Louisville didn’t make the most of their chance to catapult back into the college football playoff picture. With that unfolding on Thursday night, the Washington Huskies are back in a position where they could find a way in. After losing to USC last week, Washington’s chances were looking rather dim, but they are going to be in the fold at the end of the season if they can win out. This includes beating Washington State in what will be the biggest Apple Cup in some memory. Just like Michigan-Ohio State who are finally on the same level, Washington and Washington State are both going to be heading into this game with the best team they’ve had in years. On both sides of the ball, the defenses and offenses are much better. It should be for an exciting game, with both schools heading into the contest with plenty of talent. Washington can’t look ahead, though, or Arizona State will give them all they can handle.
This is what is known as the sandwich game for Washington. They had a quality opponent last week, and then there is Arizona State in the middle of them and Washington State. After the rather lackluster appearance they had last week against USC, Chris Petersen has to get his team focused on the task ahead. It begins this week against the Sun Devils. They have to put a whopping on Arizona State to get any respect from voters this week. In other words, go out and cover the spread Washington. Arizona State has been a dumpster fire this season, having to deal with multiple injuries to key positions and a generally lack of quality play on the football field. A win against Washington or Arizona next week would give them a bowl, though. That win is more likely to come against the Wildcats, who are having a treacherous season themselves.
Arizona State has struggled through a season that has saw it go through several quarterbacks. The Sun Devils have gotten Manny Wilkins back, but the guy wasn’t too good when he was healthy, and he looks even worse now. Wilkins is a runner, so if the defense doesn’t allow any running lanes for him to scramble it’s game over. Wilkins has passed for 7 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, with 185 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. He isn’t a blazer, but can run with the football. If you’re going to have a .500 touchdown to interception ratio, you better have some wheels that can light the field ablaze. Wilkins isn’t quite on that level. He and the Arizona State offense face a considerable challenge against the Huskies on Saturday.
Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Washington Huskies NCAAF Betting Odds:
Arizona State +27(-110)
vs. Washington -27(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Arizona State vs. Washington Pick:
Washington have the horses on offenses and defense to hang with nearly every team in college football. However, last week USC was without a doubt the better team in that particular matchup. It was an impressive showing for a team who needed a marquee win, which they got on the road in Seattle. Jake Browning looked confused and lost against a good defensive unit, but Arizona State does not bring a good defense to the table on Saturday. They like to blitz a lot, which opens up big plays downfield. Arizona State are 124th overall, allowing 512 yards per game. They are especially bad against the pass and are above and beyond the worst team in the FBS. The Sun Devils are 128th against the pass, dead last, allowing 387.4 yards per game.
The Huskies are scoring 44.8 points per game. They’ve been thriving off short field position thanks to their excellent defense. Browning has passed for 35 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions, including 2,532 yards with a completion percentage of 64.8 percent. I expect the offense to rebound this week against a defensive unit that doesn’t compared to the USC Trojans. They aren’t even in the same league talent wise. Look for wide receiver John Ross to have a field day, after the USC secondary was able to neutralize him.
The Huskies are 20th against the pass, surrendering just 192.4 yards per game. The Sun Devils are going to have to pass the ball in this game, because I feel like they’re going to be playing from behind early. When Wilkins takes to the air things go a bit astray. How Arizona State and Wilkins get to the Washington defense is anyone’s guess. How they stop the Washington passing game is anyone’s guess. I like a 30-35 point win for Washington here, a game they need to win in a big way to turn some heads.
PICK: WASHINGTON -27 (-110)