Both teams are entering this game at 1-0 after the Sun Devils won their shootout with the New Mexico State Aggies 37-31 and the Aztecs blew out UC Davis 38-17 and have been on a hot streak since last year, winning eight of their last 10 games. For the Sun Devils, this game will be filled with emotions as the team will be honoring late ASU legendary coach Frank Kush, wearing the sunburst logo on its helmet this week in Kush’s memory.
Here’s what you need about the Aztecs:
They will run the ball down your throat
The Aztecs last year were the definition of old school football as they rushed for over 3,600 yards and 34 touchdowns compared to the 2,000 yards they put up in the air.
Now, a big reason behind that rushing attack being so successful was Donnel Pumphrey, who went to the NFL, but they still can run the ball well.
In their first game, the Aztecs ran for 276 yards on 52 carries for 3 touchdowns while they threw the ball 23 times for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The heavy lifter of the Aztecs, senior Rashaad Penny, did the bulk of the work with 197 yards for 2 touchdowns.
The Sun Devils woes on defense is already well known and after the Aggies rushed for 151 yards on them, we could see the Aztecs put up higher numbers this Saturday.
What will the Sun Devils see?
The first quarter for the Sun Devils last week was what many expected with this team, high powered offense with more bite on the defense but after that, the offense sputtered and the defense looked like last year’s team.
The defense got shredded either by the passing game or by the running game and that’s not a good sign for a team that is in one of the tougher conferences in the NCAA with a tough schedule.
The Aztecs will be able to really attack the Devils; however, they see fit and though they are runners first, that doesn’t mean the passing game will completely sit back.
ASU needs to return back into their first quarter form in which their defense was playing well and consistently stay in that form for them to have any hope of continual success.
If they can’t, this season can go down in a blaze in a hurry. Their offense will always play either well at the worst of times or great at the best of times but this team lives and dies on their defense.