After a blowout win against UTSA, the Arizona State football team opened up as a home underdog against Michigan State. With an upset, they can launch themselves into the national conversation and earn a spot in the Top 25.
The debut of Herm Edwards at Sun Devils Stadium was one that fans won’t forget anytime soon. Playing in front of over 50,000 loyal fans in Tempe, the Sun Devils demolished UTSA by 42 points and put hope in the hearts of all Arizona State football supporters. Next week, the program will be back at Sun Devils Stadium although this time they’ll have a tougher opponent on the opposite sideline: Michigan State.
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While the Spartans are a tougher foe, they’ll be coming into Arizona with a bit of a limp. Instead of laying a beating on their Week 1 opponent like the Sun Devils, the nationally ranked Spartans had to overcome a fourth-quarter deficit to beat Utah State 38-31. Don’t get me wrong, the Aggies aren’t a terrible team but they were ranked No. 82 in Athlon Sports’ preseason rankings. Michigan State, on the other hand, sat at No. 12 and was largely thought of as a potential College Football Playoff team.
If Arizona State came out flat against UTSA, or Michigan State whooped Utah State, the Spartans would absolutely be a double-digit favorite in Week 2. Luckily, neither happened and Las Vegas took note. The betting line for Week 2? Michigan State by a touchdown, per OddsShark. That’s a lot of respect for the Sun Devils — especially since the Spartans were nearly favored by 24 points against the Aggies in Week 1.
Point being, the Sun Devils are in a pretty good spot heading into their Week 2 grudge match. Michigan State had to lose a little bit of confidence after their lackluster performance while Herm Edwards and company are riding high. And like I mentioned before, it’s not just the folks on the inside riding high; a rowdy atmosphere at Sun Devils Stadium will almost certainly be waiting for Michigan State on September 8th.
Can Manny Wilkins keep the offense clicking against a tougher defense? I think so. In fact, I’m fairly certain they’ll be able to move the ball at home and score 25-30 points. If Utah State can, then a high-powered unit with the best receiver in the nation can, too. The bigger question lies in the hands of the defense: If they can get a pass rush and disrupt things, they’ll pull off the upset and launch Arizona State into the national conversation. The crowd will need to help, though, and their Week 1 penalty issues cannot happen.
Simply put, a win over Sparty likely gets Arizona State in the Top 25.
Arizona State’s home game against Michigan State will be aired nationally by ESPN on September 8th. Kickoff is set for 10:45 P.M ET.