Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. MST and here are five (or six) Sun Devils that you should be familiar with:
Manny Wilkins, QB
Wilkins, a redshirt junior, has flown under the radar throughout the season. He leads an ASU offense that ranks 41st (of 129) in total offense, averaging 431 yards per contest. Some fans have criticized Wilkins’ inability to read the defense or take off if his first read isn’t open, but he’s still completing 63.5 percent of his passes and has tallied 2,755 passing yards.
He is actually on pace for more than 3,200 yards for the season which is respectable now that ASU is bowl eligible. Wilkins also tends to be a good decision maker as he’s only thrown four interceptions this season and two of those were tipped balls. However, the biggest element of his game to watch is how he incorrectly wears his mouthpiece.
Demario Richard/Kalen Ballage, RBs
I’ve decided to group these two seniors into one. They are going to make it very difficult on Arizona’s undermanned defensive line. These two are responsible for 1,433 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns.
After witnessing the Wildcats’ defensive troubles with limiting Royce Freeman, this week might turn into a case of Déjà vu. Richard and Ballage have similar statures and bruising running styles to Freeman. The only advantage that may exist for Arizona is Oregon had a change of pace back in Tony Brooks-James whereas ASU does not.
N’Keal Harry, WR
The true sophomore has elevated his game to another level this season. He is on pace to record more than 1,100 receiving yards on 82 receptions. Harry currently leads the Sun Devils in both categories and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns. Good luck, Jace!
Christian Sam, LB
The early season injury to Koron Crump has forced Sam into more playing time and the junior has seized the opportunity. Sam currently leads the team with 114 total tackles and has even recorded three sacks and an interception. This guy can do it all and you can bet that he will have his sights set on stopping Khalil Tate’s running game.
Chase Lucas, DB
The redshirt freshman has been asked to be the No. 1 corner back, and he has done an admirable job. Lucas has recorded seven pass breakups as well as two interceptions. He also ranks fifth on the team in total tackles with 48.
Lucas, a former high school teammate of N’Keal Harry, has done an above average job for a below average secondary.
As a team, ASU is allowing an average of 274.8 passing yards per game. This has the feeling of a game flow similar to what we saw last week in Eugene. If that becomes the case, Tate is going to have to air it out and Lucas will likely be tested early and often.