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College football is back. Here are my Arizona State football 2018 game-by-game predictions. Let’s see how the Sun Devils should fare this season.

Week 1: September 1st

The University of Texas at San Antonio @ Arizona State University

In Herm Edward’s first game as ASU’s head coach, fans can expect him to come out firing. Two consistent playmakers are staying with the Sun Devils this season, QB Manny Wilkins and WR N’Keal Harry. Their connection on the field should lead to a high scoring game, while Danny Gonzales works for a strong debut in his first game as defensive coordinator. The Roadrunners have a fairly young team, but they should be able to capitalize on speed bumps brought on by a new ASU coaching staff.

Score: ASU 32 UTSA 20

Record: 1-0

Week 2: September 8th

Michigan State University @ Arizona State University

Michigan State is ranked 11th in the AP Top 25 poll going into this season and it should serve to be a physical game for the Sun Devils. ASU isn’t used to playing teams in the Big 10 but week 2 gives them a great opponent to take on, especially at home. MSU starting QB Brian Lewerke will be out to put on a show for his home state and if the Spartan defense can limit any yardage by Harry, they should be able to hand the Sun Devils their first loss of the season.

Score: MSU 27 ASU 14

Record: 1-1

Week 3: September 15th

Arizona State University @ San Diego State University

This is a particularly special matchup because of two things: SDSU lost RB Rashaad Penny and defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales. Penny was a huge key to the Aztecs victory over the Sun Devils last season. Juwan Washington takes over Penny’s role, but ASU should be able to capitalize on the loss of SDSU’s former star player. Aside from that, Gonzales will be able to help advance his new team over his former team. The game should be fairly tight but if ASU can take advantage of SDSU’s losses, they can check off another win on the season.

Score: ASU 24 SDSU 17

Record: 2-1

Week 4: September 22nd

Arizona State University @ The University of Washington

Last year, ASU beat UW 13-7. This year should be much different. The Huskies are ranked 6th in the AP Top 25 poll going into this season, and for good reason. Chris Petersen and QB Jake Browning have built a relationship that has excelled the Huskies to phenomenal wins over the last few seasons. Browning is a four-year starter, he’s familiar with the style and run game of ASU. If the Sun Devil defense doesn’t put all hands on deck to stop the Huskies, the game could become a blowout.

Score: UW 42 ASU 10

Record: 2-2

Week 5: September 29th

Oregon State University @ Arizona State University

ASU usually has this game secured. Last year, they defeated the Beavers 40-24 and the game should run fairly similar this season. The Sun Devils face a tough schedule but this should be somewhat of a reliever game. Oregon State will be familiar with a majority of the ASU team, as many of the core unit returns from last season. This may give the Beavers an advantage in certain aspects, however, it won’t be enough for a full 60 minutes. If ASU can do what they did last year, they should be able to win this game with ease.

Score: ASU 32 OSU 17

Record: 3-2

Week 6: October 6th

Arizona State University @ The University of Colorado Boulder

Colorado QB Steven Montez will be going into this game familiar with how ASU runs its defense. Yes, there is a new defensive coordinator but he has familiarity with most of the faces that’ll be charging against him. There is the potential that this matchup will end with a tight score, and ASU will have to win the turnover battle if they expect to walk away from Folsom Field with a victory. DB Chase Lucas has the likelihood of coming up big this season, and he could be one of the keys in leading the ASU defense to a win during week six.

Score: ASU 28 CU 24

Record: 4-2

Week 7: October 13th

BYE

Week 8: October 18th

Stanford University @ Arizona State University

Stanford travels to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils in this Thursday night game. Just like ASU, Stanford has a tough schedule. By the time they land in Tempe, they should be ready to take on the Sun Devils with no problem. RB Bryce Love is returning for his senior season and is on track to have a record-breaking year. If ASU wants to stay in this game, the defense needs to find a way to stop Love from getting into the end zone. A good fight could be put on by the Sun Devils, but Stanford should be able to win this game with somewhat ease.

Score: Stanford 31 ASU 17

Record: 4-3

Week 9: October 27th

Arizona State University @ The University of Southern California

Week nine might be worse than week eight for the Sun Devils. The score prediction below mirrors an almost identical game to that of last season. Clay Helton is returning as head coach for the Trojans and the team recently named freshman JT Daniels as starting QB after losing Sam Darnold to the NFL. The Trojan defense, led by ILB Cameron Smith should serve to be an overmatch for the ASU offense. USC should stroll in and out of Tempe with another win tacked onto their season.

Score: USC 44 ASU 14

Record: 4-4

Week 10: November 3rd

The University of Utah @ Arizona State University

Arguably, both teams can be seen as very similar. Both the Utes and Sun Devils return much of their same rosters as last year so familiar faces and schemes should be able to be capitalized on by both teams. The score will be somewhat tight, but ASU should be able to put a win under their belt after a handful of tough games if the offense can utilize the relationship between Wilkins and Harry on the field.

Score: ASU 24 Utah 14

Record: 5-4

Week 11: November 10th

The University of California, Los Angeles @ Arizona State University

UCLA will be arriving in Tempe after a road game against Oregon, which should provide them with some fatigue that ASU can try to capitalize on. UCLA will feel a heavy loss with Josh Rosen now in the NFL, but head coach Chip Kelly did just name Michigan transfer Wilton Speight the starter for week 1. The Bruins lost 10 starters after last season and they have a lot to prove with their new head coach. The Bruins will be out to make a new name for themselves this season and they should be able to do just that in the desert.

Score: UCLA 30 ASU 17

Record: 5-5

Week 12: November 17th

Arizona State University @ The University of Oregon

Oregon typically always plays well against the Sun Devils, home or away. I don’t see that changing this season. The Ducks offense should be able to light it up against ASU’s defense. QB Justin Herbert is returning as the starting quarterback and he’ll bring a familiarity with the Sun Devil defense. Last season, he threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns in Oregon’s victory against ASU and those numbers don’t seem to be going anywhere but up. If the Sun Devils want to keep up in this game, the defense needs to be on its feet.

Score: Oregon 38 ASU 12

Record: 5-6

Week 13: November 24th

Arizona State University @ The University of Arizona

Last but not least, the biggest game of the season. The battle for the Territorial Cup propels both teams to play with all they’ve got and this game should be as good as any other in the past. U of A is boasting star QB Khalil Tate as he should have a stellar season, but we can’t forget that they are welcoming new head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin has proved to be a winning coach within college football and he is going to want to bring that same energy to Tucson. This game should be interesting with two new head coaches leading these teams, but the Wildcats should prevail at home and bring the Territorial Cup back to Southern Arizona.

Score: U of A 36 ASU 20

Record: 5-7

Sports Al Dente 2019

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