Kickoff: 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
Television: Pac-12 Networks (Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker, Jill Savage)
Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620 | Sirius 126 (Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Doug Franz)
Weather: Friday night's forecast calls for highs in the low triple digits and a low of 74 degrees. Temperature will be in the mid-90's around kickoff.
What ASU is wearing: The Sun Devils are wearing white jerseys, white pants and white helmets with the large maroon pitchfork on the side. Fans are encouraged to wear white to Friday's game.
Series History: ASU leads the all-time series 23-5-1. The Sun Devils are 12-1-1 all-time against the Lobos at Sun Devil Stadium and ASU has won 18 consecutive games against New Mexico.
New Mexico in 2015: For the Lobos this season, it has been a tale of two games. In New Mexico's home opener against Mississippi Valley State, the Lobos surrendered just 74 total yards and allowed the Delta Devils to gain just eight first downs.
Not surprisingly, New Mexico cruised to a 66-0 victory. The Lobos rushed for 339 yards, went 5-for-10 on third downs and forced three turnovers in their Week 1 thrashing.
Week 2 was a different story, the New Mexico defense allowed 600 yards to Tulsa, and the Lobos fell to the Golden Hurricane 40-21 in Albuquerque. Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans completed 16-of-30 passes for 321 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Tulsa running backs Zach Langer and D'Angelo Brewer combined for 272 yards on 53 carries and two scores against the Lobos.
The Lobos are averaging 104.5 penalty yards per game, which puts them 125th in the nation. New Mexico ranks 14th nationally in rushing offense, averaging 281.5 yards per game on the ground.
ASU on offense: Arizona State coach Todd Graham mentioned two things about the offense during his weekly press conference on Monday — he wants to see the offense move faster and he would like to see more explosive plays.
"We need some explosive plays, and that's something that's been slow going that we should be able to generate with getting guys in open spaces," Graham said. "It's hard to go 13 plays and execute and score all the time."
The Sun Devils have struggled to get yards in bunches this season, as they have not completed a pass over 40 yards.
Graham has one explanation for the lack of explosiveness on offense.
"The other side of it that's been tough for us is trying to keep everybody healthy," he said. "We've had two new tackles the first game, then we have a new tackle the second game. Then we have another guy hurt. So we've got to keep guys healthy so we can practice and improve and get better."
The Sun Devils are still trying to find a deep threat at wide receiver. While D.J. Foster leads the Sun Devils with 12 receptions, Gary Chambers and Ellis Jefferson are both averaging a team-high 17.3 yards per catch. Jefferson's 33-yard catch against Texas A&M is ASU's longest reception of the season. Only Chambers, Jefferson and Devin Lucien have a reception over 20 yards.
Injuries to De'Chavon Hayes and Kalen Ballage have created an interesting dynamic in the backfield. Instead of burning freshman Jason Lewis' redshirt, ASU moved Foster back into the backfield. He carried the ball 12 times against Cal Poly and with Ballage and Hayes doubtful to play Friday, it is likely we will see Foster back at running back at some point against New Mexico.
"I mean, we have so much talent on this football team, more than I've ever been around. So when you do have adversity like that, guys just have to step up," ASU quarterback Mike Bercovici said. "A perfect example is a guy like D.J. Foster who is ready to step up at any position. If he had to play quarterback, he could probably play quarterback. It really is the next man up mentality."
ASU wide receivers vs. New Mexico defensive backs: Graham discussed the lack of explosive plays and a major component of that is wide receivers creating space down the field. There were several instances against Texas A&M when Mike Bercovici had time to throw, had his eyes downfield and had to either tuck the ball and run or check down to a running back because no wide receiver was open.
If D.J. Foster is being counted on more at running back Friday, who will fill his void at wide receiver? Ellis Jefferson caught four passes against Texas A&M, but was shut out against Cal Poly. Gary Chambers caught three passes for 60 yards against the Mustangs, we may also see Eric Lauderdale and Fred Gammage on Friday night.
ASU offensive tackles vs. New Mexico defensive ends: The New Mexico defensive end combination of Garrett Hughes and Nik D'Avanzo have combined for 11 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks through two games. RUSH linebacker Donnie White has seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and two solo sacks.
At this point, it is unclear whether it will be Sam Jones or William McGehee at right tackle. After Texas A&M sacked Bercovici nine times, the ASU signal caller went down just once against Cal Poly. This is the last tuneup for the two new ASU offensive tackles before conference play begins.
ASU on defense: The Sun Devils have played well on defense in two games this season. However, ASU struggled at times last week against Cal Poly's triple option attack. New Mexico also runs the triple option, but with a look that differs from Cal Poly's version.
"This is a different triple option team, they are not under-center, it's not a Navy flex-bone deal," Graham said. "This is a shotgun, triple option attack. Their quarterback and running backs are faster."
The catalyst of New Mexico's triple option is quarterback Lamar Jordan. The Sun Devils limited Jordan to just 32 rushing yards when these two teams met last season. However, Jordan was 7-for-11 for 130 yards and a touchdown through the air in that game.
The Lobos return two of their top rushers from 2014 in Teriyon Gipson and Jhurell Pressley. Both are off to slow starts in 2014, as Pressley is averaging a team-low 4.2 yards per carry and has tallied just 89 yards. Gipson has carried the ball just nine times for 91 yards and two touchdowns.
"New Mexico's spacing is different because they are out of the (shot) gun," defensive coordinator Keith Patterson said. "They can't have those wide splits because it's not as quick-hitting as the true veer teams."
The main questions surrounding ASU's defense against New Mexico are all health related. Safety Armand Perry will not play Friday night. Viliami Latu and Antonio Longino left ASU's win over Cal Poly and a few Sun Devils complained about the cut blocking that was happening at the line of scrimmage.
"I think when we talk about safety of our players, they should make it illegal to cut within the line of scrimmage," Graham said. "We talked about taking care of kids and you've got guys taking on some things and somebody's cutting their knees."
For the Sun Devils, the same principles from last week carry over to this week. The Sun Devils must be assignment-sound.
"We struggled with some assignments against the triple option and the team that runs it pretty good," Graham said. "So we basically, like when I got done we gave up a little, over like 330 yards of total offense, and we gave up 345 or 375 against Navy. The difference was we scored. So that type of offense, anybody that really knows football is dramatically different. It's 3rd-and-8, and it's a completely different game than what we play."
QB Lamar Jordan vs. ASU: Being assignment-sound starts with keeping track of Jordan. He's more of a passer than Cal Poly's Chris Brown was, as Jordan has completed 15-of-21 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown. Jordan is also second on the team with 97 rushing yards.
The key for ASU is to identify dives from perimeter runs and that starts with keying on Jordan.
This is the final chance for ASU to impress the local fans and media before they begin conference play against USC. The major key for ASU will be to come out healthy on both sides of the ball and fix some of the issues on offense. The major questions on offense is whether this team will be as explosive and productive as previously thought.
The New Mexico defense allowed 40 points and 600 yards of offense to Tulsa last week. Look for the Sun Devils to put up similar numbers on their way to a victory.
Prediction: ASU 42, New Mexico 13