ESPN's Brian Griese previews Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
When Brian Griese gets behind the microphone for Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl between Arizona State and Navy, it will be only about 40 hours since he finished calling Thursday night’s Holiday Bowl between UCLA and Baylor. That’s a pretty quick turnaround for the ESPN analyst doing two bowl games involving Pac-12 teams with just one day in between.
But Griese, who played quarterback in the NFL for 11 years, said he has experience preparing to perform on short notice.
“It’s not totally dissimilar to having a Thursday night game in the NFL and having a short turnaround,” Griese said. “You just get a jump-start on it. I started preparing for both games before Christmas, put in the work, talked to the coaches and formulated a game plan ahead of time. It’s par for the course.”
As far as the matchup between the Sun Devils and Midshipmen, Griese sees problems for both teams’ defenses. Navy runs a triple option that is difficult to prepare for, and Arizona State’s defense has been predicated on pressure most of the season.
“Arizona State has made their hay using a tremendous amount of pressure using exotic blitzes. That’s been their M.O. all year,” Griese said. “The challenge for the will be to continue to be who they are on defense but not allow any big plays. Navy is so fundamentally sound you almost have to forget about the football and defend the pieces. It’s so counterintuitive for guys who have never gone against the option.”
Navy has struggled defensively this season and may not have the personnel to match up physically with ASU.
“It will be a challenge,” Griese said. “When you look at them on film, there is no question from a physical standpoint that Arizona State has an advantage. The question will be how well Navy can hold up with their front seven. They do have some talent. It’s not like they don’t have any players on that side of the football.”
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is the first of two bowl games Saturday involving Pac-12 teams. Arizona State meets Navy at San Francisco’s AT&T Park at 1 p.m. PT, and then Oregon State meets Texas in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio at 3:45 p.m.