Halloween College Football Picks: Arizona State Sun Devils at Washington State Cougars

Arizona State Sun Devils at Washington State Cougars
Martin Stadium – Pullman, Washington

Thursday, October 31, 2013, 10:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Arizona State -13 1/2
Current Line: Arizona State -11
Opening Total: 70
Current Total 71 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona State -460 / Washington State +380
Current Money Line: Arizona State -450 / Washington State +360

Arizona State is an 11 point road favorite at Washington State in a key Pac 12 battle Thursday night.
Arizona State is an 11 point road favorite at Washington State in a key Pac 12 battle Thursday night.

The 5-2 Arizona State Sun Devils lead the Pac 12 South Division with a 3-1 record over Arizona, USC and UCLA who are all 2-2 in conference. The Sun Devils travel to Pullman Halloween night to take on the 4-4 Washington State Cougars who are    2-3 in the Pac 12 North division. ASU leads the series  24-13-2 against Washington State. The Sun Devils have won 9 of the last 10 in the series, including 46-7 in Tempe last year. The only win in that stretch for the Cougars came in 2011 in Pullman 37-27.

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 and two weeks ago against Washington 53-24. Arizona State has a road loss at Stanford 42-28 and against Notre Dame 37-34 in Arlington Texas. The Sun Devils are 4-3 ATS and the total is 6-1 this season. ASU easily covered the 3.5 point spread against Washington and the game went way over the 68 point total.

Arizona State was down 7-3 at home against Washington going into the second quarter. However, the Sun Devils would score 26 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 29-7 halftime lead. ASU had an extra point blocked. Each team scored 10 points in the third quarter. The Sun Devils would go on to win 53-24 to hand the Huskies their third straight loss. ASU had 585 total yards including 314 rushing yards. Washington had just 212 total yards with 12 first downs. The Huskies had 217 passing yards but -5 rushing yards. The Sun Devils had two turnovers and  the Huskies had one.

Arizona State is outscoring teams 45-27. ASU is #6 in scoring nationally. The Sun Devils are averaging 509.1 yards per game, including 332 passing and 177.1 rushing yards. ASU is #14 nationally in both passing and  in total offense. The Sun Devils are #56 in rushing.  On defense, the Sun Devils are allowing 349.3 yards per game, including 205.3 passing yards and 144 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are 40th or better in all three categories.  The Sun Devils are +6 in turnovers with 16 takeaways. ASU is 51/118 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 42/113. ASU averages 34 penalty yards per game and opponents average 59. Arizona State has forced 17 sacks this season but has allowed 17 as well. The Sun Devils are 39/43 scoring in the red zone with 26 touchdowns and opponents are 20/23 with 14 touchdowns. The Sun Devils have allowed two defensive touchdowns this season and have two of their own.

ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has completed 62% of his passes for 2,236 yards with 18 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions, and also has 57 carries for 249 yards and 3 touchdowns. Back-up Michael Eubank has two rushing touchdowns. Running back Marion Grice has 111 carries, 553 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 33 catches, 302 yards and 6 touchdowns. Deantre Lewis and R.J. Robinson will each get a few carries a game, and each has a rushing touchdown. Receiver Jaelen Strong has 45 catches, 685 yards and 4 touchdowns. Running back D.J. Foster has 36 catches for 390 yards and a touchdown along with 125 rushing yards. Chris Coyle has 18 catches, 302 yards and 3 scores. Kevin Ozier has 17 catches for 266 yards and a touchdown. Two defensive players in the front 7 are out for the season.

Washington State is coached by Mike Leach. The Cougars have  road losses at Auburn 31-24, and two weeks ago at Oregon 62-38 along with home losses to Stanford 55-17 in Seattle and against Oregon State 52-24. Washington State has road wins at USC 10-7 and California 44-22, along with home wins over Southern Utah 48-10 and Idaho 42-0. The Cougars are 6-2 ATS and the total is 4-3-1 this season. Washington State was a 40 point underdog at Oregon and the game went way over the 71.5 total.

Oregon took a 20-7 lead in the first quarter against Washington State. The Ducks would lead 34-24 at halftime. Oregon scored the first 28 points of the second half  to take a 62-24 lead in the fourth. The Ducks had a chance to cover the massive 40 point spread but the Cougars added two late touchdowns to make the score seem a little less lopsided 62-38. The Ducks had 719 total yards including 383 rushing and 336 passing yards. Washington State had 559 total yards including 557 passing. The teams combined for 8 turnovers (5 by Washington State). Oregon had 9 penalties for 75 yards in addition to the three turnovers. Each team had a defensive touchdown.

Washington State is outscoring teams 31-30 this season. The Cougars are averaging 431.5 total yards per game including the nation’s 6th best passing attack at 373.1 yards per game. The rushing game is #125 out of 125 teams at 58.4 yards per game. On defense Washington State is allowing 440.1 yards per game, including 266.6 passing yards and 173.5 rushing yards per game. Washington State is #96 in total offense and #107 against the pass. Despite forcing 19 turnovers this season, the Cougars are -6 in turnovers because they have 25 giveaways. Washington State is averaging 46 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 54. The Cougars are 57/136 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 47/129. The Cougars have forced 15 sacks and allowed 15 as well this season. Washington State is 24/33 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns and opponents are 18/25 with 13 touchdowns. Washington State has 2 pick sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown this season and has allowed 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday has completed 63.8% of his passes for 2,798 yards with 18 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Back-up Austin Apodaca  has thrown for 187 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions along with 7 carries for 20 yards, all in garbage time of blowouts. Running back Marcus Mason has 47 carries for 208 yards and a touchdown along with 27 catches for 247 yards and a touchdown. Teondray Caldwell has 33 carries, 169 yards and a touchdown, along with 17 catches for 60 yards. Jeremiah Laufasa has 30 carries, 145 yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, along with 6 catches. Receiver Gabe Marks has 59 catches, 655 yards and 5 touchdowns. Dom Wiilams has 23 catches 376 yards and 4 touchdowns. Vince Mayle has 21 catches, 317 yards and 5 touchdowns. Kristoff Williams has 26 catches for 254 yards. River Cracraft, Rickey Galvin, and Bobby Ratliff all have at least 24 catches.  Twelve Cougars have at least 10 catches this season.

Arizona State is 5-1 ATS in Pac 12 games and after a bye, 4-1 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 6-2 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 5-2 after allowing 275 total yards or less, 7-3 overall, 1-4 in road games, and 0-5-1 on fieldturf. The under is 5-1 in this series recently and 3-1-1 in Pullman between the teams.

Washington State is 6-0 ATS after a straight up loss by 20 points or more, 4-0 after a straight up loss, 6-1 after gaining more than 450 total yards, 5-1 after allowing more than 40 points, 13-3 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, 8-2 against teams with winning records, 4-1 after allowing more than 450 total yards and 280 passing yards, 7-2 overall, 6-2 on fieldturf, 14-5 in October, and 5-2 after rushing for less than 100 yards. The home team has covered the last 4 games in this series. The Cougars are 5-1 ATS against the Sun Devils in Pullman recently.

This should be a high scoring game with two explosive offenses. Arizona State has a much better defense and that could be the difference. The temperature is supposed to be in the mid 30’s by kickoff Pullman with a 30% chance of freezing rain or snow. That could affect Arizona state as they are used to the much warmer weather in the desert. Washington State needs two wins in their last 4 games to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2003. I don’t think they get it here as ASU simply has too much for the Cougars.

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