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10PP: Sparky looks to rebound versus Wazzu

The #13 Arizona State Sun Devils (8-2) host the Washington State Cougars (3-7) hoping to get back on track after... ah, screw it.

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@CoachGrahamASU and @Coach_Leach before last year's match-up in Pullman
@CoachGrahamASU and @Coach_Leach before last year's match-up in Pullman
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

From controlling our own destiny to hoping the other maroon and gold team gives us a helping hand, it's very easy to see what our loss in Corvallis cost us. A week later, the Sun Devils will try to pick up the pieces, in front of a fan base, that last saw Jaelen Strong on the sideline and Taylor Kelly making two crucial mistakes with the game on the line. Now, the Berco Boys are louder than ever, while alumni wonder aloud if CTG will run for the hills. Without further ado, I've got some good news and bad news.

  • Bad News: We lost our shot to get into the inaugural College Football Playoff because we decided never to get off the bus in Corvallis. Top to bottom, this is the most disappointing loss since 2008 when UNLV came into Tempe and ended our season, right then and there. Yes, if UCLA loses, there is a chance we could play for the right to get smacked by the Ducks PAC-12 Championship, but man, this one hurts. Here was an opportunity for ASU to rise from the PAC-12 middle class to perennial conference championship contender (angry alliteration, not fun). Instead, more of the same AKA traveling to El Paso in December and battling over three star recruits with New Mexico State. Again, this one hurts and I think the student section will reflect that this week.
  • Good news: You get a free Fray ticket if go to the game Saturday. No word on if they know How To Save A Season (Dad jokes are never not fun).
  • We're on to Wazzu. For the misinformed masses (looking at you Greek Life), senior and star QB Connor Halliday suffered a broken leg against USC about three weeks ago. It's almost something out of a dark comedy that these possible draftees go down with such serious injuries so late in the year. We wish him a speedy recovery.
  • In this world nothing can be said to be certain, expect death, taxes, and a Mike Leach quarterback throwing the ball 50 times. The last time a Wazzu quarterback didn't hit the golden anniversary mark? October 12, 2013 against (*sigh*) Oregon State when Halliday finished with 49 attempts. Missed it by that much.
  • The new beast of burden is freshman Luke Falk. The former Cornell commit spent last year riding pine, learning Leach's Air Raid offense. So he has the brain, but does he have the cannon to match? In his first start against (*sigh*) OSU, he had a pretty modest stat line of 44 completions, 471 yards and just 5 touchdowns, on only seven days of starter prep. With two additional weeks of first team reps and a box of game film on how to torch our secondary, expect Freshie Falk ready to fire.
  • On the Jaelen front, if I'm him, I ride this concussion as far as it can take me. I understand wanting to win the Biletnikoff (that's probably going to Amari Cooper) or the PAC-12 Championship (that's probably going to Eugene), but after what happened to Todd Gurley, I'd be scared to step foot back on that turf. All you can do at this point is hurt your draft stock. Plus, it's a vague enough injury that no one will question an extended absence. My gut tells me he won't play Saturday. My fan opinion? #BiletniStrong.
  • Speaking of the #BiletniStrong, Cougar Vince Mayle is a fellow semi-finalist. The 6'3" redshirt senior actually has better numbers on the year than dear Jaelen (86 receptions, 1152 yards). The targets might be higher in Pullman, but don't sleep on Mayle. He's projected to be a fourth-fifth round pick come next April.
  • In regard to CTG's future career plans, one of two things will happen. 1: He ditches us for Florida and rides off into the sunset, leaving Mike Norvell to ditch that deputy title for the Sun Devil sheriff badge. 2: He doesn't leave the Valley of the Sun... and won't for some time. Toss aside recent history, Florida and Michigan are two marquee jobs and football powerhouses. If he won't jump ship for them, he'll be our captain for years to come... unless Texas or Oklahoma comes calling, but let's cross that bridge when we come to it.
  • Opponent Fun Fact: "The (Washington State) campus is riddled with underground tunnels." Toss in the fact that Bryan Hall might be haunted, this sounds like a Ghost Adventures episode in the making. Get Zak Bagans on the horn, stat!
  • This week in uniforms, Arizona State will rock a new white-maroon-maroon combo which generated an overwhelming fan reaction of "Meh." Call me old fashioned or a hipster, but I liked the old sparky-maroon-gold uniforms much better. Part of having an iconic program is iconic colors. I don't think anthracite and copper was what Frank Kush had in mind.
  • *Bonus Point* Last but not least, I would say something about Wazzu's running game (or lack there of), but I think our Twitter already said it best.