A revealing week in the Pac-12 was on display last week as we found out where most of the Pac-12 teams stand. Stanford Proved it still is a front runner and a BCS power. Oregon showed the world they are the real deal and responded greatly to the challenge that threatened the men of Eugene. The only question remains in the South… Who will step up and take it?
Both Washington State and Arizona State got the luxury of a bye week before their big Halloween night match up. The bye week was just in time to allow the Cougs a chance to recover from a tough past couple weeks, while it may have been poor timing for a red hot Sun Devil team. The bye week may not be the only thing to cool off the Sun Devils as they head up to fridged Pullman, Washington for a late night Thursday game.
What the Devils bring:
Arizona State has an experienced and smart signal caller on the offense. Taylor Kelley is a perfect fit for the Sun Devils’ explosive offensive unit. Although he doesn’t always utilize it, he has an incredible ability to scramble and hurt you with his legs. He is also an accurate quarterback with a 62 percent completion rate and has thrown 18 touchdowns to 7 ints.
ASU also has a fierce ground game led by Marion Grice who has racked up 12 touchdowns on the ground and 6 receiving touchdowns. The Devil defense is no joke either, led by their pass rush. ASU’s defense has posed problems for opposing teams all year long. The defense is largely successful due to the efforts of the feared Will Sutton who demands the attention of the offensive line.
So what are the Cougar Trends?:
First is protect the quarterback.
Washington State will need a few opportunities to go down field for the big play if they want to upset the Devils, the only way this can be made possible is to block well all game and give Connor Halliday time to set up and throw. Under pressure Halliday will be ineffective as he doesn’t have scrambling ability so we need him to have time so he can focus on making the correct decision.
Second trend is securing catches.
Too many dropped balls from the wide receiving group year-to-date, that just has to change. Wazzu needs to play a complete game in order to get a W and the biggest factor I believe will be our receivers’ ability to convert and catch passes all night, something they have struggled with and has resulted in a lot of turnovers.
Third the Cougs have to stop the run.
I really don’t feel like ASU will be incredibly successful lining up against WSU’s defensive backs and just throwing all night. If Washington State can stop the run they will greatly limit the Devils offense and put the Cougar offense in position to win this game.
If the Cougars win this game they will only be 1 win away from bowl eligibility. I hope you’re ready for a crazy game because that’s exactly what will happen Halloween night. Go Cougs!