Beavers will provide ample road test

Dennis Erickson was the head coach at Oregon State from 1999-2002. He brought famed Beavers Chad Ochocinco and TJ Houshmandzadeh to Corvallis and helped revive a program that had been struggling for years. On Saturday, Erickson looks to get his Sun Devils back in the win column against a familiar foe.

"It's going to be noisy," said Erickson of Reser Stadium. "There's going to be a lot of people there. It's a hard place to play. They're very loud and they're very into football. It's not unlike playing at Wisconsin. It's probably very comparable."

Reser Stadium might not have the capacity of Camp Randall stadium but if you listen to what coaches and visitors have to say after a trip to Corvallis they'll probably tell you it's every bit as loud. The Beavers have had a rather inauspicious start to what was projected to be a big year for them.

They opened their season with a tough road loss to a TCU team that is ranked fifth in the country. Although the final score was 30-21, Oregon State hung around all game and gave the Horned Frogs a challenge.

The Beavers got their first and only win of the season at home against Louisville. Their daunting out of conference schedule got the best of them the following week as they went on the road to take on the #3 ranked Boise State Broncos. OSU fell victim to the Broncos' deadly passing attack led by quarterback Kellen Moore and lost 37-24.

Regardless of their 1-2 record, the Beavers remain a dangerous team and if the Sun Devils are going to win they are going to have to overcome some changes to the offensive front.

Against Oregon, starting left tackle Dan Knapp went down with an injury to his knee and only played one series after the injury occurred. Knapp's injury is being deemed an MCL sprain and while he has been dressed for practice the last two days he has been held out of contact. Taking his place at left tackle is freshman Evan Finkenberg.

Moving Finkenberg out to left tackle from left guard prompted a few other changes as well. Mike Marcisz, who recorded his first start last week, will take over for Finkenberg at left guard. Brice Schwab, who had been playing right tackle, has been demoted to second team and filling the vacated spots at right tackle and guard are Aderious Simmons and Andrew Sampson, respectively.

"Yesterday they looked good." Observed Erickson. "I went through the tape this morning and afternoon. It's hard for me to tell without looking at (today's) tape but if they keep up with what they're doing, I mean it's both their first starts so it'll be interesting. But they're solid guys and they're smart and they understand what's going on. They'll be fine."

The Sun Devils are also getting a boost at defensive tackle, a position where they have suffered heavy losses. Corey Adams hurt his knee in fall camp and wasn't able to practice until the week leading up to the Wisconsin game. He played against Oregon and his health has continued to improve. Erickson expects a reliable and dangerous Adams to see the field plenty this week against the Beavers.

"I talked to (Adams) today a little bit," said Erickson. "In that game and with how he practiced yesterday he's pretty close to 100 percent. He's starting to show up like we thought he would so that's really a great deal for us. It's not a surprise but it's good to have him back and healthy because now he has confidence in his health."

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