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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Despite the early season-ending injury to linebacker Koron Crump, Arizona State linebackers had a very productive season led by Christian Sam and D.J. Calhoun.

Sam has a team-high 127 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and three sacks, with Sam’s 127 tackles ranking him seventh nationally and first in the Pac-12.

Calhoun is second on the team with 97 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks with his 97 tackles ranking seventh in the Pac-12.

Jay Jay Wilson, the tight end-turned-linebacker, has been a pleasant surprise for the Sun Devils as he’s recorded 34 tackles, four tackles for loss, two sacks and a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown against Utah on Oct. 21.

Just like Arizona State, NC State’s leading tackler is a linebacker in Jerod Fernandez with 93 tackles and seven tackles for loss.

Along with Fernandez in the middle of the defense is linebacker Shawn Boone, who started 11 of 12 games this season recording 58 tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks and a team-high three interceptions, and Airius Moore, who has 57 tackles.

With Sam and Calhoun as two of the best tacklers in the Pac-12, Arizona State’s front seven has the edge over the Wolfpack.

Advantage: Arizona State