Arizona State vs. Utsa fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 10:30 pm ET
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
– 2018 CFN Preview
Arizona State Preview | UTSA Preview
Arizona State (0-0) vs. UTSA (0-0) Game Preview
Of course there are bigger, more interesting games on a national scale, but in terms of pure intrigue, this one needs to be on your radar.
What will Herm Edwards do right out of the box?
With Michigan State up next, and with trips to San Diego State and Washington to follow, the Sun Devils have to look like they’re ready for the challenge.
And it is going to be a challenge from the start.
UTSA gave ASU a nasty time two years ago in a 32-28 Roadrunner loss, but this year’s team has another great defense and should have just enough of an offense to challenge for the Conference USA title.
Sun Devil fans are hoping Edwards is ready.
They’re hoping the outside-the-box coaching hire will bring more than seven wins and a shot at being a player in the Pac-12 title chase.
They’re hoping for this to be the equivalent of USC pulling a stunner and hiring Pete Carroll back in 2000 – which most didn’t understand at the time.
But first, they need to hope for a win over UTSA.
One Reason Why UTSA Will Win
That defense is the absolute real deal again.
There might be a new defensive coordinator, and there’s no getting around losing DE Marcus Davenport to the New Orleans Saints, but the linebackers are outstanding, the line is nasty, and head coach Frank Wilson knows how to coach up a defense.
Against the run, the Roadrunners will continue to keep teams to around 130 yards per game. With the team’s style, UTSA should be able to win the time of possession battle, control the tempo, and drag ASU down into a slugfest. But ASU won’t have the running game to blast away on UTSA.
One Reason Why Arizona State Will Win
Arizona State has the talent and ability to throw and crank up the offense with an amazing passing attack, and UTSA can’t.
With N’Keal Harry and Kyle Williams back, and a good veteran quarterback in Manny Wilkins getting them the ball, the Sun Devils are going to wing it around the yard.
But the UTSA defense needs to hope the nation’s second-best pass defense is able to quickly replace the corners and key safety Nate Gaines. Again, the D will be fantastic, but in the first week it’s going to come under fire.
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What’s Going To Happen
Arizona State is going to survive.
The UTSA defense will rise up time and again as it bends, but doesn’t break – until it does. It’ll be a close battle throughout, but the Roadrunner offense won’t be able to take advantage of the key opportunities thanks to an ASU defense that will take over the line of scrimmage when it has to.
Finally, early in the fourth, the Sun Devils will go on two good scoring drives because the receivers will be the best players on the field.
It might not be the magical start ASU fans might be hoping for, but the team will play to win the game.
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