In the only game between ranked teams this weekend, the No. 23 Arizona State Sun Devils will be taking on the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time). The game can be seen on Fox. Here’s everything you need to know about the marquee matchup of the weekend.
Did Arizona State deserve to win against Wisconsin?
How good is the Stanford defense?
As per usual, Stanford appears to be sporting another great defense. The defense is currently 15th in the nation in yards per game (292) and is 26th in scoring defense, having given up 16.5 points per game. Those numbers may not sound amazing, but the Cardinal have played two decent opponents in option-running Army (whose style is always tricky to prepare for) and San Jose State (whose quarterback, senior David Fales, is an NFL prospect). Still, the up-tempo ASU attack will be the biggest test the Stanford D has faced in 2013.
Will I be seeing a lot of penalties?
No! Sorry, I know how much you adore yellow flags, but the Sun Devils and the Cardinal are two of the least penalized teams in the nation. (As a Duck fan, I can only imagine how nice that must be.) The two teams have COMBINED for only seven penalties in 2013, which means you can expect a clean game with few whistles.
Who might have a breakout game for ASU?
I’d keep an eye on transfer receiver Jaelen Strong, who appears to be the receiving threat the Sun Devils need to balance out the rushing attack of Marion Grice and D.J. Foster. Though quiet in the season opening win against Sacramento State, Strong exploded for a huge game against the Wisconsin Badgers, catching six passes for 104 yards.
What part of the game will be the most exciting?
Watching Will Sutton, the best defensive lineman in the conference (and one of the best in the nation), go up against Stanford’s David Yankey, named the the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12 last year, should be a great battle. Also, watching the methodical Stanford offense, led by the underrated quarterback Kevin Hogan and the running back tandem of Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson, take on the blitz-happy ASU defense should be a lot of fun.