Looking ahead: Arizona State

Looking ahead: Arizona State

Illinois visits Arizona State on Saturday (9:30 p.m., ESPN). A quick read on the Sun Devils and the teams' second meeting in as many seasons:

Last Game

Todd Graham's debut went swell, the Sun Devils running it up (63-6) on helpless Northern Arizona. They rushed for 305 yards (their most since 2001) and scored like a basketball team (most points in 86 games).

Who to watch

That would be Taylor Kelly, much shorter than last year's starter (remember our front page devoted to 6-foot-8 Brock Osweiler?) but potentially as potent. Kelly, the Sun Devils' fourth starting quarterback in four seasons, was 15 of 19 for 247 yards and a touchdown in the rout.

Where to watch

For those of you who had to scramble to locate ESPNU on Saturday, no worries: It's on ESPN. The go-to guy in the booth is former Washington quarterback Brock Huard, who has ties to the Pac-12 and will shed plenty of light on the Sun Devils.

By the numbers

0-3 — the Illini's record in games played in the state of Arizona. They're 0-1 against Arizona State and 0-2 at Arizona.

2 — former Illini assistants on Todd Graham's staff: co-defensive coordinator Ron West and tight ends coach Chip Long.

6 — true freshmen who played in Arizona State's opener: Evan Goodman, Viliami (Laiu) Moekiola, DJ Foster, Jaxon Hood, Carlos Mendoza and Richard Smith.

4 — true freshmen who saw action for the Illini: V'Angelo Bentley, Mike Svetina, Mason Monheim, Justin Hardee.

3:44 — the longest scoring drive — they had eight — for the Sun Devils in Week 1.

54 — consecutive PATs made by Sun Devils kicker Alex Garoutte, who was 9 for 9 in the opener.

What the Sun Devils are saying:

"They're a very good football team. They have four as good of defensive players as we're going to play all year. The quarterback is a very athletic guy and very dangerous, and obviously it's going to get a lot tougher next week. If our guys will continue to get better every week, work hard and execute the plan, I'm excited about them. This is step one. Now we go to the next one." — coach Todd Graham

What the Illini are saying:

"They ran a very high-pace offense; I'm not sure what they're doing right now since they've had coaching changes. They tried to gas us a little bit, that's all I can say right now because we don't know what they're doing yet. We've got to get in the film room." — defensive end Michael Buchanan

"They're going to come out something like Western Michigan and throw the ball. They're a big empty and shotgun formation. We just have to go out there with the game plan and do what we have to do. It's a chance against a team from a good conference to get a good win early in the season." — cornerback Terry Hawthorne

Illinois schedule

Sept. 1 — def. Western Michigan 24-7

Sept. 8 — at Arizona State

Sept. 15 — vs. Chas. Southern

Sept. 22 — vs. Louisiana Tech

Sept. 29 — vs. Penn State

Oct. 6 — at Wisconsin

Oct. 13 — at Michigan

Oct. 27 — vs. Indiana

Nov. 3 — at Ohio State

Nov. 10 — vs. Minnesota

Nov. 17 — vs. Purdue

Nov. 24 — at Northwestern

Arizona State schedule

Sept. 1 — def. Northern Arizona 63-6

Sept. 8 — vs. Illinois

Sept. 15 — at Missouri

Sept. 22 — vs. Utah

Sept. 29 — at California

Oct. 11 — at Colorado

Oct. 18 — vs. Oregon

Oct. 27 — vs. UCLA

Nov. 3 — at Oregon State

Nov. 10 — at USC

Nov. 17 — vs. Washington State

Nov. 23 — at Arizona

Categories (3):Illini Sports, Football, Sports
Tags (1):Arizona State


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