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ASU vs. Texas Tech: Game Preview and TV Schedule

Everything you need to know when the Sun Devils take on the Red Raiders in Tempe Saturday night.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0, 0-0 Big 12) vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0, 0-0 Pac-12)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. MT/10 p.m. ET

Television: Fox Sports 1 (Joe Davis, Brady Quinn, Jenny Taft)

Radio: ESPN Phoenix 620/TuneIn App (Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Derek Hagan)

Weather: Saturday calls for a high of 105 degrees and a low of 81. Expect clear skies and temperatures in the high 90's around kickoff.

What ASU Will Be Wearing: The Sun Devils are unveiling a new uniform combination Saturday night. ASU will be wearing white helmets with a large black pitchfork and black numbers. The Sun Devils will also be wearing black uniforms with white pants. You can read more about Saturday's uniform combo here.

Series History: These two programs have only met twice in the modern era of college football, with the last contest coming in San Diego at the 2013 Holiday Bowl when Texas Tech topped Arizona State 37-23. Prior to 2013, the Red Raiders and Sun Devils met in 1999, with the Sun Devils winning 31-13 in Tempe.

Texas Tech in 2016: Like the Sun Devils, Texas Tech opened 2016 with an FCS foe as the Red Raiders welcomed Stephen F. Austin to Lubbock. Unlike ASU, Texas Tech did not have much trouble with their foe from the division below as the blew out the Lumberjacks 69-17.

Junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the way as he accounted for six touchdowns, tallied 483 yards through the air on 30 completions. He was pulled midway through the third quarter. The Red Raider offense had 10 plays of at least 20 yards.

After finishing 126th in the FBS in total defense last season, the Red Raiders showed off what looked to be an improved unit with transfers Kolin Hill (Notre Dame) and Ondre Pipkins (Michigan). SFA didn't score a touchdown until late in the third quarter and tallied just 60 yards rushing.

ASU on Offense: There were plenty of ups and downs for the Arizona State offense in their season opener against NAU. First, let's talk about the good: ASU marched down the field in seven plays and scored a touchdown on their opening possession. The Sun Devils ran the ball all seven times on that opening drive and quickly led 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

Now, the bad: ASU did not score another touchdown until the third quarter and the Lumberjacks were within 10-6 in the third quarter. There were times when Manny Wilkins looked skittish in the pocket and there were times when ASU's offensive line could not create space in the running game.

However, at the end of the day ASU put up 44 points, and beat a top-20 FCS team by 31 points. The ASU offense opened up in the second half and ASU showed that if it can get its playmakers the ball in space, the offense can score and score in a hurry.

Wilkins finished the night 20-27 for 180 yards with an interception, a team-high 89 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Todd Graham was impressed with the redshirt sophomore quarterback in his first start, especially with the way he communicated.

"His poise was what I was most impressed with. The way that he communicated with Chip (Lindsey) and Brady (White) was really impressive," said Graham of Wilkins. "We never had too much panic or any negativity, and I really liked Manny's leadership. He has a lot of tools and obviously as we move to week two, week three and so on, the key is to improve in every single area."

Redshirt senior wide receiver Tim White contributed to the Sun Devil victory in just about every way that he could Saturday night. White finished the night with 95 receiving yards and nine catches, 43 punt returns yards and 57 kick return yards. White also caught the first collegiate pass from Wilkins in ASU's second drive.

"I think Tim epitomizes what we want in a player. He is a very selfless guy," Graham said. "I think you can see his character and his discipline. When I walk around and talk to players in the dining hall and in the locker room, I tell them that if they want to follow somebody, they need to follow Tim White."

Keys on Offense

Establish the Run: In 2015, the Red Raiders finished No. 126 in the nation against the run. The defense showed improvement against Stephen F. Austin, allowing just 60 yards on the ground. If you talk to most Texas Tech fans they will tell you they are as terrified of Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage as Sun Devil fans are of Patrick Mahomes.

