The No. 10 Huskies are favored by 17.5 points going into a matchup with a team that has caused them fits in the past. These are the keys to avoiding a repeat of last year in the desert.
UW GAME DAY
No. 10 Huskies (2-1, 1-0 Pac-12) vs. Arizona State (2-1, 0-0)
7:30 p.m. Saturday at Husky Stadium
TV: ESPN. Radio: KOMO-AM 1000/FM-97.7
LATEST LINE: Huskies are favored by 17.5.
UW KEY PLAYERS
QB Jake Browning: 4 TD, 4 INT, 59.1%
RB Myles Gaskin: 62 carries, 290 yards, 2 TD
LB Ben Burr-Kirven: 33 tackles
S Taylor Rapp: 11 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries
ASU KEY PLAYERS
QB Manny Wilkins: 7 TD, 1 INT, 65.3%
WR N’Keal Harry: 21 catches, 315 yards, 4 TD
DL Darius Slade: 2.5 sacks
S Jalen Harvey: 25 tackles, 1 TFL
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Among Pac-12 teams, only Washington State is averaging fewer running plays than Arizona State (29.7 per game). In their 28-21 loss at San Diego State last week, the Sun Devils managed just 36 yards rushing on 24 carries. San Diego State, meanwhile, had 58 rushing attempts (58!) for 311 yards against ASU. That was a stunning one-week reversal for the ASU defense, which on Sept. 8 allowed just 63 yards on 27 carries in its upset of then-No. 15 Michigan State.
Manny being Manny
Arizona State might have the best receiving corps in the Pac-12 — led by preseason All-American N’Keal Harry — and QB Manny Wilkins has had a strong start to his senior season. He’s thrown for 958 yards with seven touchdowns and one interceptions through three games. “He’s really good. I’ve thought he’s been one of the more underrated quarterbacks in our league for a while now,” UW coach Chris Petersen said. “He’s very athletic and can run but he is calm in the pocket and he’s not going to get out of there until he needs to. Really good receiving corps around him and he lets those guys make plays.”
New Arizona State coach Herm Edwards, a longtime NFL head coach and ESPN personality, recalled this week his first visit to Husky Stadium back when he played defensive back for the Cal Bears in the early 1970s. “Going up to Washington, boy, I’ll tell you, it’s a fantastic thing to play a game in. It’s going to be loud,” he said. “I can remember when I first played a game there as a freshman in college. The quarterback was Sonny Sixkiller. I said, he’s got a good football name, Sonny Sixkiller. Playing those guys up there and the venue, I think they’ve taken the track out of there and now it’s even more tight. They’ve got a great fanbase. It’s going to be spectacular. Night game again, these are the types of venues you want to play in with this excitement and all that stuff.”
JUDE’S PREDICTION: Huskies 31, Arizona State 17.