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CFB Thursday: Pac-12 After Dark Takes Center Stage

Thursday’s slate of college football games is highlighted by Stanford at ASU.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It’s everyone’s favorite no doubt, college football Thursday!

Thursday’s slate opens up with a doozy as the Georgia State Panthers travel to Jonesboro, Arkansas to take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves on ESPNU at 4:30 PM PT. Both of these teams are coming off of big losses, and are looking to get back to their winning ways. Georgia State has been underwhelming this season at 2-4, while Arkansas State has been very meh with a 3-3 record.

The Georgia State Panthers will look to step-up defensively, as they’ve given up an average of 491.5 yards and 34.2 points per game. That’s simply not going to get it done. Offensively, they’ll need a better performance from their junior QB Dan Ellington. Ellington has only thrown for 5 touchdowns this season, and 3 of those came in their season opener versus Kennesaw State on August 30th. Although the Panthers are averaging a modest 365.7 yards per game, they’re only putting up 22.3 points per game.

As for the Arkansas State Red Wolves, they have a very balanced offensive attack. With averages of 283.3 passing yards and 165.7 rushing yards per game, they’ve only mustered 23.5 points per game. Turnovers have been a killer for them, as their starting QB Justice Hansen has thrown 5 INTs compared to 11 TD passes. Hansen threw for 0 TDs and 3 INTs last outing in a 35-9 loss to Appalachian State. This is a golden opportunity for the Red Wolves to bounce back against a weak Georgia State defense.

CFB Thursday ends with some serious #PAC12AfterDark when the Stanford Cardinal travel to Tempe, AZ to face the Arizona State Sun Devils on ESPN at 6:00 PM PT.

After starting the season 4-0, the Cardinal have dropped their last two games to Notre Dame, and Utah. Both of those games were blowouts. This is very unlike a David Shaw coached team, and it looks like things are starting to unravel just a bit. Things won’t get any easier with Stanford with stud RB Bryce Love questionable to play.

The Cardinal must get better play from their starting QB KJ Costello who has tossed 12 TDs but has thrown 6 INTs. With Bryce Love on the fence for tonights game, Kostello would most likely have to shoulder the load against an ASU defense that’s allowed 241 passing yards per game. This is a tough matchup for a QB that might be missing their best player when you look at the fact that ASU’s defense is only surrendering 222.7 passing yards per game.

As for the “rejuvenated” 3-3 Arizona State Sun Devils, the recipe is simple, feed RB Eno Benjamin. The stud sophomore RB has piled up 715 rushing yards and 7 scores while averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Those stats only go up when he plays at home where he averages 8 yards per carry and scored 4 of his 7 TDs in Sun Devil Stadium. He’s also a great receiver out of the backfield where he’s caught 23 passes for 156 yards and 2 TDs. He has a great matchup against a reeling Stanford D that’s given up 164.3 rushing yards per game.

ASU has gotten a huge season from senior QB Manny Wilkins this season. He’s racked up 1446 passing yards and 11 TDs with only 1 INT. That’ll do. He’s also benefitted from a tremendous season from the Sun Devils offensive line who have only surrendered 7 sacks to date.

This game has #PAC12AfterDark written all over it. I am so here for this.

This is your Thursday CFB open thread.