Arizona State Football Team Can Lean on Fans, Experience vs. OSU

The Arizona State football program has several advantages over Oregon State, highlighted by a big edge in the experience department.

Of all the teams that are 2-2, the Arizona State football program may be the best there is. Besides a blowout win to start the season and an upset over No. 15 Michigan State, their two losses were both on the road and by just one score. I know you can’t take too many positives away from losing but it just feels different with Herm Edwards on the sideline; the team believes in one another and no game feels out of reach.

On Saturday, they’ll finally come back home to play their second Pac-12 game of the year. The Oregon State Beavers will be on the opposite side of the field, fresh off a 35-14 loss to the Arizona Wildcats in their conference opener. Last year, the two teams met in Corvallis and it didn’t end well for the home team. Arizona State was up by 30 in the first half and secured bowl eligibility with a win.

Per OddsShark, the Sun Devils are favored by more than three touchdowns (-22) against Oregon State this coming Saturday.

While they are huge favorites, the Beavers have won five of their last eight meetings. Looking at that, combined with the fact that they lost as favorites to San Diego State, you can be sure the Sun Devils aren’t looking past anyone.

Luckily, they have the edge over Oregon State in several categories. Two of the most important, however, don’t even have to do with skill: home-field advantage and experience.

Under Herm Edwards, Arizona State hasn’t lost at Sun Devils Stadium. Yes, they’ve played well at home but the crowd deserves a lot of kudos as well. They showed up in droves for Herm’s debut, then blacked the entire place out when the Spartans came to town. I don’t know what they have up their sleeve for Oregon State but you can count on the 942 Crew (and everyone else) to show out for their squad.

It’s always important to have a rowdy crowd, but against the Beavers, it’ll mean even more than usual. I say that because Oregon State is inexperienced at several key spots and an uncomfortable atmosphere will likely create chaos for them.

Jonathan Smith, their head coach, is in his first season in Corvallis and has just four games under his belt — at any level. Their quarterback, Conor Blount, has been solid this year with six passing touchdowns to one interception, yet this Saturday will be his fourth start ever. Blount was forced into action in Oregon State’s first game after No. 1 starter Jake Luton went down with an injury. Per Building The Dam, Luton “should be available” against Arizona State but since Blount has been efficient, he’ll likely start.

On top of those two spots, the two most important spots, Oregon State’s leading rusher is a freshman with less than 75 carries in his college career — Jermar Jefferson.

Next: Arizona State Has Interesting History vs. Oregon State

Overall, it’s clear that Oregon State is much younger at key positions than Arizona State. Herm, quarterback Manny Wilkins, and All-American receiver N’Keal Harry are all veterans with the ability to handle tough situations. With that said, the Beavers cannot be overlooked. At 1-3, they really have nothing to lose. But as long as ASU plays with confidence and the stadium is hectic, they’ll roll the Beavers by double digits.

The game will start at 10:00 P.M ET and can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.

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