Last season, the focus going into this game was the heat and how Georgia would handle it. However, no one is asking how Arizona State will handle all the humidity in Athens on Saturday night. I mean if it rains some on Saturday, the humidity could reach the 90 or 95%! Do you know what that is like? That is like stepping into a very humid place. Seriously, I just don't think there is anything Arizona State can do to adequately prepare for it. It'll be interesting to see how the Devils handle it.
Did all the blather about the heat last year sound so...blatherly?
Ok, now that is out of my system, I wanted to take a quick look at Arizona State. Yesterday, I alluded to the similarities between Arizona State and Arkansas. Besides both stating with the letter 'A' and playing no team more challenging than those in Region 1-AAAAA this season before the Georgia game, both are breaking in new QBs. While no one will confuse Danny Sullivan with Ryan Mallett (or Rudy Carpenter, for that matter), they do have playmakers, specifically in Chris McGaha and Kyle Williams. McGaha was a huge possession receiver in 2007, with 72% (44 of 61) of his catches going for first downs. He was limited by injuries last year. This year, he has eight receptions already. Kyle Williams is a fantastic return man and receiver. Their running game hasn't gotten much of a workout, but it wasn't much to look at last year either. For example, Samuel has gained 2/3 as many yards this season (273) than the top rusher for Arizona State, Demitri Nance, who is back, did all last season (410).
Their defense is a reflection of their competition, but they did hold Idaho State to just 37 yards, which is impressive in its own right. However, Louisiana-Monroe racked up 126 yards rushing on them and had two long scoring drives. The Warhawks also gave the Devils the ball three times.
ULM scored two TDs on the Devils.One other thing that is similar, both teams circled this game on the schedule as a watershed game for their program. Now that I think about it, every game this season seems to be some sort of watershed game to our opponents. With that being the case, it does make sense that there is a certain difficulty in the defensive game planning on the part of Georgia. However, the Devils can move the ball and do so through the air. That presents some ah, challenges, that to date, Coach Martinez's charges haven't necessarily been up to task for. It is my personal belief that Arizona's lack of consistent rush attack will help due to the defense's tendencies. Here's hoping someone figures out how to do so.
How about some of this? This might help...
(Image Daniel Shirey, ABH)