressed the fumbles. The Huskies should be able to do just enough to avoid Jake Browning getting his head taken off from the incessant Sun Devil blitzes that will be coming on almost every play. Look for them to capitalize on mistakes from the Sun Devil defense and get them down in the dumps early.
Just like most of the other games this year, this game is probably going to come down to the final drive, so have your TUMS ready. Browning is going to need to rely on the running and screen games to get over the blizting. The Huskies will to try and make the Devils pay for sending so many defenders at the quarterback. This is going to be a key to the game, as the Sun Devil defense needs to be kept honest. If they can just pin their ears back against this young Husky O-line, it's going to be a long, long afternoon for Jake Browning.
- Speaking of officiating mistakes, you might have heard about a 5th down opportunity in the WSU/ASU game last week. Well, it looks like the Pac-12 actually admitted there was an error on the play, and punished the officials accordingly.
- Some fans have been asking Graham to change his quarterback 9 games into a 12 game season. Hmm. Well, you can bet that's not going to be happening any time soon.
Arizona State is currently a 2.5 point favorite to win this game, according to VegasInsider, with the line sitting at 52.5. Vegas appears to be giving some more respect to the Husky offense, though not much more.