Arizona State head coach Todd Graham has been effusive in his praise of the Sun Devils’ next opponent, the Washington Huskies.
“There’s not a team on our schedule that’s more talented than the team rolling in here Saturday,” he said Tuesday. “And we’ve played some really good football teams.”
The proof of the talent is in the statistics.
Washington ranks eighth in the nation in total offense (526.8 yards per game) and 20th nationally in total defense (344.2 yards per game.) The Huskies are one of only six teams to rank in the top 20 in both categories.
ASU tight end Chris Coyle sees the talent on the Huskies’ defense.
“I see that they’ve got a lot of great athletes,” Coyle said Tuesday. “They make a lot of plays out there and they do a lot of reading. They’re not necessarily a penetration defense, so we’ve got to do what Oregon did to them, wear ’em down and get plays moving quickly.”
In their loss to Oregon last Saturday, Washington yielded a season-high 631 yards of offense. The Ducks outgained the Huskies 161-20 and held the ball for over 11 minutes in the fourth quarter, pulling away for a 45-24 win.
“We’ve got to establish the run on these guys, they’re big and physical, but the only way we’re going to be able to get passes downfield is if we beat them up front at first,” Coyle said.
Arizona State is coming off a win over Colorado in which they ran for a season-high 276 yards as a team — with 159 of that total coming in the first half.