Being a graduate of both Boise State and Arizona State I have quite the dilemma on my hand in a few weeks. I was raised an ASU fan from birth, went there, and then to BSU for Grad School. However, because it means so much more for this year and beyond for BSU to win...not to mention that they are the better team...I have decided to be a BSU fan on 12/22. Join me below as I give my quick guide to beating ASU since I have watched everyone of their games this year and know their team inside and out.
FIRST AND FOREMOST...stop the swing pass to Jamal Miles. Miles is one of the 5 most electric players in all of college football. To wit, he has thrown a TD pass, caught TD passes, has punt return TD's and kick return TD's. That being said, the most dangerous play is the swing pass out to him on the edge. You will see this play probably 10 times in the Vegas Bowl and everything in the offense revolves around that working. When the swing gets going the defense will be stretched so far that BSU will struggle on defense. If you stop it early the Devils will abandon it and they become a lot easier to stop.
Second, put Iloka on Gerrell Robinson. Robinson is a big physical receiver and uses his body to shield defenders to make plays....he is also very hard to bring down. Smaller DB's will be punished repeatedly by ASU if they are covering Robinson.
Third, don't try to get to Brock Osweiler. Osweiler rivals Kellen at times in his quick release and the offense is predicated on him getting it out early. If you bring extra guys and slack off coverage you will get burned. You are better off playing everyone close so that quick reads are not available and trying to get to him for coverage sacks.
Fourth, go after the ankle of Cameron Marshall. Marshall has been playing injured most of the year with an ankle issue and is much less effective if it is bothering him. Anytime you have a chance to hit the ankle or making him cut sharply take advantage of it and hope he reinjures it. ASU has zero RB depth and when he is out the run is basically out of the equation.
First, give the dang ball to Kellen. If there is a secondary in the country that has had as many injuries as BSU...it's ASU. Mediocre QB's have been lighting them up all year. We all know how good Kellen is so there is no real reason to continue any further here.
Second, bait the crap out of Vontaze Burfict. Ref's look for him and it is almost guaranteed he will get a PF penalty at some point. Plus, if he gets to Moore...Kellen might be dead afterwards so it is always good to get him in trouble with penalties. He will probably be benched if he gets more than one penalty so hit him right after the whistle...and when he hits back, FLOP like you are Manu Ginobli!
Third, if you get to a goal line situation...don't run the ball. ASU has a great goal line run defense and even the Muscle Hamster will encounter problems getting past them. Trust Kellen...which is never a bad thing.
Fourth, hold on to the ball. ASU absolutely thrives on TO's. I trust Kellen not to throw picks but once you have the ball hang on for dear life. ASU loves to strip the ball and practices it more than most teams.
Fifth, go North to South...ASU is very fast and athletic. Trying to beat them to the edges will not work.
On Special Teams...
Be Boise State...keep covering kickoffs like you have all year and you will be fine. Alex Garroutte is just as bad a kicker as anything BSU has so there is no edge either way.
Ultimately this game will come down to motivation and early starts. If ASU comes out motivated and gets off to a good start the game could be close in the second half. If BSU starts early and gets a lead then ASU will likely quit by halftime and we can cruise to another win. This is just from me though, I do not claim to have 1% of the game planning ability of Coach Pete so take what you will from this...and trust the BSU coaches will outdo the lame duck coaching staff at ASU.
Don't forget though...after the win you are required to cruise out to the Vegas desert with your friends singing "We're the three best friends that anybody could have..."