ASU enters Saturday one game ahead of UCLA for second place in the Pac-12 South. The Bruins are 5-2 on the year and 2-2 in conference. The Sun Devils are also 5-2 overall, but are 3-1 thus far in Pac-12 play.
In preparation for the crucial Pac-12 South matchup, House of Sparky's Brad Denny examined five keys to the Sun Devils beating the Bruins. One of his crucial points was building a rhythm early for quarterback Taylor Kelly and the ASU passing game.
Kelly, a first year starter, has been one of the nation's most efficient passers in 2012, but Oregon held the Sun Devil quarterback to 10 of 18 passing for 93 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
For ASU to beat UCLA, Kelly will need to bounce back. As Denny said:
It will be critical for the Sun Devil offensive line ... to keep Kelly upright and out of the face of the UCLA pressure. For the ASU offense to function effectively on Saturday, Kelly will need to start fast and get into a rhythm early. The Bruin secondary can be exploited, but only if Kelly has enough time.
The game, which is being broadcast on FX, is scheduled to kick off at 12 p.m. PT from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.