Stanford vs. Arizona State: Four (Not So) Preposterous Predictions

Party time? - Ezra Shaw

If all four of these things happen, Saturday night will be a good night.

Here are four things that probably won't (but maybe will) happen Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium. Vote for the least preposterous prediction and feel free to leave your own in the comments section.

1. Stanford will score at least 49 points.

Why it's preposterous: September 28. That's the last time Stanford eclipsed 31 points against a team that ranks above more than one other FBS team in total defense ('sup, Kalbam). Excluding Big Game, Stanford has averaged 23.7 points in seven games since it waxed Washington State, and 19.3 points in three road games. Arizona State ranks 49th in scoring defense (24.8) and the Sun Devils have allowed 62 points combined in their last three home games against high-scoring Arizona, Oregon State and Washington.

Why it could happen: Stanford scored 42 points against the Sun Devils back in September and it really could've been 60. USC put up 41 at Sun Devil Stadium in Lane Kiffin's last game as coach, so there's that.

2. Tyler Gaffney will rush for at least 200 yards.

Why it's preposterous: Gaffney's 189 yards rushing against Notre Dame last week were a career-high and the Sun Devils' run defense is better than the Fighting Irish's. Arizona State has allowed one team to rush for more than 200 yards in a game since its win over USC on September 28. The great Bishop Sankey rushed for 22 yards on 13 carries in his trip to Sun Devil Stadium. A Stanford player has rushed for at least 200 yards in a game 10 times.

Why it could happen: The one team to eclipse 200 yards against Arizona State was Arizona, which ran for 249 yards and three touchdowns last week. Gaffney has rushed for at least 145 yards in five of his last six games, the lone exception being Big Game, when he had 95 yards on only 16 carries and enjoyed some much-deserved rest. Could Gaffney break the school record for carries (45) he set against Oregon? Ground and pound.

3. Trent Murphy will have at least 3 sacks.

Why it's preposterous: As awesome as he's been this season, Murphy's 2.5 sacks against Oregon State were a career high, and he won't even be the best defensive player on the field*.

Why it could happen: Not that he needs any motivation, but Murphy takes whatever disappointment he shares with David Shaw about being snubbed in the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year voting and leads the #partyinthebackfield against the Sun Devils, who are tied for 101st in the nation in sacks allowed (2.67 per game). *Yes he will.

4. Taylor Kelly will throw at least three interceptions.

Why it's preposterous: Kelly has three picks in his last four games combined and has 11 interceptions all season. Stanford has 12 interceptions all season and has exactly one three-interception game over the last three years (vs. Duke in 2012).

Why it could happen: Kelly threw two picks in the teams' first meeting and star running back Marion Grice is out Saturday. Ed Reynolds is due for a big game.

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