Thursday, October 11, 2007

Arizona State Preview

The Sun Devils haven't had much trouble in 2007 going undefeated, and starting to take the look of a Dennis Erickson coached football team. Washington will be the toughest team the Sun Devils have faced so far this season, and for the Huskies a victory will move them up into the middle tier of the conference at mid season.

I decided to condense this feature because it is kind of redundant with the preview at the beginning of the week.

Why Arizona State is going to win

The Sun Devils are going to win this game because they are going to be able to stifle the Husky passing game like the three previous opponents did. This will allow them to concentrate on stopping the run, and keeping locker in check around the corners.

Let it be said that the cheap shot Locker took a couple of weeks ago made a big impression on Pac Ten DB's. Look for that type of stuff to continue as most teams know knocking the snot out of Jake is the best way to beat the Huskies.

On offense the Sun Devils will be able to run up the middle against Washington enough to keep them honest, and buy time for Rudy Carpenter to complete enough passes downfield to keep the offense moving. Ryan Torrain will wear down the Husky defensive line and score on a couple big plays in the second half.

Why Washington will beat Arizona State

I have read a lot of negativity on the boards lately, but everyone is forgetting something. that something is Jake Locker is ready to break out after a bye week. If there is any time in the season where things should start to click for him it should have been the last two weeks.

If Jake can come out and complete around 60% of his passes, and he is completely capable of that, Washington is going to win this football game. Complete those passes and there is room for Louis Rankin to run, and Jake himself with have better lanes to travel down.

The combo of Rankin, and Hasty get enough carries to establish some rhythm this week since Jake isn't killing drives with uncompleted passes, and the defense loosens up to respect the pass.

Defensively Washington has played for the most part this season. There have been some big play lapses, but most of it can be put on the offense for keeping them out there so long. If the UW offense does there job the defense will be there to make the type of plays that will put us in the position to win this game.

UW needs more pressure this week, but it still will play within itself rather than adopt a new drastic identity. Getting pressure on Carpenter results in sacks, and hurries, which lead to turnovers.

What Do I Think?

Well since I am taking the trip to Tempe this weekend I am predicting a win, and a national coming out party for Jake Locker.

Here are some guesses:

  • 1.We all know Jake is going to be a great QB.
  • 2. We all know that this is going to a pretty good team by the end of the year.
  • 3. We have played a tougher schedule and are ready for battle after a bye week.

Here are some facts:

  • Statistically the Devils are the best defense we have played so far.
  • ASU statistically is a better team in almost every statistical category.
  • ASU simply has more athletes and depth than Washington.
I am ignoring the facts, and going with my guesses from the gut. I think this is the week Jake puts it all together and UW comes out with a win that puts it in good position to go to a bowl at the end of the year. If you to lose to ASU that goal gets a lot tougher. Sure you could lose to ASU, Oregon, and Cal and still finish 5-3, and nab that bowl bid, but you need a win against the middle tier to cement that if you want to move up to that level.

Odd's say that a young QB will experience the most growth after a mid season bye week. I like those type of odds.

I figure this is the week Jake breaks out, and the Huskies 34-27.


prrbrr said...

HIE, thanks for the perspective and upbeatness. I did get down after reading DMan this week, but I think you are right. Jake is a bright young quick study, and I think the week off will let him have the breakout game he needs. Its also an omen that 1995 ASU/UW was just on ESPN classic. UW won 23-20 against the other Jake.

Health Insurance Expert said...

We all saw ASU play last week, not exactly world beaters, and probably not as good as UCLA when they are at full strength.

This is a game UW can win.

hairofthedawg said...

Have a great trip John! I think I can drink a beer on Sunday morning since Ramadan should be over and I'm planning on it being a celebratory one.

prrbrr said...

Hair, when we beat ASU, what the heck, live well and prosper and have two, one for me and john. After all you only get to celebrate end of Ramadan once a year.

hairofthedawg said...

And then some pb! The candy store should be open tomorrow and there will be quite a few expats out of sorts. There are a lot of rugby lovers over here and the World Cup is on as well. Should be a fun weekend...go Huskies!

Health Insurance Expert said...

I'm missing Ramadan again? Bummer!

This is a must win game for the program. Win here and the season gets a lot easier for the Dawgs because I think they will have a nice shot at knocking off Cal in November.

Big Jon said...

I'm all kinds of nervous about this weekend's game for the reasons mentioned, but look for ASU to bounce back after last week's piss-poor performance. That was by far their worst showing in 2007.

The weak link in the ASU defense is their second CB, Chris Baloney (#23) and his backup true frosh Omar Bolden (#32). If Jake can pick on them early it will open up your offense.