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ASU vs. Cal: House of Sparky Staff Predictions

The House of Sparky staff throws down their final ASU vs. Cal game predictions

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You've been reading our in-depth coverage of today's critical Arizona State versus Cal match-up all week long, including our comprehensive game preview.

Now, it's time for our staff picks, thoughts and analysis.

Game Picks

Brad Cory Ben Cody

Brad Denny: ASU wins 38-31

This game is either a major stepping stone or a slippery slop. A win, and Todd Graham's regime is heading into the bye with a Top 25 ranking a huge conference road win. A loss, and it's "same ol' Devils". ASU's offense should be able to score plenty on a rebuilding Cal defense, so the real story is whether the Sun Devil defense can baffle Zach Maynard before he gets the ball of the Bears' dangerous playmakers in Keenan Allen, Isi Sofele and Brendan Bigelow. Given the way ASU is playing, I think they will. Game MVP: Taylor Kelly

Ben Haber: ASU wins 31-17

ASU hasn't won in Berkeley since 1997 but are the supremely talented team on paper for this years matchup. Taylor Kelly should have a field day against a mediocre Cal defense. The Sun Devils consistent pressure will provide big problems for quarterback Zach Maynard. Berkeley is struggling up front, giving up 8.25 tackles for loss while ASU leads the nation with 9.75 tackles resulting in negative yardage. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford as always will turn to running the rock, and will need strong efforts from running backs Isi Sofele and Brendan Bigelow to have a shot. I believe ASU finally gets a big road win, defeating Cal 31-17. Game MVP: DJ Foster

Cody Ulm: ASU wins 31-24

I don't expect Todd Graham and company to be as timid with their offensive game plan in the early going again after what Taylor Kelly proved at Mizzou. Cal has been outscored 37-7 in the first quarter this season so look for the Devils to get up early if Graham takes the training wheels off. I gave Cal 24 points because of the home crowd factor and the weapons they have but they might not even get that much if ASU can put the Golden Bears into some third and longs. Forcing Zach Maynard to beat you is recipe for success and that's what this front seven can do if they attack Cal's faulty offensive line in the run game. Game MVP: Osahon Irabor

Cory Williams: ASU wins 34-20

This is going to be a good one. While the Devils have shown an incredible toughness in the friendly confines of Sun Devil Stadium, their road trip to Missouri gleaned a different result - a team that had insecurities and consistency issues. Against the Golden Bears, the Sun Devils will show a marked improvement in their road game preparation, and the offensive line will not fall victim to the false start penalty vortex. Taylor Kelly continues to ascend the ranks of the Pac-12 quarterback echelon while DJ Foster continues to prove his growing value and talent to a national television audience. Game MVP: DJ Foster