Why Arkansas State Will Win The NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl
– Let’s get this whole passing game thing going. Because all Oklahoma quarterbacks turn out to be good, Justice Hansen – an OU transfer – was able to roll up and find his home at ASU over the last few years, rocking a passing attack that’s good for 190 yards or more in every game and 240 or more in eight games. The attack is accurate, dangerous down the field, and it doesn’t make mistakes with just one pick in the last six games. Nevada doesn’t come up with interceptions, taking away just eight on the season with five in two games.
– ASU has a freakishly good punting game. It finished 16th in the nation netting just over 40 yards per kick, but it’s the return game that’s been the killer, allowing teams to average -1.88 yards per return. Two blocks helped the cause, but the special teams overall are dominating the field position battle. But comparison, only two other teams – Minnesota and Bowling Green – are allowing fewer than two yards per return.
– The pass rush is fantastic. Let by the fantastic Ronheen Bingham, the Red Wolves came up with 91 tackles for loss on the season and 32 sacks for a defense that was among the Sun Belt’s best defenses on third downs. Nevada’s offense is designed to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands in a hurry, but the line still gives up plays in the backfield.