The Arizona State Sun Devils will try and shake off their struggles against the Washington State Cougars. Brad Denny of House Of Sparky explains how ASU gets back on track.
Give us your evaluation of Taylor Kelly so far this season. What are his strengths? What are his limitations?
Brad Denny, House Of Sparky - Overall, it's been a strong debut season, filled with the expected mix of highs and lows. He's a fine athlete, but his greatest attributes are his intangibles. Kelly has often shown very good poise, command of the offense and a knack for clutch playmaking. Granted, during the last four weeks of playing four ranked teams, he's regressed, but a lot of that is due to other factors, such as protection, lack of weapons and play calling. On the flip side, Kelly does not possess any elite physical tools. His arm is average, and he can't gun it deep downfield or into tight windows. Over the last few weeks, he's also shown he can be rattled by consistent pressure, so he definitely has a lot of area for growth.
Look ahead to this week's game against Washington State. What are the matchups you consider the keys to victory?
Brad Denny, House Of Sparky - It's all about the pass rush, Can ASU protect Taylor Kelly? Washington State does a very good job of getting to the quarterback, and if ASU's offensive line allows Travis Long and company past them, it could get ugly. However, should Kelly have time, the rest of the Cougar defense is ripe for the picking. On the other side, ASU's excellent pass rushers should have a field day against WSU, who has allowed more sacks than any team in the nation. With no running game to worry about, Will Sutton and Carl Bradford should have some good eatin' on Saturday.
What's your score prediction for ASU vs. WSU and why?
Brad Denny, House Of Sparky - The streak ends Saturday. I think ASU's defense is the absolute worst match-up for the Cougar offensive line, and the Sun Devils should be able to score enough to earn a comfortable win and bowl eligibility. I'll say ASU takes it, 37-17.