ASU faces difficult task of containing Marquise Lee on Saturday

Back on November 10th of last year, Arizona State experienced USC wide receiver Marquise Lee for the first time.

The end result was 227 total yards of offense and an 80 yard touchdown.

In the game Lee did a little of everything. Catching the ball obviously but also carrying the ball on end-arounds and as the quarterback out of the wildcat formation.

Though the USC defense has struggled for the most part this season behind uncertainty at the quarterback position, it doesn’t change the fact that one of the nation’s top playmakers is still on that side of the football.

“He gets the ball about 20% of the time,” said ASU head coach Todd Graham. “He’s also got the other receivers around him who are pretty special as well. They have big play capabilities.”

Graham elaborated that the key to stopping Lee and the USC offense is not necessarily stopping him head on. It is stopping a different phase of their game to prevent Lee’s big play ability from happening.

“Same as every week, we have to stop the run first,” Graham mentioned. “I think if I had last year to do over again, we had a good plan, we got a lot of takeaways from them, but late in the game they were able to run the ball on us and that was the difference in the game…You’ve got to stop the run and then you need to contain the pass and make sure you don’t give up any cheap ones.”

Lee himself is a world class athlete. He is a player that was also getting recruited out of high school to play basketball though not to the same level of schools he was being looked at for football. He also runs track for USC and despite his success on the gridiron, he is not giving up on that passion of his.

“No I am not giving up on track,” Lee told Brad Cesmat back on Pac-12 media day in July. “During the spring all you really have besides spring ball is the sense of working out and going home, I can’t do that…I get bored. I do track to keep me going.”

He further mentioned that if he can make it to the Olympics he wouldn’t mind going. There are probably full time track athletes that wouldn’t mind going either. It tells someone how gifted an athlete he is that that can be on his radar despite not dedicating himself to it full-time.

You can check out more of a very intriguing and in-depth interview with Marquise Lee and Brad Cesmat from media day here.

Sun Devils and Trojans kick off from Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday at 7:30.