So, here are the keys to the game tonight. I will be leaving shortly, so here are the 5 things we MUST do to win this thing tonight.
- Crowd has to be a factor. Last year, the crowd was not a factor because there was not much of a crowd due to many of the students having end of the semester events and it just being an absolutely miserable day for Football, cold, wet, and windy. It is a beautiful day today and having the crowd amped up will be a factor. Home field advantage means something.
- Offense has to execute. We have no idea how well ASU will shut down the any facet of the offense, but we do know if one is down, we must have one humming in order to force respect for the other. The Rams know we are coming after them to run the ball, but we have to have a reliable passing attack if they are eating our run up.
- Defense has to continue to play at a high level. Tackle, wrap up, don’t try to hit or make a big play. Just make routine plays that are sound and fundamental, and that will get ASU and Kyle Washington off the field.
- Force Kyle Washington to make mistakes. If that happens, this ball game is ours. He made two critical mistakes that gave MSU the game last week. Keep an eye on him, and on third and long, it is important that our linemen and backers play sound assignment defense. He killed us last year on third and long.
- Special teams. It is going to come down who capitalizes and makes the fewest mistakes. If we have to settle for field goals, make them count. If we have to punt, make sure the kicks are quality and the coverage is good. Last year, our win against ASU came because we blocked two ASU field goals, and we almost lost because jumped off-sides on the first attempt. It comes down to a game of inches and near misses, mistake free football is near impossible, but big mistake free Football is necessary to win this game.