Earlier today, we brought you the good, with five reasons the Sun Devils would topple Oregon on Thursday night.
Now, we flip the script and take a look at the five reasons why Arizona State will be unable to top the second-ranked Ducks in this key Pac-12 battle.
The sophomore is a threat to take it to the house on every touch, whether it's on a hand off, pitch or reception working out of the slot. Just give him a seam, and he's gone.
ASU's defense is fast and aggressive, but they don't (nor any defense, really) have anyone who can catch Thomas in the open field. The Sun Devils have no margin for error in containing Thomas and bringing him down when they get the chance. One wrong move...
During this week's Speak of the Devils show, Oregon insider David Piper said that this year's defense may be the best the Ducks have had in the Bellotti and Kelly eras.
The defense is moving to a 3-4 look, and, like ASU, brings pressure early, often and from all angles. They feature a tremendous defensive line with Dion Jordan and Taylor Hart, fast, athletic linebackers like Kiko Alonso, and a very talented and young secondary.
Put together, they are a very imposing unit that will make ASU scratch and claw for every yard. If not for the explosive offense, this Duck defense would be getting far more recognition.
Yes, Arizona State's defense has been practicing against the high-octane Sun Devil offense all season. However, the pace of the Oregon Ducks spread attack is in it's own category.
The unrelenting Oregon offense utilizes this pace to devastating effect. Their deep stable of playmakers and efficiency within the offense allows them to wear down all but the most conditioned defenses, and the Ducks excel in asserting their will over tired opposition in the second half.
While ASU's defense has been getting their undergraduate in tempo management, facing Oregon will be a doctoral course. Are they up to the test?
Raise your hand if you have confidence in ASU making a field goal. Anyone? Bueller? Didn't think so.
The kicking mess is nothing new in Tempe, but it's also no closer to a resolution. With the schedule ramping up in difficulty, special teams play will play a crucial role down the stretch, and ASU's recent play has given the team cause for concern. Field goal kicking, fumbles on returns, and bad snaps have all hurt the Sun Devils this season, and remain a looming threat.
Oregon's had their own special teams struggles, but unlike the Sun Devils, they have the talent to overcome them.
Oregon is just that good
Let's not kid ourselves. Oregon is a better team than ASU. That's why they are a national title contender every year and the No. 2 team in the country this year. Up and down the roster and the depth chart, there are elite players and amazing athletes, all of whom operates within a dynamic system while being coached by a great staff.
That doesn't mean they can't, or won't be beat, but there are a lot of reasons why the Ducks are the favorites on Thursday night.