Now that we’re at the midway point in game week, it’s seems like a good time to introduce you to the Arizona State Sun Devils, whom the Huskies face Saturday at 3 p.m. in Sun Devil Stadium. Some good sites to check out leading up to the game include The State Press (student newspaper), House of Sparky (SBNation) and Devils in Detail (FanSided). I have good friends who write for all three and I’d highly recommend each.
Let’s get to know some of the key Sun Devils.
Quarterback Taylor Kelly
Kelly is the leader of the Arizona State offense. He won the starting job in Fall Camp before last season and broke onto the scene by quietly having one of the best seasons of any QB in the Pac-12. This season, he’s done nothing less than what made him such a reliable piece last year. He’s already thrown for nearly 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns. He has a lower completion percentage and is on pace for more interceptions but also only has two reliable targets.
Running backs Marion Grice and D.J. Foster
Offensive coordinator Mike Norvell has struggled to get the running game going thus far for ASU. Foster, who played very well as a freshman last season, hasn’t hardly gotten any touches this season. Grice leads the nation in touchdowns and doubles as a receiver much of the time he’s on the field. His one knock is that he hasn’t been able to amass many yards – he’s yet to rush for 100 yards. That is due in part to his style of running as well as Norvell’s simplistic play calling (hint: lots of runs up the middle).
Wide receiver Jaelen Strong
Strong is in his first year at ASU after transferring from Pierce College in Los Angeles. He is already Kelly’s favorite target and one of, if not the, top receiver in the Pac-12. Strong leads the Sun Devils in receptions (42) and receiving yards (678). Kelly loves to hit him on back shoulder throws that are nearly impossible to defend. Marcus Peters is going to have to be on his ‘A’ game to defend Strong.
Tight end Chris Coyle
Similar to Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Coyle has struggled to replicate last season’s impressive numbers. He was named to Husky Haul’s midseason All Pac-12 team, but still only has 13 receptions and two touchdowns after catching 57 passes for 696 yards and five touchdowns as a junior last season. He’s a threat nonetheless, but is mostly utilized when defenses miss coverage or forget about him and Kelly hits him over the middle of the field.