Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
The Sun Devils' senior leader on defense missed last year's game and is anxious to get on the field for this year's battle for the state of Arizona.
Arizona State senior linebacker Brandon Magee was out with a ruptured Achilles tendon during last season's 31-27 win for the Wildcats. Magee, who leads the Sun Devils in tackles, is ready to get his chance to play against his team's rival.
"When you play against top [offensive] talent you get a chance to go out there and also show your stuff, and as a defense we're very excited to face them," said Maggee on Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf show on Wednesday. "What better opponent than facing U of A. We're up for the challenge and it's going to be a very exciting game."
Magee and the Sun Devils' defense will have their work cut out for them when they face a Wildcats offense that is one of the best in the country, led by sophomore running back Ka'Deem Carey.
Carey leads the nation with 1,585 yards rushing with 19 touchdowns plus 32 catches for 289 yards and a touchdown. Magee and his fellow linebackers will need to lead the way if they plan on slowing down Carey and the Wildcats' running game.
"I'll say the best running back I've see in the Pac-12 in a few years, honestly," Magee said of Carey. "The main thing he does, leg tackles man, you've got to really hold on. He'll break leg tackles. And you've got to be real disciplined because he likes cutting gaps and he has very good vision, so if you're out of your hole he'll find it."
The Wildcats come into the game 7-4 overall, 4-4 in the Pac-12 while the Sun Devils are 6-5, 4-4 in conference.