The Devils Best Interest, Week 6: Five Pac-12 Showdowns Begin Thursday Night
Cameron Johnson
By Cameron Johnson,
October 8, 2015 2:33 PM

The Devils would love to face an overconfident, top-5 team in Salt Lake City next week

Well now it’s a new season. With the Sun Devils upset at the Rose Bowl against then #7 UCLA, ASU is right back in the thick of the PAC-12 South Division race.

The road is tough. If ASU hopes to be in Palo Alto for the conference championship, it’s imperative that they deliver a consistent effort each week with a well-executed game plan like they did against UCLA. Even that won’t be enough though. Due to their loss to USC two weeks ago, ASU needs some help along the way.

As the weeks progress, every game around the conference carries with it implications for other programs, especially those with a PAC-12 loss including Arizona State.

This is the Devils’ Best Interest.


Washington at #17 USC (Thursday)

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This game should be one-sided. With UCLA losing last week to divisional rival ASU, the Trojans are in a good position. SC is playing at home after a bye week so they should be healthy and well-rested.

Sun Devil fans want the Trojans to fail because the more chinks in the Trojan’s armor, the better it is for ASU’s chances in the South.

Unfortunately, a USC loss at the hands of Washington is unlikely. It’s worth acknowledging that the rankings of those teams to whom the Devils have lost plays into their resume. For example, ASU’s loss to Texas A&M who now sits at #9 in the country, is less damaging now than in Week 1.


Oregon State at Arizona

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Bear Done? UA looks to be coming off the rails, and it’s been fun to watch their back-to-back beat-downs from UCLA and Stanford.

Oregon State’s strong running game should further exploit the Wildcats’ problems with run defense. While the Beavers don’t have the talent of the Cardinal or Bruins, they have what it takes to win this game and satisfy the Devil’s best interest, which is always a UA loss. It’s half way to a perfect weekend, right?


Washington State at Oregon

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We’d prefer that a bruised and battered Oregon team shows up in Tempe on Thursday, October 29

At the beginning of the year this one looked like an automatic Oregon “W” at home. Since then, question marks abound for the Ducks.

Washington State has been living and dying with their passing game, while a young Oregon defense has had difficulty defending the air-game. The Ducks have also had troubles fielding a healthy quarterback.

Injuries and attrition have hurt Oregon so this could possibly be a close game. After all, the Cougars were tied with the Ducks going into halftime last year.

For Sun Devil fans it really doesn’t matter who wins this game. ASU will play both teams this year so we control our destiny here. That being said, we’ll pull for Washington State because we’d prefer that a bruised and battered Oregon team shows up in Tempe on October 29, a Thursday night ESPN match-up.


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Sun Devil Football 2015 Schedule and Results



#23 California at #5 Utah

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This game is huge and really tricky as well. Utah is being touted as the top team in the country by many analysts.

Many would say that Sun Devil fans should want Utah to lose, giving a divisional foe a conference loss. That has merit. Personally though, I want to see the Utes win big in this match-up of the only two undefeated teams in the conference.

Why? The Devils would love to face an overconfident top-5 team in Salt Lake City next week. This would give ASU a shot at taking down another top-10 program (UCLA last week), which would shoot the Devils up mightily in the rankings if they can beat Colorado on Saturday.

ESPN will be in Salt Lake City with their Gameday crew this weekend, so this game provides a huge stage for both programs. Cal at Utah is a must-watch this Saturday night.


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Saturday finishes off with ASU taking the field against the Buffaloes. Colorado is much improved, but remain at the bottom of the PAC-12.  

Now that ASU has their health back, they must keep it for what could become their biggest game of the season next week at Utah. The Devils want to efficient and establish an early lead against the Buffs to maintain control of this one from the start.


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The Blackout Beckons


However, the Buffaloes, like any team in this conference, can not be “overlooked” by a revived Sun Devil coaching staff and team. A Colorado upset is hardly impossible.

With a tepid start to the season, this Sun Devil team still has much to prove. A dominant victory in Tempe on Saturday will help. You know who we’re rooting for… in black.

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