We’ve got an interesting matchup between a team from the PAC-12 and a team from the Big 12.
Both coaches’ seats are hot and both defenses are a work in progress. For the record, Arizona State beat Texas Tech 68-55 last year in Tempe. ASU’s defense gave up 50 points to their opposing offense four times last season. They kicked off this season beating New Mexico State narrowly, 37-31. It’s New Mexico State.
Tech will obviously want to prove their opening weekend was not just because Eastern Washington is not the same team they were in 2016. Tech walked away with a pretty solid victory, 56-10. Nic Shimonek threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. Shimonek’s consistent performance will be a key to victory against the Sun Devils.
This matchup will also bring clarity to the growth and improvement of Tech’s defense, which had a decent game again Eastern Washington. The defense will have to slow down Ballage and Wilkins. Unfortunately, Tech’s offense will be without running back Da’Leon Ward tomorrow. The Red Raiders will continue to try and keep players fresh by rotating RBs.
Compared to Tech, ASU’s offense struggles to get into a rhythm. Nevertheless, their defense can show up just not consistently. The key will be for Shimonek to make smart decisions and prevent dicey throws to limit turnovers.
I expect Tech to come out strong and rattle the Sun Devils . I do expect a fluke turnover forced by ASU. Nevertheless, Shimonek will not be rattled. Tech will just have to do what they do best and that is outscore ASU. Tech wins 35 - 31.