Special teams could play a huge role in the game Saturday especially considering the strengths of both offenses.
Field goal kicking has been a weakness for Fresno State this season as redshirt freshman Asa Fuller has converted 13 of 21 field goals.
Fuller is highly successful in kicking field goals under 40 yards out as he’s 10-for-12. In field goals beyond 40 yards, he’s 3-for-9.
Arizona State’s Brandon Ruiz is 16-for-20 this season with his longest field goal converted coming from 49 yards out.
Ruiz is 0-for-2 from 50+ yards and 16-for-18 from any distance under 50 yards.
In the punting game, it’s been a solid sophomore season from Michael Sleep-Dalton after a rough start to his freshman season.
Sleep-Dalton finished fourth in the Pac-12 averaging 43.7 yards per punt and sixth with 18 punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Fresno State punter Blake Cusick finished averaging 42.1 yards per punt and 30 punts downed inside the 20-yard line leading to selection on the All-MW Second Team.
There’s only been one kick return touchdown this season from either team and that was from N’Keal Harry against USC on Oct. 27. Obviously, Harry will not be playing in this game.
Fresno State averages only 5.7 yards return on punts and 20.1 yards on kickoff returns. Arizona State averages 10.0 yards per punt return and 18.6 yards per kickoff return.
In what should be a close game, it could very well come down to the kicking game with Ruiz proven to be the more trustworthy kicker.
Advantage: Arizona State