Arizona St-Illinois Preview Capsule - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Arizona St-Illinois Preview Capsule

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, September 15, 2011 2:45 pm | Updated: 6:04 pm, Thu Sep 15, 2011.

No. 22 Arizona State (2-0) at Illinois (2-0), 7 p.m. Saturday (Big Ten Network)

Line: Illinois by 1.

Series record: Arizona State leads, 2-0.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Arizona State moved into the Top 25 with last week's overtime win against Missouri and, with a loss, would surely drop right back out. The Sun Devils also would like to head into Pac 12 play against USC with a win. Illinois is 2-0 on the strength of wins over much weaker opponents — Arkansas State and FBS school South Dakota State — and looking to prove it can play with tougher opposition.

KEY MATCHUP

Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict vs. Illinois' offensive line. Illinois coach Ron Zook says the defense is the emotional heart of the Sun Devils and Burfict is the blood pumping through that defense. Burfict leads Arizona State with four sacks. Illinois plans to throw everyone it can at him, but 250-pound fullback Jay Prosch figures heavily in Illinois' plans to keep Burfict away from quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase and open running lanes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Arizona State: Quarterback Brock Osweiler has five touchdown passes and more than 600 yards in two games. His top target, Aaron Pflugrad, has caught four of those TDs and has 230 yards receiving.

Illinois: QB Nathan Scheelhaase and wide receiver A.J. Jenkins. Scheelhaase is one of four Illini with more than 100 yards rushing over the first two games; his passing numbers aren't gaudy with 369 total yards. But his ability to run forces defenses to keep an eye on him and he's hit Jenkins 16 times for 219 yards.

FACTS & FIGURES

Vontaze Burfict is the face of the Arizona defense, but fellow LB Colin Parker leads the team in tackles with 16. ... No Sun Devil has more than 88 yards rushing so far this season. ... 6-8 Sun Devil quarterback Brock Osweiler is the tallest QB in the FBS. ... Illinois is averaging 283 rushing yards a game this season, eighth in the country. They've led the Big Ten in rushing three times in the past five seasons. ... Illinois' 53-point win last week over South Dakota State was its largest since a 79-6 victory in 1944 over Illinois Normal (now Illinois State).

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More about

More about

  • Discuss

EVT Ice Bucket Challenge

The East Valley Tribune accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge.

Facebook

EastValleyTribune.com on Facebook

Twitter

EastValleyTribune.com on Twitter

Google+

EastValleyTribune.com on Google+

RSS

Subscribe to EastValleyTribune.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px
Your Az Jobs
Loading…