The House of Sparky staff gives their predictions for today's important Pac-12 showdown.
Kickoff is just a few hours away, Sun Devil Nation!
As such, we give you our final game predictions for this crucial Pac-12 battle between Arizona State and Oregon State.
Brad Denny: ASU wins 28-27
This should be another close affair for the Sun Devils, as despite the lofty ranking for Oregon State, both teams are fairly even in terms of match-ups. The return of Will Sutton will be a big factor, as the pass rush will be counted on to help out a secondary that likely can't contain Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. The Sun Devil offense should be able to score some points to keep it close, and like many conference games, will come down to who can force more turnovers and make a play or two in special teams. This game is there for the taking for both teams, but some way, some how, I just a feeling the Devils will reverse their slide, thanks to a coming out party by Taylor Kelly. Game MVP: Taylor Kelly
Cory Williams: ASU wins 35-24
This game, much like UCLA, hinges on our defensive performance. With Will Sutton expected to make his return, a huge concern has been lifted off the minds of the Sun Devils. By simply being on the field, Sutton will provide ASU with a confidence boost and the play of the defensive unit will improve markedly. Oregon State is a good team - they are not a top 15 team, in my opinion. How ASU plays against this team will determine if they are a good team or simply a mediocre team in a rebuilding season. My thought is that the Sun Devils will beat the Beavers on the back of a strong offensive performance and a competent defense—something we missed the past two games. Game MVP: DJ Foster
Ben Haber: Oregon State 24-20
ASU's hot start surprised many yet Oregon State's early season success stole the headlines. The Beavers were projected to finish amongst the bottom of the Pac-12. Conversely, OSU is 6-1 and ranks 13h in the nation lead by their stellar defensive play. Through seven contests, Mike Riley's squad has held opponents to 17 points-per-game. After getting defeated 20-17 to Washington last week, OSU will now insert Cody Vaz at quarterback over Sean Mannion. Playing on the road in Corvallis, Oregon is never easy. Both teams are very different, ASU is known for solid offense and mediocre defense, while OSU plays elite D yet struggles to put up big numbers on the scoreboard. Another big factor will be if Sun Devil star defensive tackle Will Sutton is playing and his level of effectiveness. ASU's offense will be challenged between immense crowd noise and avoiding superb cornerback Jordan Poyer (if he plays). Overall, I think it's a relatively low scoring battle. Game MVP: Storm Woods
Nick Marek: Oregon State wins 34-24
Oregon State became bowl eligible this season after six weeks and nobody on this staff could tell me they would have done this well before the season started. Oregon State is the real deal. Last season against ASU, quarterback Sean Mannion set a school single-game record for 40 completions in his 66 attempts. That number scares me. Why? Because ASU's secondary was ripped apart last weekend when UCLA's Brett Hundley who had four touchdowns on 274 yards passing. The strange stat of the weekend is OSU averages 16.67 points per game at home and 31 points on the road. That means it's a more defensive minded game in Corvallis. Advantage Oregon State. ASU's offense will still fare well because of their talent but the defense will struggle all night. The Sun Devils are 25-12-1 all time against the Beavers. This weekend I think they will put a tally in the loss department. Game MVP: Cody Vaz
Cody Ulm: Oregon State wins 38-31
Before everyone begins getting back into "sky is falling" mode, let me remind you that this isn't really one of the must win games like USC or Arizona. For me, I'd like to see the Devils take a step back in the right direction more than anything. There's little chance ASU wins the turnover battle with how efficient Oregon State has been on both sides of the ball so that hurts their chances on the road. The running game is going to disappear at times but I envision Kelly recapturing some of that early season confidence with a gritty performance. This one will be close until the end but ultimately Arizona State's pass rush isn't healthy enough to hide their flawed secondary. Expect Vaz to be efficient and take advantage of every takeaway the Beavers' defense gives him. Game MVP: Cody Vaz (Making Codys everywhere proud).
Ryan Bafaloukos: Oregon State wins 24-20
This is an interesting matchup for the Sun Devils, because unlike their last two contests, the Oregon State offense does not scare anyone. OSU ranks 11th in the conference in rushing and will start their backup quarterback against the Sun Devils. The challenge for ASU is on the offensive side of the ball, where the Oregon State defense is one of the best in the conference. Taylor Kelly and the ASU offense will be challenged by a solid Beaver defense that gives up only 17 points per game. The Sun Devils must run the football and take pressure off Taylor Kelly. On the defensive side of the ball, the Sun Devils face the best passing game they have seen all season. OSU averges 311.7 YPG through the air and Cody Vaz has a 62.3 completion percentage and has not thrown an INT. I think ASU will keep it close, and the game will be low scoring, but Oregon State will pull this one out at home. Game MVP: Cody Vaz
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