Arizona State has the country's worst pass defense and WSU has the country's seventh-best passing offense. The Cougars could put up a lot of points in Tempe, Ariz.

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WSU Cougars vs. Arizona State

WSU Players to watch

QB Luke Falk – 16 TD passes

RB Gerard Wicks – 7 rush TD

WR River Cracraft – 391 rec yds

DE Hercules Mata’afa – 9.5 TFL

FS Shalom Luani – 3 INT

Arizona State Players to watch

QB Manny Wilkins – 4 rush TD, 6 pass TD

RB Demario Richard – 70.7 rush yards per game

WR Tim White – 75 rec yards per game

LB Salamo Fiso – 20 solo tackles

K Zane Gonzalez – career long 59 yard FG

 

TV Info: 7 p.m. Pac-12 Networks

 

WSU’s Keys to the Game

Exploit Mismatches

Arizona State’s defense is vulnerable in the middle, especially if the Sun Devils’ linebackers find themselves having to drop into coverage against WSU’s skilled receivers. If the Cougars can exploit this mismatch in ability, the Sun Devils will be hard pressed to stop them. Arizona State has given up an average of 384 passing yards per game and its pass defense is worst in the Pac-12.

Make life tough for Wilkins

QB Manny Wilkins has nursed a foot injury over the last couple of weeks and he has not practiced much this week. He’s still expected to play, but his mobility will be limited and he’ll be forced to make plays through the air. If WSU’s Speed D can keep the pressure on Wilkins, he’ll have a tough night.

Stuff the run

Arizona State has not been able to run the ball effectively since Wilkins got hurt. The Sun Devils had 50 rushing yards against Colorado and 79 against UCLA. If WSU’s defense can keep Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage ineffective, the Sun Devil offense will be running on fumes.

Don’t let it get close

Arizona State’s biggest weapon might well be its kicker. Zane Gonzalez is the most successful kicker in NCAA history. He’s made 92 career field goals and has kicked three 50-plus yard field goals this year, including one from 59 yards out against Colorado. If the Sun Devils need a game-winning field goal, this man can deliver.

Prediction: WSU 42, ASU 28