Every Arizona State fan hates the idea of it. The cold, November trip to Corvallis, Ore. to face Oregon State (6-4). To make matters worse, the 2021 Beavers aren’t a bad team. After the team’s win over Stanford last week, head coach Jonathan Smith has the program headed back to a bowl game for the first time since 2013.
What makes this team different? Let’s take a look.
An offense similar to Arizona State
The X’s and O’s and game plans aren’t like carbon copies, but the way Oregon State and Arizona State succeed on offense is its rushing game. The Beavers haven’t really missed Jermar Jefferson in the backfield following his NFL Draft departure.
B.J. Baylor and company have done a fine job without him. Leading into the Week 12 matchup, Oregon State ranks seventh in the country in rushing yards per game (228.7). The Sun Devils aren’t far behind at 19th (210).
However, Oregon State’s losses have quite the trend; the quarterback play. As much as Jayden Daniels leaves the Sun Devil faithful wanting more, Chance Nolan has hurt the Beavers with is play at times this season.
In each of the four losses, Nolan has a completion percentage under 63 percent. He’s also thrown six of his eight interceptions in the losses and averaged 206 yards passing in those four games.
What is the defense?
For the first time in four weeks, Arizona State isn’t playing an interim head coach. While that is true, Oregon State has made staff changes. Trent Bray served as the Beavers’ interim defensive coordinator, and he did well.
Oregon State held Stanford to 14 points and 230 yards of offense. No the Cardinal are not an explosive offense, but the Beavers have done far worse. This was a team that came off back-to-back weeks allowing 35-plus points to Cal and Colorado, two of the worst offenses in the conference.
It’ll be interesting to see the matchup against the Sun Devils. Oregon State’s 142.9 rushing yards allowed per game isn’t that bad compared to the rest of the conference. The Beavers struggle more against the pass. Will Arizona State still find success on the ground? That will be seen.