Kickoff: 3 p.m. ET/1 p.m. MT
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro, Yogi Roth, Lewis Johnson)
Radio: Arizona Sports 98.7 FM | Sirus 137 (Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Doug Franz)
What ASU is Wearing: The Sun Devils will be wearing black helmets (with the large pitchfork on the side) with black jerseys and gold pants. Fans are encouraged to wear gold.
Series History: The Sun Devils lead the all-time series against Washington 17-15, including a 10-8 advantage in games played at Sun Devil Stadium. ASU has won nine straight against the Huskies.
Washington in 2015: The season started with a tough loss to Boise State on the road in which the Huskies scored just 13 points, amassed just 179 yards of offense and gained only 11 first downs. Washington concluded their nonconference slate with a 49-0 victory over Sacramento State and a 31-17 win over Utah State.
After a 30-24 loss to Cal to open Pac-12 play, Washington picked up their signature victory in the Chris Petersen era with a 17-12 victory against USC on the road. Since that victory, Washington has lost three of their four games, however those losses have come to arguably the three best teams in the league: Oregon, Stanford and Utah.
In the middle of those losses was a 49-3 domination of Arizona. Following their game with ASU, the Huskies finish the regular season against Oregon State and Washington State.
ASU on Offense: It was an up-and-down performance by the ASU offense last Saturday in Pullman. ASU started with 14 quick points, thanks in part to a dominant running game in the first quarter against the Cougars. However, after leading 14-0 after the first 15 minutes the Sun Devils were outscored 38-10 the rest of the game.
"I know we have a really good football team," Todd Graham said. "We just have not put it together and had the rhythm that we need to have. You know, that's the difference. I mean, we're losing games in the fourth quarter, and that's not something we've done. We're losing close games, and you know, again, the common denominator is turnovers. That's been the deal all year long. We've got to eliminate those."
Demario Richard posted his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season last Saturday, making him the first ASU running back to have five games of 100 yards since 2001. Five of his 18 carries came on the first drive of the game.
"You know, I mean, heck, we scored the first two drives and we were hitting quick passes and throwing the ball, and as we went back and evaluated, it was just in critical situations making very critical mistakes," Graham said. "But you know, if you ask my opinion on things, I mean, we ran the ball very well, and I thought our guys did a really good job in the run game. But you know, you always second-guess yourself when you don't come out on top."
The Sun Devils now face the best defense in the Pac-12 when the Washington Huskies come to Tempe. Washington ranks first in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, red zone defense and second in the conference in total defense. Only three teams have scored 30 points on the Huskies this season and no team has score more than 34.
"I think Washington is in a similar situation with us, just kind of fighting for anything that they can, and we're going to be playing in front of our home crowd," quarterback Mike Bercovici said. "And the message is clear. Own the ball, play lights out on special teams and give these fans what they deserve, and that's a Sun Devil win."
Convert Red Zone Opportunities: The Huskies have allowed opponents to enter their red zone 32 times this season. Only 13 times have they surrendered a touchdown (40.6 percent) that is the best touchdown percentage in the conference. Washington does not allow many touchdowns in the red zone and ASU has a difficult time scoring touchdowns in the red zone. If ASU gets near the goal line, they cannot settle for field goals.
Run the Football: On the first drive against Washington State, Richard tallied 53 yards on five carries with a touchdown. Ricahrd carried the ball just 13 times the rest of the game. If the running game is working early, stick to it.
ASU on Defense: Overall, Todd Graham was pleased with how his defense played against Washington State. In the first half, ASU held Cougar quarterback Luke Falk in check and for the most part contained big plays. That all fell apart in the second half as ASU surrendered big plays through the air and Falk racked up 497 yards and five touchdowns through the air.
"Obviously there's a lot of things there early, but we really defensively, while we're talking about defense, they didn't complete any of their major route concepts, throughout the whole game," Graham said. "We did a really good job of covering. I thought we got to the quarterback. We didn't blitz as much, but we still impacted him.
"We just had seven critical errors where -- and I mean simple stuff, where we basically left people uncovered on a slant."
That slant Graham is talking about is a 75-yard pitch and catch from Falk to Dom Williams that extended the Washington State lead to 14 and put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Washington State receivers caught passes of 75, 47 and 36 yards against the Sun Devils. No ASU receiver caught a pass more than 27 yards.
"They just go simple zoom motion, and we end up with two guys on the same guy and they throw a slant. That was kind of all night, or in the second half that's what hurt us down the stretch," Graham said. "And it was errors we shouldn't be making, and so that has to do with all of us, so that's why we talked about all of us being accountable, and we've got to do a better job in every area."
The Washington Huskies have played six true freshman on offense this season. They will start a true freshman quarterback and a true freshman running back. Browning is completing 62 percent of his passes and has thrown for 11 touchdowns and six interceptions.
In Washington's four victories, Browning is averaging 273 yards through the air and in their losses he is averaging 189. Only two of his 11 touchdown passes have come in Washington defeats.
Pressure the Young Quarterback: Browning has been sacked 21 times in his eight starts. Getting pressure on a young quarterback is always a young key because they are more prone to making mistakes under pressure. The Sun Devils average 8.8 tackles for loss per game and they need to dominate an offensive line that will play two freshman tackles.
Guard Against Trickery: Anytime you are playing a Chris Petersen-coached team you have to be on the lookout for trick plays. Graham and his staff know this but it is important ASU diagnose these and limit their damage as they can cause huge momentum shifts as well.
This is a game between two desperate teams. Both sit at 4-5 and have two win two of their final three games to reach a bowl game. Both teams have lost three of their last four games and both teams have proven they can beat good teams away from home (ASU @UCLA and Washington @ USC).
The Sun Devils need to start forcing more turnovers on defense and the offense needs to correct their goal line issues. Washington will bring a young and talented team into Sun Devil Stadium, knowing full well they have not beaten ASU in their last nine games.
Expect a low scoring game as both teams are led by their defenses. Jake Browning has struggled against the better teams he has faced this season and I expect ASU to have success against the true freshman.
Prediction: ASU 24, Washington 17