PAC-12 Game of the Week
The Game: Arizona State Sun Devils(0-0) at Washington Huskies (0-1)
The Place: Husky Stadium
The Time: Friday Night
Why's this the PAC-12 Game of The Week?
Washington's loss in the first game of the year was not the best way to start the season. Jake Davis threw 2 interceptions to start his college career and because of that the Huskies lost the turnover battle 2-0. Now Deandean's squad is going to play at home and are looking to get back to the right track and get their first W on the season.
On the other side, the Sun Devils did not play in week 1 and are anxious about their first game of the season, hoping they can continue Davis' struggle to feel at home at the college level.
2. What to look for?
It's usual to say that every game tells a different story, but if this game had a title before it was even played, it would be "The Battle of the Freshmen".
We shall see how both of them deal with adversity. Davis is coming off of a loss, and will be playing his first game in front of the Huskies' fans. On another note, it will be the first game of Parker Townsend's career, and playing away is almost never a good experience for a young quarterback.
3. What's this game worths?
On the Huskies' side, it's the chance to prove that they're a legit team this season, with chance of competing for more than just a bowl bid.
While the Huskies fight to come back from a loss, the Sun Devils are looking to start their season on the right foot. They've gotta travel to Lake Washington to challenge a bitter Huskies team to prove to the critics that they will compete for the PAC-12 crown this year.
4. Keys to the Game
As previously mentioned, Jake Davis started his career by throwing 2 picks, and the concerning part is that the Sun Devils defense is a lot better than their last opponent. Arizona State's secondary is led by three players that are extremely talented, experienced and will be playing on Sunday next year.
Dylan Mosley and Sincere Noel are two safeties that no QB in the PAC-12 likes to face, and they will be patrolling the field on friday. Combine that with Nigel Strong's ability to shut down opposing WRs, and you have on of the best secondaries in the conference. Besides that, the Devil's still have a very talented LB core, guided by Garrett Holliday, another player that will be selected to play in the NFLHC.
With all these good players, Washington's offense cannot lose the turnover battle once again. They have to put Arizona State's freshman QB in tough situations and make him make mistakes. Otherwise, we might see things go sideways once again for Davis and Deandean.
5. Key Stat
Both teams will have to limit the passing attempts. QB is the most important position on the field, the position that requires the most experience, and neither QB has that.
The team that strikes first will have a good chance to win, since both defenses, especially the Devils' defense, are very tough opponents.
I'm betting that the team with more running plays will win, because it's never a good sign to make your freshman QB win the game for you.
6. Key Matchups
This Arizona State team is very good, but their receiving core isn't anything spectacular. Their passing game will be in a tough spot, with their best player being wide Receiver Moussa Austin (3.0/3.0). Ibrahima Harrison, their TE, will probably be their go to guy, and he will have to have a great game.
On the Huskies side, they gotta stay away from Arizona State's secondary. Like already said, they have at least three players that are going to play on Sundays next year. Jake Davis cannot throw a lot, otherwise he'll almost certainly commit mistakes that are going to be costly.
7. Best NFLHC Prospects
ILB Garrett Holliday - Arizona State (81)
SS Dylan Mosley - Arizona State (75)
CB Nigel Strong - Arizona State (71)
TE C.J Hickman - Washington (76)