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ASU Football Opponent Primer: Oregon State Beavers

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The Beavers went 1-11 last year, this year may not be much different

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Oregon Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State 2018 Schedule

UTSA (Sept. 1) - Read

Michigan State (Sept. 8) - Read

At San Diego State (Sept. 15) - Read

At Washington (Sept. 22) - Read

Oregon State (Sept. 29)

At Colorado (Oct. 6)

Stanford (Oct. 18)

At USC (Oct. 27)

Utah (Nov. 3)

UCLA (Nov. 10)

At Oregon (Nov. 17)

At Arizona (Nov. 24)

Oregon State’s 2017 Season

The Beavers have been consistently one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 over the last decade. Last year was no different, when they finished 1-11 overall and 0-9 in conference play. After starting the season 1-5, third year coach, Gary Andersen resigned as head of the program, with Cory Hall replacing him. With Hall at the helm, the Sun Devils traveled up to Corvallis last season where they handled the Beavers easily. After ASU jumped out to a 30-7 lead, they had more than enough insurance to take down Oregon State, 40-24. The two face off again on September 29th this year in Tempe.

Key Returners

When a team goes 1-11, it’s hard to say they had any key returners, but let’s look at some players who can make the biggest impact for Oregon State this year. The Beavers are expected to use Jake Luton under center this year, who had a 61.5% completion percentage, 853 passing yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions in limited playing time last year.

Expected to pick up the workload behind Luton is junior running back Art Pierce, who amassed 4.8 yards per carry on 68 attempts. He also added a rushing touchdown and 8.5 yards per reception last year.

On the other side of the football, the defensive leader is expected to be senior linebacker Jonathan Willis, who led the team in sacks and tackles for loss in 2017. Behind the linebackers are a combination of safeties in Jalen Moore and David Morris who both picked up an interception and were tied for second last year in total tackles with 75.

Key Losses

Again, when you lose 10 straight games to end the season, it seems like a roster overhaul is necessary. However, Oregon State did have a couple of players who made an NFL roster this summer.

The first player was the team’s heart and soul in Ryan Nall. Now, a member of the Chicago Bears by way of undrafted free agency, Nall led the Beavers with 1050 scrimmage yards and 10 total touchdowns last year.

The next is Manase Hungalu, an undrafted free agent linebacker who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in May. Hungalu led the Beavers defense with 97 total tackles and two interceptions while tying Willis with six tackles for loss last season.

While both players are expected to make their NFL rosters, they aren’t likely to have a major impact on their team in year one.

Why ASU Could Win

It’s simple, they are better at every single position. The Sun Devils have a very mature offense with third year starter Manny Wilkins at the helm. Plus, it doesn’t hurt having arguably the best receiver in the nation to throw to on a weekly basis. The Oregon State offense has no players that can make an impact single-handedly, which shouldn’t be a problem for the ASU defense. Despite the Sun Devils not projected to finish the season with a strong record, this game should be one of the few gifts of the year.

Why ASU Could Lose

There’s always that potential of being “upset.” And by upset, I mean a really bad team beating a very mediocre team. The Sun Devils are going through their third offensive coordinator in as many years which scares a few Sun Devil hopefuls. On the other hand, the defense has been one of the worsts in all of D1 football over the past three years. A total brain-lapse and lack of chemistry on either side of the ball can end this team’s season just like that.