- Associated Press - Friday, January 1, 2016

West Virginia (7-5, Big 12) vs. Arizona State (6-6, Pac-12), 10:15 p.m., ESPN

Line: West Virginia by 1 ½.

Series Record: Arizona State leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Arizona State and West Virginia both failed to live up to lofty expectations, so this is a chance to end the season with a win and hopefully build some momentum into spring football.

KEY MATCHUP

Arizona State’s defense vs. West Virginia RB Wendell Smallwood. Arizona State has one of the nation’s most aggressive defenses, sending blitzes from every direction. The Sun Devils are among the best in the nation at tackling behind the line of scrimmage, but also have been susceptible to big plays. Get through Arizona State’s initial tacklers, Smallwood could have a few of those big plays on his own.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

West Virginia: WR Shelton Gibson. Despite the Mountaineers penchant for running, Gibson has found a way to peel off big plays. He was second nationally in yards per reception at 22.5 per catch and was 28th in receiving touchdowns with seven. Gibson also is a threat on kickoffs.

Arizona State: RB D.J. Foster. The senior was one of the most versatile players in Arizona State history during his four seasons in Tempe, playing running back and receiver. He has 4,785 career all-purpose and is one of five players in NCAA history to have 2,000 yards rushing and passing. He also has a catch in 52 straight games, the nation’s longest active streak.

FACTS & FIGURES

Arizona State is playing in its fifth straight bowl, a school record. … West Virginia is 2-11 all-time against Pac-12 opponents. … Arizona State K Zane Gonzalez needs 11 points to break Luis Zendejas’ school record of 280. … West Virginia’s Nick O’Toole is sixth nationally with 44.7 yards per punt. … West Virginia reached a bowl game for the fourth time in five seasons under coach Dana Holgorsen. … QB Mike Bercovici is responsible for 32 of Arizona State’s 45 offensive touchdowns.

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AP College Football website: collegefootball.ap.org

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