Arizona State Football: Looking Ahead to Washington

In their fourth game of the 2018 season, the Arizona State football program will take on Washington.

Despite losing in Week 3 to the San Diego State Aztecs, it’s still a good time to be a supporter of the Arizona State football program. The Sun Devils have started off 2-1, complete with a blowout win against UTSA and a surprise upset of the Michigan State Spartans. Now in Week 4, Herm Edwards and the revamped Sun Devils will travel up to Washington to play the Huskies.

Unfortunately, the Sun Devils fell out of the national rankings with their 28-21 loss to San Diego State.

Looking at the Washington Huskies

Current Record: 2-1

Current Head Coach: Chris Petersen

Career Record vs. ASU: 15-20

So far in 2018, the Washingon Huskies and Arizona State Sun Devils have played a similar schedule: one game against a very good opponent, one against a solid program, and one against a cupcake. And like Arizona State, the Huskies have gone 2-1. They lost their first game to No. 9 Auburn then beat North Dakota and Utah.

They are currently ranked No. 10 in the nation.

Washington has a balanced attack on offense, led by seniors Jake Browning (quarterback) and Myles Gaskin (running back). Both guys were huge contributors to Washington’s run to the College Football Playoff in 2016 and Fiesta Bowl in 2017.

While still very effective, both guys are on pace for their worst seasons in their four-year careers this year. Browning has thrown four interceptions already after tossing just five in all of 2017, and his quarterback rating is a career-low 133.7. As for Gaskin, he is averaging a career-low 4.4 yards per carry.

Having said that, both guys are not to be taken lightly. Though the Sun Devils have an improved defense under Herm Edwards, Gaskin did gash Arizona State for 127 yards on just 16 carries in 2016. In that same game, Browning threw for 338 yards while completing over 60 percent of his throws.

After seeing what San Diego State did on the ground against Arizona State (311 rushing yards), I have to say I’m a bit worried that Gaskin will go off again. Their passing defense, on the other hand, has been rock solid and Browning has thrown five interceptions (compared to three touchdowns) in his career against the Sun Devils.

As for the Washington defense, they’re not nearly as good against the run as Michigan State and San Diego State. That means Eno Benjamin will have a little bit more room to run after getting completely shut down in Week 2 and Week 3. In his last two games, Benjamin has gained just 48 yards on 26 carries. The Huskies are allowing opponents to gain four yards per carry this year while Michigan State and San Diego State are below two yards per carry.

Through the air, they’re a lot better with a No. 6 rank in yards allowed per attempt. As we’ve seen this year, though, Manny Wilkins and his talented receivers can move the ball against pretty much anyone. Being on the road is the only thing that really gives me pause. That crowd can get pretty wild for big games.

Last season, Arizona State pulled off an upset of No. 5 Washington at Sun Devils Stadium. This year, they’ll play at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. The game is set for 10:30 P.M ET and can be seen nationally on ESPN.