With the game against Arizona State just a few hours away, we had a chance to ask House of Sparky's Cory Williams five questions and get his take on today's contest against the Sun Devils.
B5Q: So by now I'm sure you know what Steven Threet did to Wisconsin on Sept. 27, 2008. That is a day that will live in infamy for Wisconsin fans, mainly because even after the Badgers blew a 19-0 lead to Michigan, no one was impressed by the Wolverines or Threet. It's been a long journey for the quarterback since then. How is he a different player today and why should Wisconsin think he is better now?
HOS: I’m just as curious as you are. Threet can move the ball against FCS competition, that’s for sure. He has a solid arm and has leadership experience.
In reality, I want to see how he performs against Wisconsin. No more fluff games, no more slow secondaries to slice apart. Threet will finally be on even footing with the competition (so to speak ) and has a lot to prove. Threet certainly looks ready, and has been chomping at the bit to play after sitting out last season due to transfer rules.
But like I said, he could be a bust against legitimate teams. Lets see how he does first before I go making bold claims about him.
B5Q: The word on the street is that Arizona State's defense is pretty good and it currently ranks 7th in the country against the run. Of course, Wisconsin's running attack is among the best in the nation. Is that where you see this game being won or lost? How will the Sun Devils fare against Wisconsin's run-first offense?
ASU is pretty good in the defensive front seven. Linebackers are ASU’s biggest strength, with crazy MLB Vontaze Burfict leading the way. With little restraint, he can be the cause of some silly penalties, but his potential is unmatched.
John Clay should have no trouble picking up 75-100 yards, but it’s not going to be easy for him to find the end zone without a solid passing game. Keep your eyes out for Lawrence Guy, a defensive tackle that eats up linemen. This game will be fought in the trenches – ASU’s offensive line is, well, offensive. If they can’t hold up against Wisconsin’s pass rush, Threet will have no time to get off passes.
B5Q: I've heard of playing one FCS school, but playing two in the same season? That's new. Are you worried about the fact that Arizona State has yet to play an FBS school, especially with three ranked opponents on the schedule in the next three weeks?
I’m extremely worried about the lack of quality opponents thus far on the ASU schedule. This schedule was not designed intentionally, however. Arizona State was a victim of San Jose State’s big payday – SJSU picked up Alabama for a $1.4m reward, leaving the Sun Devils with a $250,000 buyout, an empty slot on the schedule, and no takers.
Home-and-homes were presented to Ohio, Western Michigan, and several other lower tier FBS teams, but no one was interested. If you don’t have the money to spend, your schedule will be mediocre. Arizona budget crisis, be damned.
Portland State was the only team willing to make a trip to the desert. This is very unfortunate, because seeing SJSU play both ASU and Wisconsin before this weekend’s game would have made for some very interesting film sessions for both sides.
We all hope that ASU will be able to react to the speed of Wisconsin, but after two games against slow FCS squads, we could be in for a rude awakening.
B5Q: Threet has already racked up 630 passing yards and the offense has scored 95 points in the first two games. But again, those numbers were put up against two FCS schools at home. Convince me that this Sun Devils offense is actually dangerous.
Steven Threet has matured since his Michigan days, and is adept at finding the open man quickly. Our wide receiving corps has been replenished by junior college recruits and Aaron Pflugrad, a transfer from Oregon.
Watch out for true freshman Deantre Lewis, though. He’s lightning quick and can make you miss. Out of the backfield, he has already made several catches on swing plays that have led to big gains.
When you have both Lewis and Cameron Marshall making plays from the running back position, it gives wide receivers more space to roam, and Threet more room for error.
B5Q: Prediction time. And give me more than just a score.
ASU will put up an excellent fight through the 3rd quarter, but Clay and the Badgers will pull away by dominating the time of possession and crushing the ball on the ground. After picking up a two touchdown lead, Wisconsin will give up a late TD to Cameron Marshall on a long run.
ASU will fail to recover the onside kick, and Wisconsin will win by ten after kicking a field goal with :38 left.