Arizona State feels like the forgotten team in a better than expected PAC-12. All eyes have been on Oregon, UCLA, and even USC despite their struggles. Yet, Arizona State has been ranked since the preseason poll, remains unbeaten, and is no set to face a ranked opponent in BYU.
They're very quietly building their resume into one that could have them playing for a potential playoff spot if the wins keep rolling. At least this week, that's the expectation.
Oddsmakers favor Arizona State on the road. The Sun Devils are 3.5 point favorites, and they're given -172 odds to win the game outright. That means they're given a 63.2% chance to win the game. Meanwhile, BYU is given +156 odds, or an implied 39.1% chance to pull off the upset.
Those numbers are being nice to BYU. Remember, home teams are given 3 points simply for having home field advantage. That means if the game were to be held at A State they'd would be 9.5 point favorites.
BYU and Arizona State have met 27 times in their history. Arizona State has won 20 of those games. Now to be fair, BYU has won the last 2 matchups of these two teams. Those games just so happened to be before the turn of the 21st century.
So, it's hard to really determine what their prior matchups even mean to this game. After all, it's been almost 25 years since the last time these teams played each other. Neither is anywhere close to the program they were at that time.
Jaydon Daniels wants to be considered one of the top QBs in this draft class? He has a chance to show why he should be by going up against a ranked opponent. That's really what this game will likely come down to. Can Daniels lead the Arizona State offense to enough points to win what's likely to be a shootout?
The public perception is that he can do it. We'll see if that hold true tonight.