Stanford-Arizona State: If Bryce Love Plays Thursday, Back Cardinal

Sunday, October 14, 2018 10:51 PM UTC

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 10:51 PM UTC

We have Pac-12 action on the Thursday night ESPN college football game this week as unranked Stanford and Arizona State square off from Tempe.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Stanford (4-2 SU, 3-3 ATS) at Arizona State (3-3 SU, 4-2 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Thursday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NCAAF Pick: Cardinal</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered:<a href=";book=JustBet" rel="nofollow"> JustBet</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3448655, "sportsbooksIds":[1275,238,19,169,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>For the first time this season, we have a Pac-12 matchup on Thursday night as North Division Stanford looks to end a two-game losing streak when it <a href="" rel="nofollow">visits South Division Arizona State.</a> The Cardinal still have a shot at winning the North because one of their two losses was out of conference to Notre Dame. Stanford already owns a miracle win at Oregon and still has to visit division favorite Washington on Nov. 3. I highly doubt the Cardinal win there, though.</p><p>Arizona State was a nice story early in the season under first-year coach Herm Edwards, the long-time ESPN guy. The Sun Devils got into the Top 25 with a 16-13 home upset of No. 15 Michigan State on Sept. 8, but now we know the Spartans are rather inconsistent. ASU has just one victory in four games since and that was over one of the worst Power 5 programs in the country in Oregon State.</p><p>Both schools come off a bye week. ASU is 17-14 all-time vs. Stanford, but the Cardinal have taken five of the past six. They played last year on the Farm and the Cardinal won 34-24 when both were also unranked. Stanford star tailback Bryce Love rushed for three touchdowns and a school-record 301 yards. His scoring runs were 61, 43 and 59 yards. ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins was picked off twice. The Sun Devils also had success running the ball with 214 yards and two scores on 46 carries.</p><p style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"video", "type":"youtube", "url":"", "videoSize":"Large" }[/]</p><h2>Love Should Return for Cardinal</h2><p>Speaking of the Cardinal’s Love, it’s now clear he made a mistake returning for his senior season instead of turning pro after his junior campaign when he was the Heisman runner-up. By most scouting reports, Love has lost his first-round status due to nagging injuries this year – plus the fact his yards per carry are way down at 4.3. Love has missed two games to injury and left another.</p><p>He sat out Oct. 6 in the 40-21 home loss to Utah. Not coincidentally, the Cardinal were held to 42 yards rushing on 28 carries. This team is not built to pass all day and turned it over four times, three by QB K.J. Costello. Stanford did have a rarity vs. the Utes with three guys having at least 100 yards receiving. Coach David Shaw says he expects Love back Thursday.</p><p>Arizona State is off a 28-21 loss at Colorado on Oct. 6. One of the turning points was when ASU failed to convert on a fourth-and-goal from the Buffaloes’ 3 early in the fourth quarter. Edwards said he never thought of attempting the field goal despite having one of the conference’s best kickers in Brandon Ruiz.</p><p>The Sun Devils allowed 494 yards. ASU’s Eno Benjamin had 120 yards rushing and two scores but after halftime just 24 yards. The Sun Devils have a future first-round pick in junior receiver N’Keal Harry, but he was a non-factor with a season-low three catches for 62 yards. He did move into ninth all-time on the school’s receiving yardage list. Harry, with 2,282 yards, will move into eighth and perhaps seventh in this one. Harry has a catch in 31 consecutive games, which is every game he has played as a Sun Devil.</p><p>It was Arizona State’s third loss by a TD this year, two vs. ranked teams away from home.</p><ul> <li>Cardinal are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games following a straight up loss.</li> <li>Sun Devils are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.</li></ul><p>This is all about Love. If he plays, get the Cardinal giving less than a field goal. If he doesn’t, take ASU for a <a href="" rel="nofollow">Thursday NCAAF pick. </a></p>
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