At 7 PM this evening, the 3-3 Washington Huskies will play our 3-2 ASU Sun Devils. Despite the fact that Washington looks pretty good this season, I am still confident that Arizona State can pull out the victory.
Why, do you ask? What makes me possibly believe we can contain Jake Locker and the fightin' Huskies?
Lets take a look at a few elementary facts, and apply them with a wide brush to our situation.
Washington is 0-2 on the road this season.
The Huskies went into Palo Alto after an emotional victory against USC and got thrashed to the tune of 34-14. This was a letdown game, plain and simple, much like our loss to Oregon State after the Georgia trip.
The next week, they rolled into South Bend and lost 37-30 in overtime to Notre Dame. Now, the home team has an advantage that I will not deny, but losing by 20 to Stanford is a good sign for us. Outside of Washington, Stanford has yet to beat a good team, so we will take from this that Washington was overmatched on the road.
Their win last weekend against Arizona was a miracle.
As I was watching the UA/UW game last weekend, I was taken aback by how unbelievable it was. I derived much joy from that game, knowing full well that Arizona was on the bad side of some malevolent sports overlord. Team of destiny, many would say.
Truth be told, however, if it weren't for those amazing moments, Washington would be 2-4 coming into Tempe. That is more indicative of their talent than their motivation. They were 0-12 last year! We can still beat them.
Jake Locker's stats were not that impressive in the running game, throwing 12 for 23 for 140 yards. He plays in the style of Tim Tebow, gobbling up yards on the ground when passing plays break down. He ran for 92 yards on 11 carries.
How do we stop him? Load the box and force him to throw. Sure, we aren't too deep in the secondary, but lets be honest: we cannot afford to let him run all over us. With our deep defensive line and linebacker corps, we can stop the run and force him to make those tough throws that everyone claims he can make.
In the end, Locker is the key. Take him out of his comfort zone, and you will see ASU have a good chance at walking away with a victory tonight.
LETS GO DEVILS!