As the final seconds wound down on a Washington State loss last Saturday, it did a few things. First off the loss put their backs against the bowl wall, but it also meant that in order for the Cougars to be able make their dream a reality, they will have to beat Arizona State.
That is not an easy task. Even though Washington State has played some of the better teams tough this season in Stanford and Oregon, the Sun Devils will not be in a position to overlook the Cougars.
With three games remaining, and trailing UCLA by a game in the Pac-12 South, Arizona State cannot afford to make some of the same mistakes that have plagued the Cougars in losses.
With a division title and a bowl game to play for, you can almost be certain that Dennis Erickson will be reminding his team of this very point.
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Who to watch for
Arizona State’s offense starts with their veteran offensive line. They are big, physical, and they’re a senior laden team. That experience makes junior QB Brock Osweiler, 211/325, 2539 yards, 64.9 com%, 19 TD’s, 8 INT’s, and junior RB Cameron Marshall’s, 164 C, 800 Yards and 13 TD’s, job that much easier.
Arizona State will try and pound the ball.
The running game is vital to their success because once a defense starts to drop a safety, they use WR Glenell Robinson, 42 rec, 743 yards, 4 TD’s, as the home run threat.
The Sun Devils are quick and very smart on defense.
Led by junior LB Vontaze Burfict, team leader in tackles (51) and sacks (5), Arizona State wants to get after the QB. They apply pressure on the edges with uniquely disguised blitzes from linebackers and safeties. It pays dividends. The Sun Devils lead the conference in interceptions with 13.
Keys to the game
Play aggressive. Even though Marshall Lobbestael had statistically his worst offensive output last week in San Fransisco, you have to get him started with an early rhythm.
Mix in Ricky Galvin and Carl Winston, and ultimately with the Cougars one loss away from their bowl hopes ending, have to put more on the shoulders of Lobbestael.
News, Notes, and Injuries.
Head Coach Paul Wulff said QB Jeff Tuel is one week away from a final decision on whether to sit him out for the rest of the season.
His calf injury is all but healed, but the collar bone is the main source of his pain.
Arizona State @ WSU 7;30 pm
Television: VS ch: 36
Radio: 770 KTTH
Vegas Line: Arizona St. -12.5
Steve’s Not So Hopeful Prediction: 31-17 Arizona St.
|Nov 12-10:30 PM ET||Record|
|ARZST||6-3 (1-3 V)|
|WSHST||3-6 (2-2 H)|