Washington State (2-8, 0-7); Arizona State (5-5, 3-4) Time: Noon Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium. TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: ESPN 710 AM...
Washington State (2-8, 0-7); Arizona State (5-5, 3-4)
Time: Noon Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.
TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: ESPN 710 AM. The line: ASU by 22.
The setup: Cougars, dragging a seven-game losing streak to the desert, are seeking their first Pac-12 victory under embattled coach Mike Leach. Sun Devils have their own four-game losing streak but can become bowl eligible with a victory.
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What to expect: Jeff Tuel, who left the UCLA loss late in the first quarter, apparently is healthy enough to start for the Cougars, who showed a hint of a running game last week. This late in the season, they might allow Tuel to run more. The Sun Devils, struggling to score in their past two games, will try to reignite a run-oriented offense behind QB Taylor Kelly.
Key matchup: WSU interior offensive line vs. ASU defensive tackle Will Sutton. Sun Devils junior is a terror with 10 ½ sacks and 17 tackles for loss. Leaky Cougars front will have its hands full.
Notes: Sun Devils lead series 23-13-2, but WSU surprised last year on a snowy night in Pullman, 37-27, as QB Connor Halliday threw for 494 yards. … LB Travis Long has 9 ½ sacks, ninth in the country, and WSU’s total of 28 is its most since 2006 (34). … The 65 tackles for loss by Cougars is tied for 13th nationally, but ASU’s 8.8 a game is second in country. … Cougars have surrendered 46 sacks, most in nation, and ASU has recorded 40, second in NCAA. … Fifth straight game Sun Devils have faced a pass attack that gains more air yardage than the previous opponent. … Second game WSU will be without WR Marquess Wilson, who left the team last week and filed charges of abuse in the program. … ASU pass defense allowing only 167.6 yards a game, fourth-best in country. … Sun Devils’ penalty yardage per game (29.3) fifth-lowest nationally.
Upset brewing? If Cougars play with the effort they showed against UCLA, can’t rule it out. But ASU has urgency here, so it seems unlikely.
Injuries: WSU — OT Gunnar Eklund (hand), out; S Feddie Davey (leg), out; QB Jeff Tuel (collarbone), probable. ASU — G Andrew Sampson (ankle), probable.
Prediction: ASU 30, WSU 17.