Arizona Wildcats at #12 Arizona State Sun Devils
Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, Arizona
Saturday, November 30, 2013, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: Arizona State -14
Current Line: Arizona State -11 1/2
Opening Total: 59 1/2
Current Line: 60 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona State -460 / Arizona +360
Current Money Line: Arizona State -400 / Arizona +320
The 9-2 Arizona State Sun Devils have already clinched the Pac 12 South Division title and a spot in the Pac 12 Championship game next week. The Sun Devils also know they will take on North champion Stanford in that game, but ASU has to beat in-state rival Arizona to host the game against Stanford. A Sun Devil loss would give Stanford homefield in the game against ASU regardless of what the Cardinal does against Notre Dame. Arizona is 7-4 overall this season and 4-4 in the Pac 12. The Wildcats are already bowl eligible but are trying to improve their destination.
The Arizona-Arizona State series dates back to 1899, 13 years before Arizona even became a state. This is the 87th meeting between the rivals, and Arizona leads the series 47-38-1. The two teams play for the Territorial Cup trophy. The road team has won 8 of the last 13 in this series including 4 in a row. The last 4 games have been decided by a total of 15 points. Arizona State win last year in Tucson 41-34.
Arizona is coached by Rich Rodriguez. Arizona opened the season with 3 straight wins over Northern Arizona 35-0 and UTSA 38-13, both in Tucson, and a road win at UNLV 58-13. The Wildcats beat Utah 35-24 and Oregon 42-16 last week in Tucson and also has road win at Colorado 44-20 and at California 33-28. The Wildcats have road losses at Washington 31-13 and at USC 38-31, along with home losses to UCLA 31-26 and Washington State 24-17. Arizona is 5-6 ATS and the total is 3-8 this season. The Wildcats were a 20.5 point underdog against Oregon and the total was 70.
Arizona jumped out to a 14-0 first quarter lead against Oregon and would take a 28-9 lead into halftime. The Wildcats would cruise to a 42-16 upset win. The Ducks had 506 total yards including 308 passing and 198 rushing yards. Arizona had 482 total yards including 304 rushing yards. Oregon had 8 penalties for 66 yards and 3 turnovers.
Arizona is outscoring teams 34-22 this season. The Wildcats are #39 nationally in scoring and #29 in points allowed. Arizona is averaging 455.2 yards per game including the nation’s 12th best rushing attack at 267.4 yards per game. The passing game is #100 out of 125 teams at 187.8 yards per game. Arizona is #32 in total offense. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 398.6 yards per game including 232 passing and 166.6 yards per game. The Wildcats are +7 in turnovers with 19 takeaways. Arizona is 95/207 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 79/201. Arizona averages 40 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 59. The Wildcats have forced 18 sacks and allowed 14. Arizona is 40/49 scoring in the red zone with 31 touchdowns, and opponents are 24/29 with 20 touchdowns. The Wildcats have 4 pick sixes this season.
Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker has completed 61.5% of his passes for 2,066 yards with 14 touchdowns and 4 picks. Denker also has 152 carries, 811 yards and 11 touchdowns. Running back Ka’Deem Carey has 290 carries, 1,559 yards and 16 touchdowns, along with 26 catches for 173 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Jenkins has 58 carries, 377 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Jared Baker, Javelle Allen and Kylan Butler will also get some carries. Allen and Butler each have a rushing touchdown.
Nate Phillips has 39 catches for 486 yards and 7 touchdowns. Terrance Miller has 36 catches, 435 yards and a touchdown Samajie Grant has 44 catches, for 353 yards and a touchdown.Garic Wharton has 12 catches for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hip injury after missing the last 4 games. Terrence Miller and Johnny Jackson will also get some catches. Three Wildcat receivers, DaVonte Neal, Trevor Ermisch and Austin Hill, are listed as questionable or out, and so are four Arizona defensive players including 2 linebackers.
