ASU Football: Who has the advantage in the Sun Bowl?

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Manny Wilkins
TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Manny Wilkins /
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TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Kalen Ballage
TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 10: Running back Kalen Ballage /

Running Backs

Friday will be the last game for running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage, who have been one of the most productive rushers in ASU history.

Entering the Sun Bowl, the two have combined for 5,118 rushing yards and 53 touchdowns for their careers.

Richard, who has rushed for 977 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, sits 23 yards away from his second 1,000-yard season of his career.

Ballage has rushed for 657 yards and six touchdowns this season after posting a staggering 15 touchdown runs last season.

Led by the tandem, the Sun Devils ranked 49th nationally and sixth in the Pac-12 in rushing offense averaging 179.9 rushing yards per game.

The Wolfpack also feature a deep backfield with tailbacks Nyheim Hines, Reggie Gallaspy II and Jaylen Samuels.

Hines finished as the leading rusher for NC State rushing for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns with Gallaspy and Samuels combining for 819 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.

In rushing offense, NC State placed 51st nationally and sixth in the ACC averaging 177.4 rushing yards a game.

After a slow start, Richard and Ballage finished the season strong, especially Richard who posted four straight 100-yard rushing games to close out the regular season.

In comparison, Hines rushed for over 100 yards five times this season including in two of the final three games of the season.

These two rushing attacks are pretty similar and are neck-and-neck statistically, and both will need to produce Friday.

Advantage: Arizona State