The Washington Huskies (4-5, 2-4) will travel to the desert as they take on the Arizona State Sun Devils (4-5, 2-4) in a Pac-12 Conference matchup Saturday afternoon. Arizona State has won the last nine meetings dating back to 2002 in the series; that includes a 24-10 road win as a 3 point favorite on October 25, 2014 in the most recent meeting.
Washington lost for the third time in their last four games as they were downed 34-23 by #12 Utah at home last week. Arizona State lost their third straight game as they were beaten 38-24 on the road by Washington State. Kickoff from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona is scheduled for 3:00 pm ET and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. Arizona State is currently a 3 point favorite in this contest with the over/under set at 52.5 points.
Washington had their opportunities against the Utes but couldn’t hang on to the ball in the contest. The Huskies outgained the Utes 381-346, picked up 20 first downs to Utah’s 19 and held the ball for 31:40 to the Utes’ 28:20 in the contest. Washington forced three Utah turnovers in the game but coughed the ball up four times on their own. The Huskies saw their first two turnovers get turned into touchdowns; their third was a fumble returned for a score and they had a fumble late in the game that set up a field goal that iced the contest.
The Huskies are currently sitting 67th in the nation when it comes to passing offense (223 yards) per game while they are just 113th in rushing offense as they average 131.2 yards per game on the ground. Washington is average at best in scoring as they put up 26.7 points a game but their defense has been stifling as they rank tied for 24th in the nation in scoring defense by allowing 18.8 points per game. Jake Browning has hit 150 of 242 passes for 1,852 yards with 11 touchdown passes and six interceptions. Austin Carta-Samuels is the backup, though he started against Stanford; he’s 10 of 24 for 124 yards and an interception. Myles Gaskin is the team’s leading rusher as he has 128 carries for 748 yards and seven scores while Dwayne Washington contributes 47 carries for 282 yards and four touchdowns while ranking third on the team with 25 catches covering 315 yards and three scores. Jaydon Mickens currently leads Washington with 33 catches for 357 yards plus a score while Joshua Perkins contributes 26 grabs for a team high 375 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Van Winkle has connected on all 29 extra points and 10 of 12 field goals this season with a long of 49 yards.
Arizona State held a lead entering the fourth quarter once again but couldn’t hold on as Washington State outscored the Sun Devils 21-3 in the final stanza. The Sun Devils were outgained 512-458 despite winning the first down battle 24-22 and the time of possession battle 30:17 to 29:43 in the contest. Arizona State led 14-0 after one quarter and 21-17 after three quarters before fading; the Sun Devils turned the ball over twice in the game while forcing just one Washington State turnover.
The Sun Devils have a high octane offense that moves the ball: they are 28th in the nation in passing offense (277.8 yards per game) and tied for 50th in the nation in rushing by racking up 182 yards per contest. Arizona State is currently tied for 53rd in the nation in scoring offense as they average 31.3 points per game; the Sun Devils are currently just 96th in scoring defense as they allow 32.2 points per contest. Mike Bercovici is the signal caller for Arizona State; he’s hit 219 of 370 passes for 2,473 yards with 19 touchdown passes and eight interceptions while rushing for 81 yards and five scores. Demario Richard is the team’s leading rusher as he has 138 carries for 775 yards and six scores; Kalen Ballage (79 carries, 394 yards, 2 TD) and D.J. Foster (36 carries, 228 yards) are secondary producers on the ground. Foster is the leading receiver for the Sun Devils with 45 catches for 436 yards and three scores; Devin Lucien (36 grabs, 477 yards, 2 TD) and Tim White (35 receptions, 441 yards, 6 TD) are solid options as well. Kody Kohl has caught 23 balls for 236 yards and four scores while Richard has hauled in 26 passes out of the backfield. Zane Gonzalez has hit all 34 extra points and 13 of 20 field goal attempts this season with a long of 44 yards; three of his seven misses are from beyond 50 yards.
Arizona State is 6-1 ATS in their last seven against teams with a losing record and 10-3 ATS in their last 13 at home against teams with a losing road record. Washington is 4-9-1 ATS in their last 14 after a double digit loss at home.
The Sun Devils are reeling with three straight defeats thanks to fourth quarter meltdowns against both Oregon and Washington State. Washington put the ball on the ground far too much last week against the Utes and that cost them dearly in the loss and now has to figure out how to fix that problem. In a battle of struggling teams, you have to give the edge to the team with a veteran presence at quarterback; that gives Arizona State the edge.