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ESPN Analyst: Arizona State feels ‘like the best team in the southern division’

LISTEN: Ed Cunningham, ESPN college football analyst

This Saturday’s showdown between Arizona State and UCLA is big for both teams — a Pac-12 Championship Game berth is on the line — and it’s grabbed the attention of the national media as well.

On Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Friday, ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham couldn’t contain his excitement for the matchup.

“This is such a great game,” Cunningham said.

The Sun Devils can clinch the Pac-12 South with a win, and head coach Todd Graham said it’s the biggest game he’s ever coached in. Even with that pressure, and the challenge of playing in Pasadena, Calif., Cunningham is leaning towards an Arizona State victory.

“I like Arizona State in this game,” Cunningham said. “I think UCLA — they (have trouble) running the ball well, Hundley will throw it away. He’s a really good prospect, I just think he’s got a long way to go with mechanics.”

If Arizona State can slow down UCLA’s freshman sensation at running back, Myles Jack, and avoid the slow starts that have hurt them in big road games before, there’s no reason the Sun Devils can’t return to Tempe without a division title in hand. Cunningham believes that would be the right team to likely face Oregon in the conference championship game.

“Arizona State just has that feel,” Cunningham explained. “They feel like the best team in the southern division of the Pac-12.”

Cunningham is familiar with Arizona football, as he played for the Arizona Cardinals for four years and served as analyst for Arizona Rattlers games from 1995-99.