Arizona State Riding High into Showdown with Georgia
The Arizona State Sun Devils have notched two dominating wins over Idaho State and Louisiana Monroe, but the Georgia Bulldogs are nowhere close to the level of the Sun Devils previous two opponents.
However, Dennis Erickson's team has done exactly what they were supposed to do, win, and win big. Dominating performances on defense, and a steady and productive offense are the backbone of a potential upset on the road "Between the Hedges".
The Sun Devils have been balanced and productive on offense, led by Senior quarterback Danny Sullivan. Sullivan has done everything Erickson and offensive coordinator Rich Olson has asked him to do, manage the offense down the field, and limit turnovers. Sullivan has not just limited turnovers, the Sun Devils have not turn the ball over once this season.
With that being said, the Sun Devils rank number one in the nation in turnover margin. The maroon and gold defense has intercepted opposing quarterbacks six times, and recovered two fumbles to add to that number.
Defensive coordinator Craig Bray and his speedy, tenacious defense has averaged four turnovers a game, while the Sun Devils counterpart this weekend in Athens, is ranked number 116 in turnover margin, averaging negative 2.33 turnovers a game. Not a good statistic for Georgia fans, especially when the Sun Devils live off turnovers.
However, the offense and defense has put up their highlights so far this season, the special teams joined the party early Saturday night against Louisiana Monroe. Junior cornerback Omar Bolden, returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to start the firework show for fans in Sun Devil Stadium.
Although, the return game has received a boost from Bolden, the punting game for Dennis Erickson has been a huge improvement from last seasons numbers.
ASU punter Trevor Hankins has average nearly 43 yards per punt, and on Saturday night, Hankins booted one punt 57 yards with the Sun Devils punting from their own end zone. Hankins could play a huge role this Saturday, if the ASU-Georgia match up turns into a defensive struggle, and a field position battle.
There is no doubt, that the Arizona State Sun Devils are playing with a lot of confidence this season, and enter this seasons match up with Georgia with a lot more momentum than last seasons tilt in Tempe.
Although, the Sun Devils started 2008 ranked in the top 25, this seasons team is much more consistent, and far more athletic than the 2008 version of the maroon and gold.
The opening line according to vegasinsider.com, has the Georgia Bulldogs as a 12 point favorite. Last seasons game finished with the Georgia Bulldogs celebrating a 27-10 victory on Frank Kush Field, the Sun Devils remember how that felt, and are no doubt looking to return the favor Saturday night "Between the Hedges."
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