Arizona State Sun Devils (2-2 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. Oregon State Beavers (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS), 6:30 p.m. EST, College Football Week 5, Saturday, October 2, 2010, Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
By Scotty L of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: ASU +4/OSU -4
Over/Under Total: 55
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On Saturday, the Arizona State Sun Devils travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers in a critical Pac-10 conference game. With 4 undefeated teams in the conference, these teams need a win to keep pace and maintain status as a darkhorse conference pick. With a loss here and a few more inevitable setbacks, the loser might be struggling to make it into even a lesser bowl game.
Oregon State has won the last two meetings between these schools, but the Beavers seem a little flat so far. They lost their opener by 9 at TCU, which isnt so bad of a result, but following a 2-week break; they were disappointing as 20-point faves beating Louisville by 7. The 37-24 loss to Boise State last week is not a horrible sign. At least they covered the spread and didnt get bowled over by a high-powered team in their home opener, as many predicted. James Rodgers has been great on returns, but the Rodgers brothers have yet to really dazzle consistently on offense. QB Ryan Katz has been efficient (0INTs), but not very dynamic. This group needs to step up their game.
Michigan transfer and Sun Devils QB Steven Threet has been prolific (1228 passing yards) and put up a formidable 387 against the vaunted Oregon defense last week in a 41-32 loss. He did throw 4 picks and will need to show a leveler head. He has a nice 1-2 punch at running back with Deandre Lewis (29-278-2) and Cameron Marshall (44-246-5). There is nice depth at receiver, with Kerry Taylor, Mike Willie, and Aaron Pflugrad all being productive.
Arizona State has had it super-tough in the past two weeks. First came a one-point loss at Wisconsin, followed by the home loss to Oregon last week. Now they have to go into hostile territory to take on a tough Beavers team that is probably good and irritated and somewhat desperate to notch a win. The Sun Devils managed to hold Wisconsin and Oregon to their lowest point totals of the season so far. The Beavers were stingy at times against Boise State and should find success with a home crowd behind them on Saturday.
Its difficult to get a read on a matchup based on losing performances against better teams. The bottom line is that they appear to be well-matched teams that should make for a good, close game. The dye has yet to be cast for either team. Both squads have room for improvement. A few worked out kinks could make a world of difference. The Rodgers brothers could bust out for the Beavers. The Sun Devils defense could become a bit more clutch and make some more key stops. Both teams have a lot of upside.
Scotty Ls Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I think Ryan Katz is due to have a good game. Without setting the world on fire, he will use the tools at his disposal to rack up points. The Sun Devils pass defense has looked a little iffy, giving up big plays at inopportune times. The Beavers, with the home crowd behind them, will move the ball easily for stretches of the game. An offense that put up 24 points against a tough Boise State home defense figures to put up at least 40 at home in this matchup. Then again, you could say the same for the Sun Devils, who put up 31 against Boise State.
The Sun Devils figure to do damage. Their multi-pronged offense could have the Beavers defense on its toes, but I suspect the Oregon State D to be energized, make enough key plays, and just manage to keep Steven Threet and Co. from exploding. Look for a key special teams play and a few deadly turnovers to help tip this game squarely to Oregon State. I like the over quite a bit here.