ASU established the run early against NAU but went away from it in the first half as they worked on their passing offense during the first half. If the Sun Devils can control the line of scrimmage and work themselves into second and short situations they have a good chance of topping the Red Raiders.

Keep Tech Guessing: As Kaelen Jones detailed in his film room breakdown, Texas Tech has a tendency to over-pursue ball carriers in the play action. This should play right into what ASU likes to do with its RPO (read-pass option) plays with Wilkins having the option to hand the ball off, take it himself or dumb the ball to a wide receiver on the outside.

With Wilkins, Richard, Ballage, White and Harry, the Sun Devils have more than enough weapons in the passing game and running game to keep the Red Raiders off balance and put points on the scoreboard.

ASU on Defense: There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that Texas Tech boasts one of the most prolific offenses in the nation. The Red Raiders put up 69 points and gained 758 total yards -- the fourth most in school history -- last week against SFA.

The Sun Devil defense will have their hands full with Red Raider quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The junior earned high praise from Todd Graham, as the ASU head coach said he is one of the top quarterbacks he has ever seen running the Air Raid offense.

"It's an air raid system. One, they're very well coached and he really understands the system, he's big, he's hard to tackle, he has a very quick release and they spread you all over the place," Graham said of Mahomes. "Obviously the strength of their team is their offense and their ability to score points and so it'll be a big challenge."

The Sun Devils will likely be without starting linebacker Christian Sam, who suffered an ankle an injury in the first half against NAU. Salamo Fiso's status remains a question after he was suspended for the first game of the season. The Sun Devils will likely get Ami Latu back after he missed the NAU game. Renell Wren stood out with a pair of tackles for loss against NAU.

"When they (NAU) were holding the ball they were blocking seven-on-four so they had some nice things. Usually when that happens we'll bring more pressure and do different things, but we were disciplined on what our plan was and what we wanted to do," Grahams said about his defense.

The Red Raiders will play an Air Raid scheme, much like Washington State and Cal in the Pac-12. Unlike those two schools, the Red Raiders have a quarterback who can make plays with his feet and extend plays when they break down.

"There's different versions of it (the air raid offense), Dana (Holgorsen) has a different form at West Virginia, coach Leach, to me, is the foundation and traditional way of doing it," Graham said. "They've all added different wrinkles and things like that to it, but I'd say Texas Tech is more pure and very much similar to Washington State."

This will be the first big test for the ASU secondary, a unit that surrendered the most passing yards of any team in the Pac-12 last season. Last season the Sun Devils played three Air Raid teams (Washington State, Cal, West Virginia) and they went 0-3, allowing an average of 43 points per game.

West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard threw for 532 yards, Cal's Jared Goff threw for 542 yards and Washington State's Luke Falk threw for 497 yards and they each threw for 5 touchdowns last season against the Sun Devils.

Keys on Defense

Limit Big Plays: Anytime a defense is facing a spread offense this is a key. Spread offenses feast on big plays and short drives. Texas Tech had 10 plays of 20-plus yards in their season opener. Last season, ASU had a difficult time keeping wide receivers in front of them and in one-on-one coverage. The Sun Devils need to make the Red Raiders go the length of the field to score touchdowns.

Tackle in Space: Much like the ASU offense, Texas Tech likes to get its wide receivers the ball in space in put them on one-on-one situations on the outside. These plays can go for five-yard gain or a missed tackle can them into a 50-yard gain. If ASU wants to have success on defense the Sun Devils need to tackle well in space.

Final Breakdown

The Sun Devils and Red Raiders will meet in what should be a shootout Saturday night in Tempe. The question is: can the Sun Devils keep up with the potent Red Raider offense? Can the ASU defense get pressure and contain Mahomes?

This is a really good test for the Sun Devils as they prepare for Cal, USC, and UCLA to open Pac-12 play. However, the Sun Devils didn't show us much last week to make us believe they are ready for the Texas Tech offense or that they can score enough points on offense to keep up with Texas Tech.

Final Score: Texas Tech 38, ASU 24