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Oregon State Football Opponent Preview: Arizona State

Can the Sun Devils win another home game in the Desert?

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State Sun Devils

  • 2017-2018 Record: 7-6 (6-3 PAC 12)
  • Current Record: 2-2 (0-1 PAC 12)
  • Previous Game Result: Loss @Washington (20-27)
  • Head Coach: Herm Edwards
  • Total Offense Ranking: 83rd in FBS (393.0 YPG)
  • Total Defense Ranking: 51st in FBS (352.5 YPG)

Tale Of The Tape

Similar to Arizona, the last team I reviewed, Arizona State is a very tough team to make predictions about. After a solid but not outstanding 7-6 season in 2017, the Sun Devils fired Todd Graham after 6 seasons as the Head Coach. Many people, myself included, weren’t very surprised by this as Graham had a tendency to perform well below expectations and had been on the hot seat for a while.

Then the Sun Devils hired...HERM EDWARDS?!!!! That’s right, Arizona State hired Herm Edwards, a guy who was last seen coaching a football team for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009!! The upheaval continued as both offensive and defensive coordinators left the team, leaving Arizona State with a completely new coaching staff. Many people predicted the Sun Devils to finish at the bottom of the PAC 12 South.

However, the Sun Devils crushed a hapless UTSA team 49-7 in their season opener and then shocked then #15 ranked Michigan State in a 16-13 upset. However, Arizona State laid an egg on the road against San Diego State in a 28-21 loss and then lost a heart-breaker in Seattle against the Washington Huskies, losing 27-20. It’ll be interesting to see which Sun Devil team decides to show up on Saturday against the Beavers, especially since they’ll be playing in the friendly confines of the Arizona Desert.


Player To Watch

N’Keal Harry (Wide Receiver, Jr.)

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you thought the match-up between the Beavers Defensive Line and Ohio State’s Nick Bosa was a nightmare, then someone had better go get the Cornerbacks and tell them the boogeyman is coming. The projected 1st Round pass-catcher is an absolute nightmare match-up for an already depleted OSU secondary. While he was kept in check against Washington, don’t expect the Beavers to have the same level of success. Look for Harry to be a big factor for a Sun Devil team that’ll be looking to avenge a poor offensive showing last week.


Biggest Question Mark

Which offense will catch fire first?

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Both teams have an issue on offense. They also run very different styles of offense. While the Sun Devils prefer to air it out, the Beavers have relied on a solid run game. However, neither offense showed up last week, with the Sun Devils only scoring 26.5 points per game (And that INCLUDES a 49 point show against mighty Texas-San Antonio) and only 20 points against Washington. The Beavers fare a little better, averaging 32 points per game and scoring only 14 against Arizona. Since points dictate the victor, it’ll be interesting to see which offense puts up points and which one falters.


History With Oregon State

Arizona State leads the overall series with 28 wins, 13 losses and 1 tie. The first meeting between the schools was 1961, with Arizona State winning a nail-biting 24-23 game in Tempe, AZ. Interestingly, the game with the largest margin of victory, a 45-0 walloping of Oregon State in Corvallis, technically doesn’t count, as the game was among 4 others that the school was forced to vacate by the NCAA.


Schedule

The Beavers return to Reser to play the Washington State Cougars. Arizona State will be flying out to Colorado for a PAC 12 South showdown.