Huskies’ opponent this week
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS (5-5, 2-5 PAC-12)
4:30 p.m. Saturday, Husky Stadium
TV: Ch. 13. Radio: 1000-AM, 97.7-FM
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Coach: Todd Graham (39-24 in fifth year at ASU; 88-53 in 11th year overall).
Against the Huskies: Arizona State leads the series, 18-15.
Scouting report: After starting the season 5-1, the Sun Devils have lost four consecutive games amid quarterback injuries and awful defense. They are at their best when redshirt sophomore quarterback Manny Wilkins is healthy, though he has missed two full games and most of another due to injury. He returned to start last week against Utah and threw for 309 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions and was sacked nine times. Wilkins has thrown for 1,730 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions, and has rushed for 185 yards and five touchdowns. … Arizona State allows more yards per play (6.82) than all but two other teams in the country, and the Sun Devils rank 115th in scoring defense, allowing an average of 37.8 points per game. Still, ASU’s pass rush might be a challenge for the Huskies, because the Sun Devils send a variety of well-disguised blitzes in an attempt to hurry the passer. They rank 23rd nationally in sacks per game with an average of 2.8 (same as Washington). … Demario Richard is Arizona State’s leading rusher with 534 yards and three touchdowns, though Kalen Ballage (514 yards, 13 touchdowns) gives the Sun Devils a powerful No. 2 option. Ballage scored eight of his 14 total touchdowns in ASU’s victory over Texas Tech. Richard missed the Oregon game and the first quarter of the Utah game, but ASU coach Todd Graham said he should be ready to go for UW. … Junior linebacker DJ Calhoun leads the team with 62 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Junior linebacker Koron Crump (10.5) and sophomore defensive lineman JoJo Wicker (10.0) have double-digit tackle-for-loss totals, too. … ASU’s top two receivers are Tim White (49 catches, 623 yards, TD) and N’Keal Harry (43 catches, 494 yards, 4 TDs).
Did you know? Washington has lost 10 consecutive games to ASU and has not beaten the Sun Devils since 2001.
Sept. 3: W, 44-13, vs. N. Arizona
Sept. 10: W, 68-55, vs. Texas Tech
Sept. 16: W, 32-28, at Texas-S.A.
Sept. 24: W, 51-41, vs. California
Oct. 1: L, 40-21, at USC
Oct. 8: W, 23-20, vs. UCLA
Oct. 15: L, 40-16, at Colorado
Oct. 22: L, 37-32, vs. WSU
Oct. 29: L, 54-35, at Oregon
Nov. 10: L, 49-26, vs. Utah
Nov. 19: at Washington
Nov. 25: at Arizona
Cougars’ opponent this week
NO. 12 COLORADO BUFFALOES (8-2, 6-1 PAC-12)
12:30 p.m. Saturday, Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado
TV: Ch. 13. Radio: 710-AM
Coach: Mike MacIntyre (18-29 in fourth year at Colorado; 34-50 in seventh year overall).
Against the Cougars: Colorado leads the series 5-4.
Scouting report: No Pac-12 team has exceeded expectations in more surprising fashion than the Buffaloes, who finished in last place in the Pac-12 South in each of their first five years in the conference. But Colorado has finally put it all together this year, with its only losses coming to Michigan and USC, and they currently lead the South division with a 6-1 record. … A big reason for Colorado’s resurgence has been its defense. The Buffaloes rank seventh nationally (and first in the Pac-12) in yards-per-play allowed and they are tied for ninth nationally in scoring defense (17.9 points per game). Linebacker Kenneth Olugbode leads the team with 78 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss. Jimmie Gilbert, another linebacker, leads the team with 9.0 sacks. … Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau, a Tacoma native and Bellarmine Prep alum, has returned from injury to start the Buffaloes’ past four games. He has thrown for 1,535 yards with 10 touchdowns and three interceptions this season, in addition to 316 yards rushing and three scores. Colorado’s backup, Steven Montez, started three games and led the Buffaloes to their 41-38 victory at Oregon. … Phillip Lindsay leads the Buffaloes with 937 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, and is averaging 5.6 yards per rush. The Buffaloes’ top receiver is Shay Fields (40 catches, 710 yards, 8 touchdowns), though Devin Ross (48 catches, 542 yards, 5 touchdowns) leads the team in receptions. Bryce Bobo (40 catches, 494 yards) is also a tough cover.
Did you know? Prior to this season, Colorado had won five Pac-12 games during its five years in the conference. The Buffaloes have won six already this season.
Sept. 2: W, 44-7, vs. Colo. State
Sept. 10: W, 56-7, vs. Idaho State
Sept. 17: L, 45-28 at Michigan
Sept. 24: W, 41-38, at Oregon
Oct. 1: W, 47-6, vs. Oregon State
Oct. 8: L, 21-17, at USC
Oct. 15: W, 40-16, vs. Ariz. State
Oct. 22: W, 10-5, at Stanford
Nov. 3: W, 20-10, vs. UCLA
Nov. 12: W, 49-24, at Arizona
Nov. 19: vs. Washington State
Nov. 26: vs. Utah
Christian Caple: email@example.com