The Stanford Cardinal are, not surprisingly, 2-0 this season and get to kick off their Pac-12 season with a tough game against the Arizona State Sun Devils. Stanford is coming off a solid win against Army, 34-20, and quarterback Kevin Hogan looks like the leader that this team — and David Shaw — was hoping for.
On the other side of the field, the Sun Devils are coming off a very controversial win against the Wisconsin Badgers at home — that very well should have been a loss. However, they will take the win and move forward into conference play.
Stanford is led by quarterback Kevin Hogan and he has been quite the leader, like I stated earlier, and could lead this team to big things in 2013. Although he has passed for just 395 yards and five touchdowns this season, he has yet to reach his full potential and it will be a scary sight when he does. In fact, the offense as a whole hasn’t really been everything that it can be so far this season, but running back Tyler Gaffney has been lethal in the backfield. He has gained over 230 yards on the ground while scoring three touchdowns.
Arizona State, on the other hand, is led by their own star quarterback, Taylor Kelly. The junior quarterback has been nearly unstoppable this season with 652 yards and five touchdowns in just two games. In fact, he tore apart a solid Wisconsin defense with 352 pass yards, but threw his only pick of the season. Marion Grice has been solid on the ground so far, racking up 143 yards on 36 carries, but his five touchdowns are keeping this offense up near the top scoring teams in the country.
Defensively, the Cardinal were one of the best units in the nation a season ago and aren’t much different this season. Returning eight starters from the 20th nationally-ranked defense from 2012 will bode well in 2013. On the other hand, it’s hard to tell just how good Arizona State’s defense is with a blowout win and a two-point win in which they gave up zero and 30 points, respectively, while allowing 167 and 441 yards, respectively.
Arizona State will travel to Stanford to take on the Cardinal at 7 p.m. EST on Saturday, Sept. 21. The game will be broadcasted on FOX.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 21, Stanford 31