NCAA Football – Week 2
The Arizona State Sun Devils and Illinois Fighting Illini both got off to great starts with their 2012 campaigns last week, posting wins and covers. One will move to 2-0 on Saturday night in one of the last kickoffs of the day when they meet at 10:30 ET in the desert in college football betting action.
QB Nathan Scheelhaase came to Illinois with a ton of promise to be the future of this team. Matters really haven’t panned out all that well through two years and a game, but at least he still is showing signs that he has a ton of talent. Scheelhaase didn’t have to do all that much last week against the Western Michigan Broncos, but he threw for 126 yards and rushed for 21 more, accounting for a TD on the ground and one through the air. With RB Mikel LeShoure gone though, there is a real hole at running back, where there are a number of players that are looking to take over as the featured back. None really stood out against Western Michigan, and that problem clearly is going to carry over to here in Tucson as well.
Last year was supposed to be the campaign in which Arizona State competed for the Rose Bowl. Head Coach Dennis Erickson knew that he had to get the job done, or he was going get axed, and losing the final five games of the season, including the bowl game to the Boise State Broncos just wasn’t enough. Now, it is up to Head Coach Todd Graham to get the job done. He got off to a good start against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks last week, winning 63-6 here at Sun Devil Stadium, a game that was 42-0 at the intermission. New QB Taylor Kelly, taking over for the departed QB Brock Osweiler, threw for 247 yards on 15-of-19 passing in the opener, and he also got some great contributions from RB Marion Grice, who had 14 carries for 107 yards and three scores. Granted, as is the case with a lot of these teams that looked impressive in Week 1, it was only the first week of the year, and the first opponent was a lowly FCS school that never should have had a chance of sticking around. ASU only did what it was supposed to do. This is a significantly tougher test.
Last year when these two teams met, Illinois was able to pull off the modest upset in Champagne. With this game being played in the desert though, many will think that it is time for revenge. The four-point spread seems to be just about right to us, but we think that this could be a game in which both teams struggle to move the football. Remember that Illinois only scored 17 points offensively last week against Western Michigan, and there isn’t a team in the MAC with a good defense. Expect to see this one stuck in the low-40s. Arizona State 23 – Illinois 17