In the wake of the upcoming rivalry match between The Arizona State Sundevils, eyeing a possible rose bowl championship contention, and the University of Arizona Wildcats, the tension between these two teams is as thick as it possibly could be. With Arizona still riding high after their mind-blowing blowout victory over 5th ranked Oregon ducks, they are looking add another loss to the very successful season that the Arizona State Sundevils have enjoyed, what is expected of these two teams as they prepare to face each other? What players are expected to show up and show out against their crosstown rivals? Who will emerge the victor in this bout?
Starting off with the quarter back edge the obvious answer is Taylor Kelly of Arizona state. Not flashy by any means, the consistent, hard working, and resilient, Kelly has emerged has one of the better QBs in the nation. His mobility in and out of the pocket make him a double threat nightmare for Pac-12 defenses. He has been known to make 1 or 2 big time rushes throughout the course of each game and with ASUs struggling backfield they will need his rushing ability to show its face against the University of Arizona WildCats. Kelly has passed for 3,063 yards with 25 touchdowns on the season, a pass completion rate of 63% and a QB rating of 142.2. He has made a number of big plays throughout the course of the season including a game winning pass to WR Richard Smith 2 weeks ago against the University of Utah in Utah. Kelly is the undeniable leader for the SunDevils leading them to a 9-2 record with heartbreaking losses to Notre Dame and Stanford whom they will play in the Pac-12 Championship. Definately look For taylor kelly to take a few shots down field and up the middle and challenge the WildCats secondary; also look for him to be versatile and run the ball a little more the often to open of the Sun Devils fast-paced offense.
When you talk about the Arizona State Offense you can not leave out superstar WR Jaelen Strong who gives ASU the edge at this position and has become the go to man for QB Taylor Kelly. They have grown together this season to be one of the best QB-WR tandems in the PAC-12 with a countless number of big plays. Jaelen Strong is just 75 yards short of achieving a 1,000 receiving yard season; at 925 yards with 6 touchdowns scored on the season Jaelen Strong is a dangerous man; with amazing jump-ball catch ability and skills, strong hands and good speed it will be a tough task for the WildCats Defensive Backs to contain him. He is definately the biggest force on the SunDevils offense.
The Arizona Wildcats hold the running back edge for this game, superstar RB Ka'Deem Carey is the prototypical running back, consistent hard nose and a play maker. Rushing for 1,559 yards and 16 touchdowns on the year, Carey has ran his way into the Heisman conversation, raising a lot of eyebrows in the process of doing so. His running efficiency is consistent as he averages just over 5 yards per carry with 119 plus yards in every game this season. Last week against the number 5 ranked Oregon Ducks he ran for 206 yards on 48 carries as the Wildcats shocked the world and defeated the ducks. Carey's 290 run attempts prove that the Wildcats lean on him to be an offensive catalyst and to get their system running, he is deadly on the ground and with Arizona State not having the greatest track record with their run defense Ka'Deem Carey is looking forward to a big game against rival SunDevils.
The defensive edge despite their struggling rush defense through the course of the year, goes to Arizona State, and we all know why; dynamic Defensive End Will Sutton, reigning Pac-12 defensive Player of the Year, catalyst and leader for this Arizona State SunDevils team. Sutton has become a nightmare for offensive linemen, his combination of speed, size and power are unmatched and he walks to the line with a mission every play. His energy and passion for his teammates has spread through the defense and throughout the course of the season other threats have emerged, LineBackers Carl Bradford and Salamo Fiso add extra speed to the dynamic pass rush defense that the SunDevils hang their hats on. Also Defensive Back Alden Darby who, in his senior season seems to have found a rhythm playing in that secondary giving ASU a good dynamic on defense at times during the season. ASU puts their pride in and count on big Will Sutton to anchor their defense and lead them to victory against the WildCats.
With The Sundevils looking to build momentum going into the PAC 12 championship it is easy to tell that they are looking to maintain their undefeated record at SunDevil Stadium and send the Wildcats back to Tucson with their heads down. However with the Wildcats riding a hughe wave of excitement after their blowout victory against 5th ranked Oregon in which no one expected such an outcome, could the WildCats be poised for another upset? or will the SunDevils talent be too much for Arizona to bear in their rivalry game on November 30th at SunDevil Stadium