It’s no rest for the weary when it comes to the Arizona State Sun Devils. But if you asked them, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
ASU will look to snap a two game losing steak Saturday as they travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on the 13th ranked Oregon State Beavers.
“Obviously get to go out this week and get the opportunity to play one of the top ten teams in the country,” said ASU head coach Todd Graham. “Obviously a big challenge for us. Traveling up there is a very tough place to play.”
“You got a chance to go out there and redeem yourself this week which is what’s so great about this conference,” Graham added.
ASU has dominated the matchup with the Beavers owning a 25-12-1 all-time record. However, Oregon State has won three of the last four meetings including a 31-28 win last time these two met at Reser Stadium in Oregon two years ago.
This time around, something will have to give when between the ASU and Oregon State defenses. Despite the fact that ASU has struggled the last two weeks on that side of the ball, they are still first in the conference in opponents total yards per game, in pass defense and opponent first downs. But Oregon State is right behind them in all three of those categories plus are tops in the conference in scoring defense, giving up just 17 points per game.
On offense, Oregon State is going with a change at quarterback this week. It was reported that Cody Vaz will take the place of Sean Mannion against the Sun Devils. Mannion got off to a great start for the Beavers but injuries and a plethora of turnovers plus solid play from Vaz has led to the change.
For ASU, the time is now to turn their season back around after two straight disappointing outcomes. With Will Sutton expected to be healthy and ready to play Saturday and coming off a game they believe they should have won, Graham is confident his team is up for the challenge.
“I am really proud of our guys and how they respond and they never let up one bit,” Graham explained. “Coming off way to many mental mistakes defensively, got to get those things corrected…I know they are going to go up there and play hard and play to win. They knows
that’s what we have to do.”
Despite the consecutive losses, ASU still controls their own destiny in the Pac-12 South with USC and Arizona, who are in the thick of it as well, still ahead on their schedule. This time of year has not been friendly to the Sun Devils in recent seasons but there is no better way to jump-start this November push with a big win on the road against Oregon State
“The great thing about things in the (Pac-12) South right now is it’s wide open,” mentioned Graham. “And no one is sitting any better than we are.”
Sun Devils and Beavers kick-off at 7:30 from Reser Stadium in Corvallis on Saturday.