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Arizona vs. ASU: First look at the Sun Devils

Arizona travels to Tempe to conclude their regular season

Arizona State v UCLA Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats experienced their worst loss of the season last week in Eugene, falling 48-28 to the Oregon Ducks.

They must now regroup and prepare for the upcoming Territorial Cup game against arch nemesis Arizona State.

Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. MST in Tempe.

Here’s a quick look at the Sun Devils

A look at the Sun Devils

2017 Record – 6-5 (5-3, Pac-12)

Key Games – Week two loss versus San Diego State (30-20), week three loss at Texas Tech (52-45), week four win versus Oregon (37-35), week seven win versus Washington (13-7), week nine loss versus USC (48-17), week 11 loss at UCLA (44-37)

Key Offensive PlayersManny Wilkins (QB), Demario Richard (RB), Kalen Ballage (RB), N’Keal Harry (WR)

Key Defensive PlayersTashon Smallwood (NT), Alani Latu (DE), Christian Sam (LB), DJ Calhoun (LB), Chase Lucas (CB)

ASU has been a tough team to predict this season. They have a win over a top-five opponent in Washington but also got slaughtered by USC at home and lost to a struggling UCLA team on the road.

Statistically speaking, ASU has been one of the more prolific offenses in the FBS this season. They rank 41st (of 129) in total offense with 431 yards per game. Their issue tends to lie on the defensive side of the ball where they allow an average of 31.8 points and 447.7 yards per game.

It can be argued that the Sun Devils actually have one of the more talent backfields in the conference with seniors Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage. They have combined for 1,433 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground.

Quarterback Manny Wilkins is quietly having a very strong season. He is completing 63.5 percent of his passes while maintaining a 14:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His legs should not be underestimated either as he’ll enter this game with 241 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Wilkins’ passing game is certainly made easier when you factor in All-Conference receiver N’Keal Harry. The true sophomore leads the team in receptions and yards, and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns. He is only 43 yards shy of his first 1,000 yard season and the first Sun Devil to do so since Devin Lucien in 2015.

In order to retain possession of the trophy, UA must get their offense back on track. ASU has a talented and experienced front seven that will focus on limiting Khalil Tate’s running game. Arizona’s offense is predicated on the rushing attack but they have receivers that can take advantage of the mediocre ASU secondary.

It will be another hostile visit to Tempe and there’s no doubt that ASU has been looking forward to the opportunity to avenge last season’s 56-35 loss in Tucson. Another loss to the Wildcats may result in the demise of Todd Graham’s career at ASU.