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No. 13 UCLA Bruins will look to remain within striking distance of Arizona State in the Pac-12 South division as it plays host to Washington at the Rose Bowl on Friday night.

These two teams are both riding two-game win streaks, but have not met since 2010, a game in which the Huskies won 24-7 behind now Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake Locker. With Keith Price at the helm for the Huskies, Washington once again finds itself with a very talented quarterback. Price is coming off a game in which he threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for two scores in a dominating 59-7 victory over Colorado. Washington under head coach Steve Sarkisian has continued to improve, but is still missing that marquee win. The matchup in Pasadena gives the Huskies (1-2 SU and ATS on the road) another opportunity for a huge victory, but it will not be easy. The Bruins (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS at home) are coming off a 31-26 win over Arizona in which freshman linebacker Myles Jack did everything. He finished with eight tackles on the defensive side, but solved the UCLA running back issues by coming in and rushing for 120 yards and one touchdown on just six carries. His performance will be vital once again, as top RB Jordon James (ankle) may not play in this game either. Bruins QB Brett Hundley was his normal terrific self, throwing for 227 yards and two touchdowns, as his team was able to hang on. However, the defense will need to play better this week as they are going up against a very balanced Huskies offense. Also, road underdogs averaging at least 450 YPG after gaining 7.25+ yards per play in their previous game are 37-9 ATS (80percent) in the past five seasons. But UCLA is 35-20 ATS (64percent) at home facing a team with a winning record since 1992, and 32-15 ATS (68percent) at home after 2+ straight wins in this same timeframe.

Washington ranks 17th in FBS in rushing (229 YPG) and 25th in passing (287 YPG) while also averaging an impressive 37.2 points per game. While senior QB Keith Price (2,481 passing yards, 18 TD, 4 INT) gets a lot of the talk and rightfully so, the pulse of the offense is junior RB Bishop Sankey. He currently ranks third in the nation with 1,305 rushing yards, averaging 5.9 yards per carry with 13 touchdowns, including at least 1 TD in all nine games. The passing game has been sparked by the play of sophomore WR Jaydon Mickens, who has 50 catches for 614 yards and four touchdowns. He has big-play ability, evidenced by touchdown catches of 68 and 47 yards against California two games ago when he totaled 180 receiving yards. While he has been the guy that Price has looked for most of this season, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (23 catches, 306 yards, 5 TD) is one of the biggest mismatches in the country. At 6-foot-6, 276 pounds, he is nearly impossible to stop in the red zone, but must bring the intensity on every single game, as his numbers are way down from last year when he caught 69 passes for 852 yards. The defense has played well this season, allowing only 21.8 points per game. Senior DB Tre Watson (32 tackles) has been solid all year, but showed his playmaking ability by returning an interception 84 yards for a touchdown last week. The Huskies have a fast defense, and they must be able to run to the ball and not allow UCLA's star QB Brett Hundley to get on the perimeter
Hundley (2,225 passing yards, 18 TD, 8 INT) has continued to develop into a more consistent passer, completing 69 percent of his passes this year. However, what makes him one of the best quarterbacks in the country is his ability to make plays with his feet as well. He has rushed for 487 yards (4.3 YPC) and seven touchdowns, making it nearly impossible for defenses to slow him down. The one thing that he has to do is not always look for the home-run play. He is so confident in his arm that sometimes he will force the ball, which has been the cause for most of his eight interceptions on the season. However, when he is on, the Bruins are tough to beat, and senior Shaquelle Evans (34 catches, 503 yards, 7 TD) gives him a big-time target at wide receiver. At 6-foot-1 and 211 pounds, he has a nice combination of size and speed, and is very difficult to guard on the outside. He has a great ability to go up and get the ball against defenders, allowing Hundley to look to attack downfield. The linebacking core of the Bruins is one of the very best in the country, led by Myles Jack and Anthony Barr. They are versatile in defending against the run, while also possessing the ability to cover slot receivers and tight ends. With a potential Pac-12 South championship game looming against Arizona State (5-1 in Pac-12), UCLA (4-2 in Pac-12) most be focused on the task at hand, because the Huskies are fully capable of winning on Friday night.

CFN Preview 2013 - Arizona State Sun Devils

The assimilation is complete. This Bicimotos is Todd Grahams team.

Last season in Tempe was all about adjusting; getting accustomed to a new coaching staff, a new quarterback and new schemes on both sides of the ball. This season, Arizona State plans to take what it learned during 2012 and raise it a notch or two in 2013.

The Sun Devils were a decent team last fall. But their 8-5 record sort of masked the fact that they only defeated two other teams that bowled, rival Arizona and Navy in a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl mismatch. Since those victories closed out the season, and since so many starters return, the program is not going to be content this year with eight wins or a no-name bowl game.

Arizona State believes its ready to compete for a Pac-12 South championship, with a third-ever Rose Bowl appearance underlined in red ink on the to-do list. The Sun Devils are as loaded as theyve been in years, with all-star talent on both sides of the line. In fact, of the 15 players who earned at least honorable mention all-league last fall, a healthy 10 remain in Tempe.

A balanced offense will be spearheaded by one of the Pac-12s best backfields. At this time last year, the college resumes of QB Taylor Kelly and running backs Marion Grice and D.J. Foster were virtually blank sheets of paper. As the 2013 season approaches, though, each member of the trio is a proven versatile playmaker wholl be even better with a full season of snaps in the bank. Kelly does need more help this season, both from his receivers and his pass protectors.

