Game Of The Week: Arizona State-Missouri
Dave Razzano breaks down the game and the players to watch for. He is a former NFL scout with more than 22 years of professional scouting experience with the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals under NFL coaches Bill Walsh, George Seifert, Chuck Knox and Dick Vermeil. He's been a part of five Super Bowls with three Super Bowl wins (49ers, 1989, 1990; Rams, 2000).
Missouri (1-0) at Arizona State (1-0)
7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN
Arizona State Players To Watch:
Brock Osweiler, QB
The 6-foot-8 junior has one of the strongest arms in college football. Built more like a basketball player, he has surprisingly good pocket mobility for a big man and gets rid of the ball in a hurry. The more he plays, the better he gets.
Vontaze Burfict, LB
The highly-publicized junior leads the Sun Devil defense from his inside linebacker position. Outstanding size and athleticism, he needs to improve his awareness and run game angles to maximize his vast potential.
Cameron Marshall, RB
Versatility is the trademark for this shifty junior runner. He is quick and decisive at the line of scrimmage and fights for extra yards on contact. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is plus.
Junior Onyeali, DE
Only a sophomore, the 6'0 DE explodes off the ball and is relentless in pursuit. He knows how to use leverage against bigger OT's and finds his way to the QB often. He plays hard from snap to whistle and is fun to watch.
Brandon Magee, LB
Another one of the mainstays of the Sun Devil defense, Magee doesn't get the publicity of others but might very well be the most productive of a strong LB corps. Makes plays in the run game and has the athletic skill to drop into coverage effectively.
Missouri Players To Watch:
James Franklin, QB
A lot of folks in Missouri think the offense will be more productive with the dual threat Franklin running the show after taking over for last season's starter Blaine Gabbert. Has a big arm and is very dangerous when plays break down.
Michael Egnew, TE
The 6-foot-6 senior grabbed 90 catches last season and is the Tigers' top senior NFL prospect. Not much of a vertical threat, though his size and quickness make him a mismatch on the underneath routes.
T.J. Moe, WR
Led the Tigers in receptions in 2010, grabbing 92 receptions for 1045 yards and 6 TDs. His size and strength remind some of former Tiger and current Philadelphia Eagle Jeremy Maclin.
Zaviar Gooden, LB
The aggressive junior LB led the Tigers in tackles last season with 85. He has a very quick first step, is always around the ball and delivers a blow when he gets there.
Brad Madison, DL
Led team in sacks last season with 7.5 and started off this season with a bang, making two sacks last week against Miami (Ohio). Like a lot of current and former Missouri defenders, Madison is highly competitive and goes snap to whistle.
This will be a good early season test for both squads. The athletic Arizona State defense must find a way to contain QB James Franklin when he gets outside of the pocket. Look for Mizzou TE Mike Egnew to play a big role in this game as his height gives him a huge advantage underneath the coverage against smallish-type safeties for Arizona State. The Sun Devils must get talented RB Cam Marshall untracked to take pressure off the passing game. The Sun Devils must shorten up the pass routes for Brock Osweiler to get rid of the ball quickly and stymie the aggressive pass rush of the Tigers. With the graduation of PK Thomas Weber, redshirt freshman kicker Alex Garoutte could play a vital role for Arizona State.