As he does every week, CougCenter’s Craig Powers delves into the statistics to preview Washington State’s opponent. This week, it’s the Arizona State Sun Devils, led by quarterback Steven Threet and linebacker Vontaze Burfict. ASU boasts a strong defense, but an offense that’s faded after padding the stats against FCS competition.
Burfict, a talented, yet mistake-prone, linebacker should strike fear in the hearts of the Cougar offense, especially quarterback Jeff Tuel.
The freak athlete at linebacker, Vontaze Burfict, has been the most valuable player. He leads the team in tackles by a wide margin, posting 54. He is also second on the team in tackles for loss with 5.5. Defensive end Jamar Jarrett leads the team in tackles for loss with six. Junior cornerback Omar Bolden is the only player on the team with more than one interception, and he has two.
On the offensive side, WSU may finally be able to get pressure after squaring off against a physical Stanford offensive line last weekend.
Starting quarterback Steven Threet has been cleared to play after sustaining a concussion on Saturday against Cal. So far this season he has completed 58.9% of his passes with 11 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Against FBS competition, his completion percentage drops to 56 and he has thrown 11 picks to just 6 TDS, and throws one to the other team once every 16.5 passes. The junior has taken quite a few hits, as the ASU offensive line has given up 19 sacks on the year. Compare that to the three that WSU’s last opponent, Stanford, has allowed.
Are the Sun Devils ripe for an upset this weekend? The statistics say WSU may be able to hang with them. We’ll find out this Saturday at 4 p.m. in Tempe.