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For the 2nd week in a row, BYU comes into a game as an underdog with the game being in Provo. Last week, they whipped up on Utah 26-17 in a game in which they were 7 point dogs and the Dudes cashed in big on that one. This week the Sun Devils come to town as a 3.5 point favorite and the Cougars are ready to pull another surprise. Arizona State hasn’t been very impressive the first two weeks and have been sleep-walking against Southern Utah and UNLV. This game will have their full attention and we will get an idea what they are all about.
Scouting Arizona State: Everything in the Arizona State offense revolves around quarterback, Jayden Daniels. Of course he is the leading passer throwing for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he is also the team’s leading rusher with 165 yards on 19 carries. Running back, Rachaad White has chipped in with 148 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Devils appear to lean heavily on the run but that could be the caliber of competition they have played against. They have capable receivers and the catches have been passed around several different guys. It will be interesting to see if Daniels can make the throws when he has too. All 11 starters returned on defense going into this season. Linebackers Darien Butler (13 sacks, 2 sacks, and 2 interceptions) and Kyle Soelle have been solid in the opening two weeks while D.J. Davidson has caused havoc upfront as they have shut down the running game. Chase Lucas is highly thought of in the secondary.
Scouting BYU: As mentioned before, the Cougars answered the challenge against PAC-12 foe, Utah ,in the Holy War. They were balanced on offense and ran for 231 yards against the usually stout Utes’ defense. Tyson Allgeier rushed for 102 yards against Utah and has 196 for the first two games. New quarterback, Jaren Hall, passed for 149 yards and three touchdowns and added 92 more yards with his feet. He has been very steady in his first two games. His favorite target has been Neil Pau’u who has 11 catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns. They will need more of the same this week. The BYU defense has benefitted from the outstanding play of linebackers, Keenan Pili (24 tackles and 2 sacks), Payton Wilgar (13 tackles and 2 sacks), and Ben Bywater (14 stops). Defensive Back, Chaz Ah You has come back from injuries and has 10 stops and and interception and has been all over the field. And, upfront they have received solid play from a host of guys.
Arizona State will be getting their first true test of the season and will play away from Tempe for the first time also. There are a lot of unknowns about the Sun Devils that will be answered during this game. Can they run the ball against the Cougars’ defense? BYU answered a lot of critics last week with their huge win over Utah. Will they still be riding the high from that emotional win and not be ready for this one? We don’t think so.
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