Stanford vs. Arizona State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Thursday, October 18
Game Time: 9:00 ET
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Stanford (4-2) vs. Arizona State (3-3) Game Preview
One Reason Why Stanford Will Win
The passing game is even better than it gets credit for.
Bryce Love hasn’t been right all season, long, and the running game hasn’t been anything great. Fortunately, QB KJ Costello has been able to pick up the slack most of the time.
He’s been able to push the ball deep, and he was brilliant in the late comeback against Oregon. He’s hit the 300-yard mark three times with big JJ Arceda-Whiteside the main man.
The Arizona State secondary has talent, but it’ll get picked apart when a decent passer – like Colorado’s Steven Montez, Washington’s Jake Browning and Michigan State’s Brian Lewerke – can get time to work.
But Love is back to help, too. He might not be 100%, but he’ll give it a go.
The bigger concern for ASU will be the health of the stars on offense. QB Manny Wilkins will play on a knee he banged up against Colorado, and WR N’Keal Harry took a massive pop on a punt return. They’ve had two weeks off to rest up, and they’re ready to go, but they’re not 100%.
One Reason Why Arizona State Will Win
Before the season, raise your hand if you ever, ever, in a gajillion years thought that Stanford would have the fifth-worst running game in college football.
With Bryce Love never right so far, the Cardinal have hit the100-yard rushing mark just twice. They’re averaging just 3.1 yards per carry, and the line isn’t generating enough of a push for the other backs when they need some help.
And now Stanford has to deal with the Pac-12’s best pass rush.
It hasn’t always been a rock against the run, but when the line is on and it’s getting behind the line, it can shut down an offense. The Cardinal O line is allowing too many plays behind the line, and now it gets the rested ASU D.
On the other side, considering how mediocre the Stanford offense has been, it needs all of the help it can get. ASU doesn’t make mistakes, with just two turnovers so far – one on an interception against Michigan State, and one on a lost fumble against Washington.
Stanford’s D hasn’t come up with a takeaway in the last two games.
What’s Going To Happen
Stanford has a weird way of coming up with big performances as the oddest of times, but there’s one big problem with this year’s team.
It’s just not very good.
It should’ve lost to Oregon, it got ripped by Notre Dame, and it got rolled by Utah.
All three Arizona State losses were by seven points, with chances to pull out each one. This is the game when it puts it all together at home, with a great performance from the defensive front, and with just enough from the secondary to get the D off the field.
Love will come up with a few okay runs, but he’ll be bottled up like he was during the early part of the year. ASU will win the third down battles in a bit more of a grind than you might think.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Arizona State 26, Stanford 20
Line: Stanford -2.5, o/u: 57.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2.5
Must See Rating: 3
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