The Huskies may have lost their last two games, but there is no shame in dropping consecutive games to the No. 5 and No. 2 teams in the country. They look to bounce back this weekend against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. ASU is coming off a whooping of the Colorado Buffaloes, but haven’t quite lived up to expectations thus far. Some are calling this game a must-win for both teams, so it is sure to be competitive.
1. Can the Huskies recover from the past two weeks?
After watching both teams extensively this season, the only way I see the Huskies losing on Saturday is if they are simply too drained from playing two of the top teams in the country competitively two weeks straight. If UW is able to overcome the mid-80s temperatures, fast-paced game and its efforts the past two weeks, the Huskies should roll.
2. Difference maker: Jaxon Hood.
The ASU run defense has been nothing less than pathetic without its sophomore nose tackle. He returned in limited fashion last week against the Buffaloes, and the Sun Devils allowed only 99 yards on the ground and 2.8 yards per carry. They allowed 145 to Notre Dame, 247 to USC and 240 to Stanford in the three weeks prior. They have faced better offensive lines, but Bishop Sankey will be the best running back ASU has faced to date. Hood is feeling “significantly better” this week, which could be the difference in the game.
3. What to do about Jaelen Strong?
At most times this season, the junior college transfer wide receiver has been the best player on the field. Junior quarterback Taylor Kelly loves to hit Strong with back shoulder throws that no opponent has successfully defended to date. Marcus Peters is one of the best corners he’s faced yet, though, so it won’t be as easy on Kelly and Strong.