Playing Stanford after Wisconsin could be good timing for ASU

When looking at ASU football’s 2013 schedule initially and seeing Stanford coming after Wisconsin, your initial reaction is yikes.

However if you think about it, it could be better than some might think.

Wisconsin is big physical. So is Stanford.

Wisconsin is a pro-style offense that is centered a strong rushing attack. Same is seen with Stanford.

Wisconsin was in the last Rose Bowl. They played Stanford.

You look at all those attributes and it doesn’t sound easy at all. But facing a team that is very similar in styles and scheme’s could make things easier and more efficient from a game plan stand point.

“There are some intangibles that you deal with in the fact that that team (Wisconsin) has been to three straight Rose Bowls,” head coach Todd Graham said. “They were the defending Big Ten champion. This team we are playing this week is the defending Pac-12 champion and we’re the contender.

“You could tell the way that those guys fought that they are used to being in close games and are used to winning them,” he added. “That’s the only way you get to be champion.”

Now stopping the run was the big key against the Badgers. They got beat up a little on the ground including giving up 112 on the speed sweep which Graham noted is an unusual scheme that they run and block it very well. However, he added that if you take that play away in which Wisconsin executed well, ASU gave up 125 yards rushing total for the game in which with a rushing attack like Wisconsin’s, thats not half bad.

While Graham noted similarities between the two schools with their physical nature and their rushing attack. There are some noticeable differences as well.

“Down hill runs and things like that, thats what they (Wisconsin) do. They are going to run it and it don’t matter,” he explained. “Where as Stanford is different. If you load up, they are going to take what they give you.”

And if you load up the box to prevent the run, what is Stanford quarterback Kevin Horgan going to do? He is going to beat you through the air.

“On thing you don’t underestimate with Stanford, is they can throw the football,” Graham explained. “And this team’s identity is different than last years’ team. It has a lot to do with personnel. I have a lot of respect for coach (David) Shaw and the job that they do because they are extremely adaptive to their players.”

ASU is in for a big test once again with their first road test of the season in Palo Alto. The two teams haven’t played since 2010 in Tempe where they almost shocked Andrew Luck and the Cardinal. It was penalties that was the difference in that game. ASU has just four penalties through two games in 2013.