ASU vs. Illinois: Game Predictions from the House of Sparky Staff

Aug. 30, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State quarterback Michael Eubank (18) celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against Northern Arizona at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona State is set to take on the Illinois Fighting Illini at 7:30 p.m. tonight, so here are the official predictions from the House of Sparky staff.

Brad Denny: ASU wins 20-17

This is going to be a street fight. Both teams are young, hungry and will attack the other with all they have. I think both offenses will have a tough time generating any sustained momentum, and this could very well become a battle who who makes fewer mistakes and whose offensive line can hold out the longest. In the end, Taylor Kelly will do just enough to offset early mistakes and lead ASU to a narrow win.

Game MVP: Chris Coyle. The 3-back should find some space along the seams to make some big plays.

Cory Williams: ASU wins 27-20

I'm drinking the Sun Devil Kool-aid, stirred up by Todd Graham himself. The team had their mind right against NAU. The effort was a breath of fresh air and the lack of penalties was a lovely sign that the ASU of yesteryear has taken a backseat to the high octane efforts of the future. We will remember this game as Cameron Marshall's grand emergence in the national spotlight as he racks up over 100 yards against a solid Illinois defense. While Marshall has always been highly regarded, the hype around him is low. Expect that to change. Michael Eubank will also impress with his decision making in limited duty.

Game MVP: Cameron Marshall. 100+ yards, at least one touchdown. The kid wants to leave ASU a winner... and he will.

Ben Haber: ASU wins 24-20

ASU and Illinois head into this week two matchup at 1-0, both teams are searching for their first significant victory under their new respective coaches. The game will likely be low scoring, which actually favors Illinois. However, the Devils have home field advantage and the Maroon Monsoon on their side. ASU's guide to victory will rely on the offensive line and if they can handle Illinois ferocious front seven. I believe the Devil's big men hold up, providing Kelly enough time to make the appropriate reads. This game will go down to the wire, but I have ASU winning 24-20.

Game MVP: 3-back Chris Coyle

Cody Ulm: ASU wins 21-20

This one wont be pretty against an Illinois defense that is one of the most underrated in the country, but in the end I think ASU grinds it out. There wont be the huge running lanes that the Devils saw last week as the Illini held Western Michigan to negative six rushing yards in there Week One matchup. But in the end, I believe that Taylor Kelly makes just enough plays to prevent them from stacking the box. Still, don't be surprised if these teams combine for 5+ total turnovers before this one is over.

Game MVP: WR Richard Smith

Ryan Bafaloukos: ASU wins 31-24

I say ASU squeaks out with a seven point victory against a game Big Ten opponent. A lot depends on if Nathan Scheelhasse plays against ASU as he is the best player on the Illinois offense. I'll predict ASU will start fast and get out to an early double-digit lead before Illinois makes their move and ties the game at halftime. I say ASU gets a late touchdown inside of four minutes left in the game and the defense stops Illinois on downs to seal the victory.

Game MVP: Jamal Miles: MIles will make a triumphant return to the ASU lineup and I say the senior gets at least two touchdowns.

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