The Arizona State Sun Devils and Texas A&M Aggies square off in Houston on the opening Saturday of college football for conference bragging rights. Below is the Arizona State vs. Texas A&M prediction and game preview.
Arizona State vs. Texas A&M Prediction & Preview
Why You Need To Care
Arizona State and Texas A&M meet for the first time in a compelling neutral site matchup that’ll be a litmus test for both.
The Sun Devils are on a roll for Todd Graham, who’s won more games in his first three years—28—than any coach in program history. But ASU and its coach are far from content with Sun Bowl appearances and second-place finishes in the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils have set the bar at winning titles, and besting an SEC program in its home state would further enhance the team’s reputation on a national scale.
The Aggies are looking to raise the bar as well. Sure, Kevin Sumlin has helped make A&M relevant again, particularly during the Johnny Manziel years. But while points have been plentiful, where are the championships or even the marquee bowl appearances? The Aggies’ quest to rebound from last year’s disappointing 8-5 mark starts with a toothless defense that’s now under the guidance of venerable coordinator John Chavis.
Why Arizona State Will Win
The Aggie D will be better with Chavis in charge. But how much? And how quickly?
While Texas A&M has some elite talent, such as DE Myles Garrett, a turnaround won’t happen overnight. In the meantime, the Sun Devils will capitalize with a balanced offense that can score points off the strong right arm of Mike Bercovici or the tough inside running of Demario Richard. ASU is rugged on the interior of the line, led by C Nick Kelley and G Christian Westerman, which will help make Bercovici more dangerous on play-action. And WR D.J. Foster, a converted running back, possesses the breakaway skills to take a game over.
Why Texas A&M Will Win
The Devils will score. The Aggies can keep pace.
Through all of the ups and downs in recent years, Texas A&M can always count on its offense. Kyle Allen is the next star behind center, and Josh Reynolds, Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones headline one of the country’s most dangerous corps of receivers. Up front, Mike Matthews and Germain Ifedi will have an edge on an Arizona State front wall that’s a little undersized and prone to being pushed back versus more physical opponents.
Player Who Matters
Arizona State loves to throw the kitchen at opposing offensive lines, blitzing liberally. It’s how the Sun Devils dictate tempo on D. But blitzing Texas A&M could prove disastrous against Allen, who’s a year older and a year wiser. If Allen can make quick enough decisions, he’s liable to singe a Sun Devil secondary that was spotty at times last year. More than anyone else, Lloyd Carrington and Kweishi Brown, a quality pair of corners, will be under the microscope when facing the Aggie pass-catchers on Saturday.
What’s Going To Happen?
Expect plenty of scoring plus a seesaw battle equals one of the most entertaining matchups of the opening weekend.
Texas A&M and Arizona State will trade blows like heavyweight boxers, with both quarterbacks ringing up big numbers. The Aggies, though, will have the edge in pass catchers and pass rushers. Their receivers will be virtually unstoppable on the receiving end of Allen’s darts, while Garrett will apply enough pressure off the edge to stunt a Bercovici-led comeback bid.
Arizona State vs. Texas A&M Score Prediction
Without further ado, the Arizona State vs. Texas A&M prediction is …
Texas A&M 38, Arizona State 34
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