What better way to cure that post-Thanksgiving hangover than with some great college football Friday. After emptying that wallet Friday morning with some Black Friday shopping, take in the Territorial Cup on TV or in person. Sit the kids down in front of the television too because it's definitely a matchup with plenty of Pac-12 South and Championship implications. Here is who to watch for.
Strong will be back for the first time since the Oregon State game where he suffered a mild concussion. This is more than likely Strong's last Territorial Cup and he'll certainly be looking to make the most of it. He had 142 yards receiving last year against Arizona too. In big games like this, leaders have to be ready to carry the load. Strong will be targeted plenty after it was clear he was sorely missed last week by Taylor Kelly.
Scooby Wright III:
The centerpiece of the Arizona offense will try to do everything he can to disrupt what ASU is trying to do on the offensive side of the ball. Last season's loss in Tempe most likely left a bad taste in his mouth as he and the rest of the Wildcats try to exact revenge. If Wright can have success keeping contain on Kelly and cutting the edge on outside runs to D.J. Foster, it could be a long afternoon for the Sun Devils. With 126 tackles and as a finalist for the Bednarik Award, Wright could be the key to stopping ASU in their tracks.
Kelly has a very unique opportunity to join some rare company Friday. He could join Danny White, Rudy Carpenter and Joe Spagnola as the fourth ASU quarterback to beat Arizona three times. Outside of that, there is still a chance that "Oregon State" Taylor Kelly might show up given he still isn't at 100 percent. Arizona runs a 3-3-5 defense, which isn't utilized a lot. Kelly will need to identify pressures early and not make unwarranted throws by playing within himself, especially in a hostile environment.
No quarterback does well under pressure, and Hardison has been providing a lot of that lately. Arizona's offensive line has a lot of experience. But as he slowly turns himself into a potential second day NFL Draft prospect, he's going to need to be persistent with his new-found success. The dual-threat abilities of Anu Solomon makes it important for Hardison to keep contain, something the Sun Devils did incredibly well against Notre Dame. He'll need to draw on the skills he found then in order to continue his dominance in ASU's last three contests.
Wilson had 218 yards and three touchdowns last week against a Utah defensive front which included the likes of Nate Orchard. He'll try to continue that success this week. ASU had trouble with two smaller backs like Wilson in Storm Woods and Terron Ward two weeks ago. The Sun Devils will need to find a way to keep the inside running lanes closed, most likely with more pressure up the middle.
The ASU offensive lineman had a rough start against Washington State and was part of the group that allowed five sacks of Kelly. He, Jamil Douglas and the rest of the offensive line will need to have a much improved outing if Kelly is going to feel comfortable in the pocket. While you might be able to make the argument about the second half against the Cougars, he truly hasn't looked perfectly comfortable in the pocket since the Notre Dame game.