Ariz0na State is coached by Todd Graham. The Sun Devils have home wins over Sacramento State 55-50, Wisconsin 32-30, USC 62-41, Colorado 54-13, Washington 53-24 and Oregon State 30-17, along with road wins at Washington State 55-21, Utah 20-19 and last week at UCLA 38-33. ASU has won 6 straight games. Arizona State has a road loss at Stanford 42-28 and against Notre Dame 37-34 in Arlington Texas. The Sun Devils are 6-5 ATS and the total is 8-3 this season. ASU was a 3 point favorite against UCLA and the total was 61.5.
Arizona State took a 14-10 lead against UCLA in the first quarter, The Sun Devils would expand the lead to 35-13 by halftime. The Bruins scored two touchdowns to open the third quarter to pull within 35-27. ASU added a field goal before the end of the quarter to make it 38-33. UCLA scored early in the fourth to pull within 38-33, but missed the two point conversion. UCLA would have two more possessions after that but missed a 38 yard field goal (the second of the day for the Bruins) and turned the ball over on downs at their own 46 on their last chance. ASU held on for the win to clinch the Pac 12 South Division. The Sun Devils had 448 total yards including 225 rushing yards. UCLA had 404 total yards including 151 rushing yards. Each team had a turnover, but Arizona State scored on an 18 yard pick six. The Bruins had 6 penalties for 45 yards.
Arizona State is outscoring teams 42-25. ASU is #10 in scoring nationally. The Sun Devils are averaging 472.8 yards per game, including 286.5 passing and 186.4 rushing yards. ASU is #24 nationally in passing and #24 in total offense. On defense, the Sun Devils are allowing 344.4 yards per game, including 221 passing yards and 123.4 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are #19 in total defense and #21 in rush defense. The Sun Devils are +10 in turnovers with 26 takeaways. ASU is 75/178 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 67/182. ASU averages 29 penalty yards per game and opponents average 59. Arizona State has forced 34 sacks this season but has allowed 30. The Sun Devils are 58/63 scoring in the red zone with 41 touchdowns and opponents are 30/36 with 22 touchdowns. The Sun Devils have allowed two defensive touchdowns this season and have forced four pick sixes .
ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has completed 63.2% of his passes for 3,063 yards with 25 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions, and also has 114 carries for 411 yards and 8 touchdowns. Back-up Michael Eubank has three rushing touchdowns.
Running back Marion Grice has 191 carries, 996 yards and 14 touchdowns, along with 50 catches, 438 yards and 6 touchdowns. He is questionable with a knee injury. Deantre Lewis and R.J. Robinson will get more carries if Grice can’t go, as will Kelly. Each has a rushing touchdown
Receiver Jaelen Strong has 65 catches, 925 yards and 6 touchdowns. Running back D.J. Foster has 52 catches for 524 yards and 3 touchdowns along with 183 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He will also get more carries if Grice can’t go. Chris Coyle has 26 catches, 385 yards and 4 scores. Kevin Ozier has 18 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown. Richard Smith has 24 catches for 229 yards and a touchdown. De’Marieya Nelson has 2 touchdown catches. Three defensive players are out for the season.
Arizona is 18-39 ATS after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 5-11 after a cover, 2-5 after allowing more than 450 yards, 2-6 against teams with winning records, 1-4 after a straight up win, after rushing for 200 yards or more, after gaining more than 450 total yards, and 1-4 in November. The underdog is 13-3 ATS in this series recently and the road team is 6-2 ATS.
Arizona State is 4-1 ATS on grass, 6-2 at home, 5-2 in Pac 12 games, and after rushing for more than 200 yards, and 3-8 in November, The under is 9-3 in this series recently, including 5-0 in Tempe.
The loss of Grice will hurt obviously if he isn’t able to play, but the Sun Devils do have a lot of talent left on offense with Kelly, Strong, Foster and Coyle. Arizona played their best game of the year last week in their rout of Oregon. They might have to play at that level against against Arizona State. I like the Sun Devils at home in a close game.