And frankly that should mean a lot more to the Cougs than their counterparts to the South -- ASU even if they win out can only finish at 8-4, a disaapointing end result for a team ranked No. 15 nationally headed into the 2015 campaign and whose head coach welcomed discussion of the Sun Devils as a national power.
WHEN WSU HAS THE BALL
1. Strike quickly to punish the blitz
ASU blitzes a lot, a whole lot. And it hopes up seams in their pass coverage. If WSU strikes quickly they protect Luke Falk from harm -- and set up their receivers in space and for yards after contact. Just about any of the Cougar wideouts, including River Cracraft on the inside and/or Gabe Marks on the outside, could have a big day.
2. Avoid the pick
The Devils disguise their blitzes very effectively, generally waiting till after the quarterback sstarts his cadence to reveal themselves. Falk had five turnovers last year against ASU, which ultimately negated his 601 passing yards. It's time to find out how much Falk has learned from last season tilt vs. ASU.
WHEN WSU IS ON DEFENSE
3. Stuff the run
ASU runs a balanced offense but as with most spread option teams, nothing seems to work if the running game isn't effective.
4. Make QB Mike Bercovicci throw to beat you.
Just because the running game is contained, it doesn't mean Bercovicci is. The senior is an underrated, very effective runner who will try to gash the Cougs any time they don't account for him.
5. Beware Tim White
I don't know if WSU's squib kicks were the answer or not last week but Stanford didn't win the game with their special teams. White is a very dangerous kick return man who deserves just as much respect as McCaffrey got.
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m./FS1/Sold out
CF.C Prediction: 38-33 Cougs
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