Huskies vs. Sun Devils Game Preview and Predictions

Arizona State (2-1) vs. #10 Washington (2-1)

Saturday, September 22nd @ 7:30 p.m. PST

Husky Stadium (Seattle, Washington)

Line: Washington -18.0

TV: ESPN

Radio: KOMO

The Huskies will face off against Arizona State late tomorrow night in front of a near sellout crowd at Husky Stadium.

Last week, the Huskies went into one of the toughest stadiums in the conference and pulled out an important win on the road at Utah.

Confidence and momentum are riding high for the Huskies this week and they are excited to return back to the comforts of Husky Stadium.

“I mean..Husky Stadium is the best, the crowd be ‘turnt’ up’ and I can’t wait to make some  plays and get the crowd to yell about it!” Senior cornerback Jordan Miller said after practice earlier this week.

The Sun Devils are coming into Seattle after a tough 28-21 defeat on the road last week to the San Diego State Aztecs.

Before that loss, Arizona State was gaining some momentum of their own by defeating a top-15 team at the time in Michigan State.  The win propelled them into the top-25 with a #23 ranking before their defeat last week.

For the Huskies, the revenge factor is on their minds, as they have not forgotten about their devastating 13-7 loss down in the desert last year to the Sun Devils.

KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON

QB – Jake Browning

Jake Browning hasn’t played up to his standard yet so far this season, but he had a much better effort last week which is encouraging.  He finished with a stat line of 14/24 with 155 yards passing, one TD and one interception.

RB – Myles Gaskin

Myles Gaskin returned back to form last week with an inspired effort which helped the Huskies win a big game on the road.  He had a typical stellar performance with 143 yards rushing, on 30 carries, with one TD.

DL – Greg Gaines

Greg Gaines was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award preseason watch list which is given to the nation’s top defensive player.  Last week he was relentless against that Utah offense which earned him the Husky Lineman of the Week Award.

KEY PLAYERS: ARIZONA STATE

QB – Manny Wilkins

Manny Wilkins is a talented dual threat quarterback with big playmaking ability.  The Sun Devil offense has scored a successful play on 42.2 percent of Wilkins’ passing attempts this season – the 18th-best total among all quarterbacks in the FBS.

WR – N’Keal Harry

N’Keal Harry is one of the most electric wide receiver talents in the nation and is a game changer.  Harry has forced 8 missed tackles this season, which is good for seventh-most among all FBS receivers.

DL – Jalen Bates

Jalen Bates is a defensive end with speed and athleticism and has earned himself an impact player moniker.  He is tied for third among 3-4 defensive ends with 6 QB pressures this season for a 10.5 pass rush rating that ranks second nationally.

GAME NOTES

– At one point, the UW led the series 15-8, but ASU has had the better of it in recent years, winning 11 of the last 12.

– The Huskies have led the Pac-12 in total defense for three years in a row, climbing the national rankings each year, capped by a No. 8 national finish last season.

– The Sun Devils play an exotic 3-3-5 defense which is rarely seen and disguises a lot of innovative pressures and packages.

– ONE-TWO PUNCH ON OFFENSE:  In seniors Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin, the Huskies return the most prolific quarterback-running back tandem in the nation, in terms of career statistics, at the start of the 2018 season.

– THE 100-YARD FACTOR: Since the 1947 season, Washington is 213-66-3 (.760) when a Husky player rushes for 100 yards in a game. The Huskies were 8-0 in such games in 2016, were 5-1 in 2017 and are 1-0 this year.

PREDICTIONS (Cascadia Sports Staff)

Mazvita Maraire (1-0)

The rock group known as The Who has many a great songs.  We won’t get fooled again comes to mind when perfecting a winner between Herm Edwards ASU Sun Devils and Chris Petersen’s Huskies. Last year the Sun Devils upset the Huskies 13-7 in Tempe under Todd Graham. Meet the new boss same as the old boss. Huskies ground game will be too much for Sun Devils.

Washington 30 – Arizona State 10

Jeff Wright (1-0)

The Huskies return home to the comforts of Husky Stadium which is just what the doctor ordered, after playing two tough road games in their first three games of the season.  Defensively the Huskies are extremely versatile and can adjust to any scheme or game plan thrown at them.  The Husky defense plays at an ungodly level at Husky Stadium, and they will find ways to shut down Arizona State playmakers Manny Wilkins and N’Keal Harry.  On offense, the Huskies will be able to establish a running game for a second straight week.  The offensive line will do just enough to create some creases and holes for Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed but it won’t be perfect.  Jake Browning will play an efficient game by getting the ball to his playmakers, and Husky fans will have to make do with one of his customary head scratching turnovers.  Offensive Coordinator Bush Hamdan will find ways to offset the Sun Devils pressure with the screen game and some misdirection.  The Huskies will separate themselves towards the end of the third quarter behind their “Death Row Dawgs” defense and behind a well executed offensive game plan by Hamdan.  This is the week where Hamdan’s playcalling looks dialed in and in rhythm.  I see a comfortable home win for the Dawgs and their momentum and confidence takes another giant step forward.

Washington 28 – Arizona State 10

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