Posted by Sun Devil P.A.T. on December 10, 18 at 12:13:48:
Sun Devil fans,
Well, it's game week. I thought I would make my prediction on how I think our Sun Devils will do against a very good, Fresno State team in the Las Vegas Bowl. Here goes, the Bulldogs are coached my Jeff Tedford. If that name sounds familiar, it should, Tedford brought California Bears football back from the depths of the Pac-10 Conference, to the top of the league in his tenure in Berkeley, California. Tedford also had a great deal of success against ASU, while Coaching in Berkeley, going 8-2 against the Sun Devils. His only losses were 31-20 in 2007, and 27-17 in 2012. So, you know that Fresno State will be a well coached football team.
ASU has struggled mightily in bowl games over the last 20 plus seasons. If you include that gut wrenching loss to Ohio State in the 1997 Rose Bowl, ASU is just 5-10 in their last 15 bowl games, 4-9 in their last 13 bowl games, and 2-6 in their last 8 bowl games. It's time for ASU to start winning bowl games again.
The Sun Devils will be without their best wide receiver (N'Keal Harry) for the bowl game. ASU still has a talented receiving corps, but will probably have to win this game with a solid running game, and the defense will have to play much better than they did the last 3 games of the season (too many points allowed to UCLA, Oregon, and Arizona). For ASU to win this game, they will need to keep Fresno State in the low 20's, in my opinion. If the Bulldogs score 30 or more points, then it will be another disappointing bowl game appearance for ASU.
The keys to victory are hang on to the football/ win the turnover battle, run Eno Benjamin early and often, Manny Wilkins needs to be able to make plays on 3rd down to move the sticks (see Oregon game as an example of what not to do on 3rd down as an example), and tackle well for 4 quarters of football. Also, don't give up an easy score on special teams. See the opening kickoff of the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl of an example of what I'm talking about with that statement. With all that being said, I think it's time for ASU to WIN a bowl game again. It will be tough, it will be close, but I think this team has shown that they are trending in the right direction (having won 4 of their last 5 games), and they win on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas. ASU 27 Fresno State 23 Go Sun Devils!
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