The Arizona State Sun Devils had some people scratching their head when they were 5-1. Those same people may be scratching their head for the exact opposite reason now. The Sun Devils are struggling mightily and those struggles were on full display Saturday night against the Washington Huskies.
Entering into this game with the Huskies, the Sun Devils were a 27 point underdog and much hope of beating Washington was only shared by Sun Devil players. Anybody with a dose of reality with this game didn’t give Arizona State much of a chance. I know I didn’t.
The closest this game got was 0-0 at kickoff.
From this point on the Huskies were looking for style points for the playoff committee to see. Washington is currently sitting at number six in playoff rankings and with Louisville losing on Thursday night the importance of winning convincingly against the Sun Devils become even more vital.
The final score was a resounding 44-18 victory for the Washington Huskies. Style points were achieved.
Arizona State has one of the worst defenses statistically in all of college football. Teams can throw on the Sun Devils all day long and it has showed all year. To say the Sun Devil is bad would be polite. Washington quarterback, Jake Browning, got his confidence back against this defense. Browning was 27-44 for 338 yards and two touchdowns.
As the game progressed, you could see Jake Browning and the Husky offense starting to find their way. On the other sideline you could sense the Sun Devils losing their confidence and their stamina. The more time the Sun Devil defense was spending out on the field the better chance that they were being scored on.
The Huskies were not hitting on all cylinders, but it certainly was better than what they showed last week against the USC Trojans.
It should mean that the Huskies move up to number 5 in the rankings for right now. It’s a great spot to be in right now. The Huskies still have contend with the Apple Cup game with Washington State and a possible Pac-12 Championship game berth. If the Dawgs win out, they should get into the four team playoff.
As for Arizona State this loss means that they have to win their Territorial Cup game against their in-state rival Arizona next week to become bowl eligible. This loss also means that they will have another season of mediocrity and possible questions about the job status of their head coach Todd Graham.
One thing that the Sun Devils can build upon is their freshman receiver N’Keal Harry. The young receiver can seriously play. He has the size, speed, and most importantly the hands to compete at the division one level.
The question mark for the Sun Devils moving forward will be at the quarterback position and the offensive line. The offensive line has to show some growth and consistency to help keep Manny Wilkins and Brady White healthy. The quarterback situation has to be worked out as well. Both Wilkins and White are athletic quarterbacks and showed flashes of brilliance, but injuries didn’t allow either of these quarterbacks to exceed in 2016.
In the end, the Huskies showed why they are the favorites from the conference to make the college playoff, but they also showed that they have some things to clean up on offense. Hopefully, Washington get this issues cleared up soon because Washington State is waiting to ruin the Husky playoff plans.
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