The time has come for the Sun Devils to face the music against arguably the best team on their schedule, No. 11 Oklahoma State. This is the first time ASU will play in Stillwater since 1993.
It’s worth noting that the Cowboys are coming off of a surprisingly high-scoring 58-44 win over Central Michigan. Sure, everyone knew that OSU would win, but if the ASU defense over-achieves this Saturday, they may have a real chance at the upset on the road.
Due to the fact that Big 12 teams don’t get much love ‘round these parts, we’ve determined who to keep your eyes on in this matchup. The list could be longer with a team like the Cowboys, but these are the guys that might stand out against ASU.
Senior quarterback Spencer Sanders
Spencer Sanders is currently the John Wick of football after what he did to Central Michigan last weekend. He threw for 404 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air, and added nearly 60 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Yes, that is seven total touchdowns.
The Texas-born gunslinger has been doing this to teams for several years now. Sanders was named the Big 12 offensive freshman of the year in 2019, he’s been the MVP of two different Bowl games in 2020 and 2021, and he’s got a chance to break Mason Rudolph’s school record for career wins.
In his time as quarterback, Sanders and the Cowboys have gone 47-6. Not too shabby for Baba Yaga. It’s no secret that Sanders is the offense for Oklahoma State, let’s just hope no one on ASU did anything to upset Sanders, or even his dog.
Senior receiver Braydon Johnson
If Sanders is John Wick, then Braydon Johnson is the bullet that’s ready to fire. Johnson, a fellow senior that has the speed to run laps around a secondary, went off for a cool 133 yards and a touchdown last weekend.
Before this season, Johnson hasn’t been able to show his top-tier skills because of an injury that kept him out all of last season. Before that he was third on the team in yards and receptions his sophomore and freshman years. Now that he’s healthy and recognized as one of the dogs on that offense, it could be dangerous for the rest of college football.
Johnson is usually lined up outside of the numbers, so we’ll see what the Sun Devils can do against such dynamic playmakers. The secondary for Central Michigan couldn’t hang with Johnson, or any of the Cowboys receiving core for that matter. However, ASU had a strong showing last week in coverage against NAU, so we’ll see what translates.
Redshirt freshman safety Kendal Daniels
This one is more of a wild card than Sanders or Johnson, but has the chance to make a difference if he gets the chance. Kendal Daniels is a redshirt freshman playing in the secondary for Oklahoma State.
Daniels was a four star recruit coming out of high school, and he showed why last week. Daniels was all over the field against Central Michigan, going for 6 tackles and 5 assists and making the hits when he needed to. He coupled that with a brilliant diving interception in the third quarter.
Daniels is 6-foot-4-inch and has the potential to take over games on the defensive side of the football, and I’m sure he’s an asset to the special teams unit. We’ll see how the Cowboys use him against ASU, but he’s definitely a guy to keep on your radar when Emory Jones drops back to pass.