The defense received a hugeand unexpectedbreak when All-American DT Will Sutton decided to forego the 2013 NFL Draft, and return to school. He presents major headaches for opposing linemen, and hes going to get a lot of help from the likes of hybrid Devil Carl Bradford, DT Jaxon Hood and Spur Chris Young. Arizona State will dictate the tempo of games with its speed and intensity. But sometimes, theyre a little too aggressive for their own good, over pursuing plays, which results in gaping holes in run defense. The Devils have to be suffocating in more than just non-conference games in 2013, maintaining their tenacity in the face of some of the Pac-12s more potent offenses.

On paper, Graham is the head of the best Arizona State squad since at least 2007. The players are determined to prove their potential on grass as well. The Pac-12 South is up for grabs in 2013. The Sun Devils and their second-year coach are poised to take advantage with a talented team thats ready to take the next step.

What to watch for on offense: The battle for playing time at wide receiver. Yeah, the Sun Devils like to employ their running backs, tight ends and H-backs in the passing game, but the offense is still looking for more production from the wideouts. The receivers are a marginal group right now, led by journeyman Kevin Ozier. However, touted junior college transfer Jaelen Strong and rookies Ellis Jefferson and Cameron Smith will be given every opportunity to win a starting job once they arrive on campus in the summer.

What to watch for on defense: Sophomore DT Jaxon Hood to be the chief beneficiary of all of the attention that the rest of the line receives. Opposing blockers will naturally focus on Will Sutton and Carl Bradford, who combined for 24.5 sacks a year ago. Hood, though, showed last season and again in the spring that he has the talent, the motor and the want-to to flourish as a gap-busting interior lineman. He wont get nearly as much notoriety as Sutton or Hood, but the sophomore will post impressive numbers as an unheralded component of the Arizona State pass rush.

The team will be far better if the defense shows up in the most important outings of the year. Arizona State lost five games in 2012, allowing an average of 37 points in those defeats. Those performances were in stark contrast to the balance of the schedule, in which the Sun Devils sported one of the Pac-12s stingiest defenses. During a four-game, midseason losing streak, ASU got trucked on the ground and through the air by the likes of Oregon, UCLA and USC. If this program is serious about moving up a rung on the league ladder, itll need to play tighter D in the games that impact the divisional race.

The Schedule: The Sun Devils need to be ready to rock and roll by mid-September after starting the season a week late and warming up Sacramento State. Wisconsin comes into Tempe in what could be a tone-setting showdown, and it doesnt get any easier with the Pac-12 season starting out at Stanford followed up by USC and a battle with Notre Dame in Arlington, Texas. That means ASU faces three teams that played in BCS games in a four-week stretch, and USC is hardly a breather.

Everyone should be able to take a breath with Colorado coming to town after the date with the Irish, and if they can get by Washington the week after, with a bye week and winnable road games against Washington State and Utah coming up next, theres a good chance to go on a good run before hosting Oregon State. Going to UCLA and finishing up against Arizona will go a long way to determining the South pecking order.

Best Offensive Player: Junior QB Taylor Kelly. Its funny what live action and an opportunity can do for a quarterback. To many, Kelly was an afterthought last season in the race to replace Brock Osweiler behind center. However, when given a chance to run the offense, he was exactly what the Sun Devils sought in a quarterback. Kelly finished No. 9 nationally in pass efficiency, completing 241-of-359 passes for 3,039 yards, 29 touchdowns and only nine picks. He also chipped in 516 yards and a score on the ground, showing a knack for prolonging plays with his feet. Kelly is accurate, versatile and makes good decisions. Hes also the kind of leader ASU needs behind center.

Best Defensive Player: Senior DT Will Sutton. Sutton ought to be cashing large paychecks and beginning his ascent up some NFL teams depth chart. Instead, hes going to terrorize college guards and centers, most of who will have no chance of containing his combination of explosiveness, tenacity and first-step quickness. The 6-1, 288-pound dynamo blew up in 2012 for 63 tackles, Pac-12 highs with 23.5 stops for loss and 13 sacks, five passes defended and three forced fumbles. Double-teams were common, yet ineffective at keeping him out of the backfield. Sutton has the tools and the motivation to be one of the nations best defensive players of 2013.

Key player to a successful season: LB Steffon Martin. No, no single player is going to solve Arizona States problems against the run, but Martin sure could help the situation with a breakout final year. The Sun Devils are perpetually in attack mode. But Martin is one of the exceptions, a 6-1, 236-pounder, with the strong base to help anchor the run D. Despite 10 starts in his first year out of Arizona Western College, he was largely ineffective. However, the staff feels as if hes had the kind of offseason that portends a quantum leap in productively. Fingers are crossed, because the run defense is pining for more help from the second level.

The season will be a success if ... the Sun Devils win the Pac-12 South. Okay, so its not exactly Pasadena or bust, but Arizona State is as talented as any other team in the division. And when a player of Suttons caliber returns for one more year, a team has to make the most out of that gift. Arizona State gets USC and Arizona at home, and Oregon is not on the schedule. ASU doesnt get this close to the league penthouse very often, so it has to capitalize with a team thats good enough to play 14 games in 2013.

Key game: Sept. 28 vs. USC. For so many reasons, this is the bellwether game of the year for the Sun Devils. It impacts the South Division race and the psyche of program thats lost 12 of the last 13 meetings to the Trojans. Lose in front of an electrified home crowd in Tempe, and expectations are going to plummet by Sunday morning. Win and Arizona State might spend the rest of the year as the hunted team in the quest to play in the Pac-12 Championship Game.

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