Washington State (4-4, 3-2 Pac-12) vs. Arizona State (5-2, 3-1)
Noon Saturday, Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe
TV/Radio: FS1; 710 ESPN AM
Latest line: Arizona State by 15
WSU key players
QB Jayden de Laura: 143 of 224, 1,476 yards, 15 TDs, 6 INTs
RB Max Borghi: 100 rushes, 504 yards, 8 TDs
WR Travell Harris: 51 receptions, 525 yards, 5 TDs
LB Jahad Woods: 61 tackles, 4.5 TFL
Arizona State key players
QB Jayden Daniels: 116 of 168, 1,507 yards, 6 TDs, 3 INTs
RB Rachaad White: 86 rushes, 483 yards, 9 TDs
WR Ricky Pearsall: 22 rec., 295 yards, 2 TDs
LB Darien Butler: 44 tackles, 6 TFL, 3 INTs
Stop the run
Arizona State is one of the best running teams in the conference, and Washington State has had some issues stopping the run, including last week against BYU. There is no doubt that the Sun Devils will try to take control of the game by establishing their ground game. Can the Cougars stop it? Their chance of pulling off an upset will likely depend on it.
Jayden vs. Jayden
They won’t be on the field at the same time, but Washington State needs quarterback Jayden de Laura to come close to matching what ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels does. Daniels is one of the most dynamic players in the conference and can hurt teams with his feet (401 rushing yards) and with his arm. But de Laura is capable of a big day, too, and the Cougars could sure use a top performance from him.
Rely on Borghi
WSU running back Max Borghi has elevated his game the past few weeks after a slower-than-expected start to the season. WSU’s offense is better when he and fellow running back Deon McIntosh, who is expected to return from an injury, get enough carries that defenses can’t assume the Cougars will pass.
Not seeing the Sun Devils winning by 15 points, although they should be plenty motivated coming off a loss to Utah. Would not be shocked if WSU pulled off the upset but still not predicting it.
Prediction: Arizona State 24, Washington State 20