After losing a close game on the road to UCLA, the Arizona State Sun Devils (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) are looking to become bowl game eligible this week, as they head out on the road again to face off against the Oregon State Beavers (1-9, 0-7).
The Beavers are by far the worst team in the Pac-12. Their only win came in a three-point victory against FCS Portland State. In just their last two games, they’ve lost by a combined 35 points. However, they did play teams like Stanford and Colorado close, losing by one and three points respectively. The Beavers demonstrated they can play up to their competition, even sometimes against superior teams. This could easily turn into a sneaky trap game for ASU if the Sun Devils don’t show Oregon State some respect.
Here’s a few things to watch out for from Oregon State:
Where’s the Defense?!?
Oregon State simply has one of the worst overall defenses in the country. They are outside the top eighty in every single defensive metric and are full of holes across the board. Per game they allow 41.7 points, 459.1 total yards, 6.4 yards per play and opponents convert on third down 55.75 percent of the time against the Beavers. That is not the recipe for a good defense.
In just their last two games, they’ve given up a combined 86 points. However, they did hold a very good Stanford team to just 15 points, albeit without Stanford star running back Bryce Love in the game. ASU simply must take advantage of Oregon State’s shaky defense, especially since the Beavers’ offense hasn’t been much better.
Nall Good Here
With a revolving door of quarterbacks that have combined for just 1,973 yards 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions, Oregon State has had to lean on the running game a lot this season and junior Ryan Nall has stepped up to the challenge. Despite running behind a subpar offensive line, Nall has managed to rush for 727 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s also averaging 5.2 yards per carry and has three games this season with 115 or more yards rushing.
Unfortunately Nall’s solid play this season hasn’t translated into wins. During his three best games rushing the Beavers lost by a combined 63 points. The Sun Devils should still be weary of Nall though, since he is Oregon State’s best weapon on the offensive side of the ball.
The game is at 1 p.m. PST Saturday on Pac-12 Networks.