Game Of The Week: ASU at UCLA
Arizona State (6-2, 4-1) at UCLA (4-4, 3-2)
4:30 p.m. PT on Versus
UCLA players to watch:
Tevin McDonald (FS, #7, RFr.)
The son of former USC Trojan and NFL All-Pro safety Tim McDonald and brother of current USC safety T.J. McDonald, Tevin is carving out his own niche in Westwood. Picked off three passes vs. Cal last week and shows a ton of potential for such a young player. Very good speed and range.
Owamagbe Odighizuwa (DE, #94, So.)
One of the more physical DE's in the Pac-12, the 270-pounder can set the edge with strength, power and strong hands. He is a high effort type with a very bright future.
Mike Harris (OT, #65, Sr.)
Not only is Harris a giant at 6-foot-5, 325 pounds, he has light feet and good agility in pass protection. He will definitely play on Sundays.
Nelson Rosario (WR, #83, Sr.)
Leads the Bruins with 35 catches but has yet to score a TD this season. That has to change soon because the 6-foot-5 receiver runs crisp routes, has soft hands and wins one-on-one battles most of the time.
Kevin Prince (QB, #4, Jr.)
Had a very productive game in last week's upset of Cal. The two-way threat ran for 163 yards and threw for 92. Prince is a good athlete with solid arm strength, though needs to improve his accuracy from the pocket.
Arizona State players to watch:
Clint Floyd (DS, #9, Sr.)
Leads the Sun Devil defense with 38 tackles and 3 interceptions. One of the true leaders of the squad, Floyd lacks elite speed but makes up for it with physical play and ball reaction skill.
Shelly Lyons (LB, #6, Sr.)
Started the season as a backup, but has worked his way into the starting lineup due to injuries and has taken full advantage with a nose for the football. His 32 tackles include 4 tackles for loss and 2 interceptions this season.
Bo Moos (DT, #61, Sr.)
The son of current Washington State athletic director Bill Moos is establishing a name for himself in the valley. This player is undersized but has very good quickness and a nonstop motor which allows him to make several plays along the line of scrimmage.
Garth Gerhart (OC, #52, Sr.)
The brother of Minnesota Viking and former Stanford RB Toby Gerhart, Garth has played a lot of football for the Sun Devils at both OC and OG. He is a tad undersized but very smart and technically sound. Very good intangibles.
With the offense getting most of the headlines for Arizona State, it is the Sun Devils' opportunistic defense that is the major reason for their 6-2 record, as they have forced a whopping 24 turnovers in the last six games. Led by All-American LB Vontaze Burfict, this is a very fast and athletic unit that swarms to the football and plays very consistent from game to game. With an explosive offense led by 6-foot-8 QB Brock Osweiler and RB Cameron Marshall, this is a very balanced squad and one that is not easy to defeat. Coach Dennis Erickson remains one of the very best in the business and rarely makes coaching blunders.
The UCLA Bruins are coming off a big win vs. Cal, and have a talented squad but have been unable to put it all together most of the season. Their run oriented offensive attack will play right into the hands of Arizona State's swarming defense and if they can't pass with any efficiency it could be a long day for the Bruins. Even if the the defense comes up with key stops, the Bruins will still have to contend with the Sun Devil's dynamic special teams led by the explosive Jamal Miles. This game should be close for awhile, but UCLA will have to prevent ASU from putting its foot on the gas in the second half.