We reached out to our friends in the Pacific Northwest at Building the Dam to better understand the Beavers. Here is staff writer Travis Johannes’ answers to our questions about Arizona State’s next opponent.
Brady Vernon: How would you rate the job Jonathan Smith has done this season and where the program is currently at?
TJ: This year has obviously been weird for everyone and this season has been no different. This team is very close to being 5-1, but you could argue they are just as close to 0-6. Smith has done an amazing job of getting this team competitive in conference play, but it would be nice to be able to finish off a few more games with wins.
BV: Truly how good is Jermar Jefferson in your opinion?
TJ: Good enough that I believe this will be his last game as a Beav and he will be making noise on Sundays next fall. The Beavs have had a lot of good running backs the past couple decades and honestly he may be right there with Steven Jackson at the top of the list.
BV: The quarterback position has had its highs and lows for the Beavers. What are your takeaways from both guys who have played this season?
TJ: It has been a bit of a wild ride so far. Tristan Gebbia started the season and it wasn’t long before there were calls among fans for his backup Chance Nolan. It wasn’t necessarily that Gebbia was bad, but he also wasn’t that good either. He had a bit of a breakout game against the Ducks before getting hurt on the second to last play...Enter Chance Nolan. His first career snap was a game winning QB sneak against Oregon, but since then it’s been a bit of a ride. He has a big arm and some decent mobility, but can be erratic at times and inaccurate. This week will be his third start so it will be interesting to see how he has progressed.
BV: Outside of Hamilcar Rashed Jr., who on the Beaver defense should Arizona State fans know about?
TJ: The answer would have been linebacker Avery Roberts, who has been nothing short of amazing his year, but he broke his arm last week and required surgery so he is out this week. Let’s go with fellow linebacker Omar Speights. The sophomore seems to be making an impact on every play and with Roberts out he will have to step up even more if this defense is gonna have a good day.
BV: Score prediction and why?
TJ: For a sixth straight week, the game will come down to the final drive with the Beavs pulling it out 35-31 on a late Tre’Shaun Harrison catch.