Oregon St. at Arizona St. Preview

Brandin Cooks will be looking to run to some more touchdowns in the dark tonight in Tempe. - Photo by Andy Wooldridge

The Beavers Visit The Darkness Devils

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Oregon St. (6-3, 4-2) at #21 (#19 in the BCS) Arizona St. (7-2, 5-1) / Sun Devil Stadium / 7:30 PM MST (6:30 PM PST) / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM

Game Notes / Arizona St. Game Notes

Oregon St. visits Arizona St. in the latest in a long series of night games for the Beavers. At least sun-burn in the dessert won't be a problem!

The Beavers beat the Sun Devils 36-26 last season at Reser, and have won 4 of the last 5 meetings, but their 28-17 win in 2009 was their only win in Tempe since 1969.

With 14 days off since their 31-14 loss to USC, Oregon St. is as healthy as they are going to be the rest of the season. TE Connor Hamlett should be improved after a knee injury that hampered him for a month, and Caleb Smith, who missed the action against the Trojans with a back problem is back as well.

However, the hoped for return of Michael Doctor won't happen until next year, after a decision to use his red-shirt following his foot injury.

The Sun Devils have been almost a Jekyl & Hyde type of team in coach Todd Graham's second season. They have been dominant, never mind unbeaten, at home, but save for a Halloween night routing at Washington St., have struggled on the road.

This week, the game is in Tempe though, and Arizona St. is a 10+ point favorite, with some lines approaching 14 points.

Fortunately for the Beavers, they have played their best ball this season on the road, where they have yet to lose.

Last week in Salt Lake City was no exception, but Arizona St. did win 20-19. as Taylor Kelly led 2 4th quarter touchdown drives, one ending with his 2 yard scoring run, and the other with a 14 yard touchdown throw to Richard Smith with 2:37 left.

Arizona St. is a 1-2 punch offense, with Marion Grice complimenting Kelly nicely. Against the Utes, Grice ground out 136 yards on 20 carries, and also added 20 more on his 4 catches.

Pass protection will be a priority for Oregon St. with the like of DT Will Sutton to contend with. Mannion, who had thrown only 3 interceptions all season, was picked off 3 additional times against USC alone.

And after leading the country in touchdowns thrown and caught all year, Mannion, who had thrown 29 in the Beavers' first 7 games, and Brandin Cooks, who had caught 12 of them, were held to just 1 in both the Stanford and USC games.

Cooks' first catch of the game will move him out of a tie with James Rodgers and Markus Wheaton for most receptions in a season, 91, in Oregon St. history.

Building The Dam will be in Tempe, and have coverage and analysis afterwards, and after midnight.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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