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ASU vs. Washington: Staff Gameday Roundtable

Find out what our staff thinks of today's game.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Our Panel:

Ryan Bafaloukos - Co-Managing Editor | @RyanBafo
Kaelen Jones - Staff Writer | @kaelenjones
Connor Pelton - Staff Writer | @ConnorPelton28
Kristina Vicario - Staff Writer | @KristinaV_18
Blane Ferguson - Staff Writer | @BlaneFerguson
Shane Theodore - Staff Writer | @shanetheodore

Short Answer

Q: Which would you rather have happen to ASU, if they lost two games but beat U of A (5-7, no bowl) or if they won two games but lost to U of A (6-6, bowl eligible)?

Jones: Sticking it to my friends who go to U of A or beat random school in bowl game? I'll take victory over U of A, please. CTG and crew can turn it around next year.

Pelton: I'd rather they get bowl eligible, by whatever means necessary. If they happen to beat Washington and California and lose to Arizona, so be it.

Vicario: I would rather see ASU reach bowl eligibility. I think this would be considered a bigger success in this disappointing season than if they were to pull off one upset win.

Ferguson: I would rather make a bowl games if that takes losing to U of A. The benefits, especially the extra practice and experience for younger guys on the team, is more valuable than beating Arizona and finishing without bowl eligibility.

Theodore: As much as it makes sense to prioritize the continuation of the bowl streak, I'd rather beat U of A than play in the New Mexico Bowl.

Bafaloukos: I would much rather make it to a bowl game than beat Arizona and go 5-7. I think a few months from now when people look back at this season they would remember the disappointment of not making a bowl game more than a win over Arizona.

Q: Which newcomer have you been most impressed with this season?

Jones: Tim White. After receiving little-to-no hype during the offseason as a potential offensive contributor, he's been one of ASU's most effective overall playmakers.

Pelton: Tim White has been the only consistently reliable receiver for Arizona State, so he is my pick for most impressive. He's got 441 receiving yards and his six touchdowns are tied for first on the team.

Vicario: I have been most impressed with what Kareem Orr has been able to do as a true freshman to help this waxing and waning ASU defense. I think he will be a huge asset to the Sun Devil secondary in the coming years.

Ferguson: I think the obvious answer is Tim White. He really has added a dynamic level, most noticeably on special teams, that ASU has been lacking for awhile. For the most part, Todd Graham and his staff have been great at finding talent in the JUCO levels and it has continued with finding White.

Theodore: While he likely wouldn't have been pressed into starting duty so early if Armond Perry had remained healthy, Kareem Orr's been a bright spot on a defense that's lost a lot of its bite this season.

Bafaloukos: I think it's a toss up between Orr and White but I would also like to throw JoJo Wicker in the conversation as well. I will go with Orr because he has been the true bright spot in an ASU secondary that starts three seniors.

Q: What grade would you give Mike Bercovici for his play this season?

Jones: B-. Still think he'd have been better suited in a different scheme. Nonetheless, he's been OK this year; flashes his brilliance, but makes silly fundamental errors, too.

Pelton: I think Bercovici has played to a solid C thus far. He has had his fair share of struggles, sure, but he has not had much to work with. These final three games (and perhaps a bowl) will be huge in determining his final grade, though. The quarterback needs to be the leader of the team, and this group of guys needs a leader more than ever right now.

Vicario: B-. I think Bercovici still has a lot to learn in terms of being mobile in the pocket, exercising all of his options and being more knowledgable in reading defensive formations before the snap. However, I do think he has done a lot for a team that has struggled in multiple phases of the game this season.

Ferguson: I would say a C. It just seems like there was never a strong comfort level for Bercovici in this offense. Even if Bercovici wasn't the best suited for this offense to start the season, there's no way Graham could have started somebody else.

If Graham had gone with one of the freshman quarterbacks instead of Bercovici, even if they hypothetically fit the system better, fans would have revolted. It hasn't been the best fit, systematically, for either party but now it's just about competing for bowl eligibility and avoiding any devastating injuries.

Theodore: B. Doing the best he can in a system he's not meant to run.

Bafaloukos: I will go with a C like Connor and Blane. My take on Bercovici is this: When he has a clean pocket and an open receiver, he makes all the throws. When he has to throw on the run and into coverage, he misses too many throws. I think he is an average to above average quarterback who, like others have said, is playing in a system that just doesn't suit his strengths.

Other Predictions

Pelton Jones Ferguson Vicario Theodore Bafaloukos

Over/Under: 23 Points

For ASU?

Over Over Over Over Under Over

Over/Under: 300 Passing

Yards for Bercovici?

Under Under Under Under Under Under

Does the ASU Defense

Give up a Play of 60 Yards?

No No Yes Yes Yes No

Position Group Who Has to

Play Well for ASU to Win?

Kicker Receivers Offensive Line Offensive Line Secondary Defensive Line
Who Wins? ASU, 24-17 ASU, 29-23 ASU, 28-24 ASU, 27-24 UW, 30-20 ASU, 24-17