Arizona State vs. Oregon State
Betting Line: Oregon State -3.5 o/u 56
It’s not easy being HC Dennis Erickson right now. The leader of the Arizona State Sun Devils has watched his team drop two winnable Games as underdogs against Wisconsin, and Oregon State. He will get a chance to help his team redeem itself as his Sun Devils travel to face the Oregon State Beavers. OSU enters this Game after a 37-24 loss to Boise State. They will be eager to get back on track after starting the year 1-2. Arizona State isn’t in much better shape at 2-2. Both teams need to win this Game. The Beavers have opened as a 3.5 point home favorite. Let’s take a look at some of the key players and matchups for this college football battle!
Oregon State won the last meeting between these teams 28-17 in Tempe, AZ. It was their first win at Arizona State in 16 tries. Oregon State was 4-2 SU at home last year and 1-23 as a home favorite ATS. The Sun Devils were 1-3 ATS as road underdogs last year. The Beavers are 3-2 ATS in their last 5 Games overall. The Sun Devils are 3-0-2 in their last 5 Games ATS overall.
The Arizona State Sun Devils amassed a whopping 597 yards, outGAining Oregon by nearly 200 years, but still lost 42-31. This was due in large part to QB Steve Threet tossing 4 INTs. There are very few teams that can overcome their QB giving the ball away that many times. Threet is the definition of a caretaker QB. This team will do most of its offensive damage on the ground. Freshman RB Deanre Lewis has been spectacular in his last two Games. He carved up Wisconsin for 122 yards on just 9 carries, and he had 127 yards and a TD on 11 touches against Oregon. He also caught 5 passes for 65 yards with a long catch of 43 yards. Look for HC Erickson to make sure the freshman is a big part of the offense.
The offense for the Oregon State Beavers might as well be named the Jacquizz Rodgers Show. The junior RB had 132 yards and 2 TDs two weeks ago against the Louisville Cardinals. He also caught a TD pass in that Game. He was far from spectacular in the season opener against TCU, and last week against Boise State. We can expect him to do much, much better in this Game. The Sun Devils have a solid defense, but neither is nearly as good as TCU or Boise State in that department.
Sophomore QB Ryan Katz has done well in the starter role. He has passed for 460 yards and 4 TDs thus far in 2010. More importantly, he isn’t making costly mistakes. It will be very important that he maintains his poise in this Game. He’s got a great offensive line protecting him. This could be the Game where the Beaver’s offense finally shows what their truly capable of, and they will get to do so in front of a home crowd.
Junior CB Omar Bolden has played well for the Sun Devils. He grabbed an INT against Oregon and has 13 tackles so far this year. Two weeks ago against Wisconsin this defense was lit up for 203 yards on the ground behind powerful runner John Clay. Their main target this week, Jacquizz Rodgers, is probably a better RB. If they can’t stop him they have a small chance of coming out with the road victory.
The Beavers defense is giving up huge amounts of total yards, but that can be attributed to the fact that 2 of their first 3 opponents were TCU and Boise State. They’ve been overmatched. It’s tough to gauge how they will perform against the Sun Devils, but in 2009 this defense was solid. 7 starters are back from that team.
No strong opinion on this one for us. The Game opened Oregon State -5 and has been bet down to -3.5. We tend to agree with the move. Both teams have been putting up similar numbers, with no trouble finding the end zone yet quite a bit of trouble keeping their opponents out. One key stat to watch out for is turnovers. Coming into this one Oregon State is +5 and Arizona State is -4. If Arizona State can’t improve there, it will be the differeNCe in this Game.