WEEK 10: Let's talk ASU vs. Beavs

HOW MUCH GOOD can a bye week do? We're about to find out when Oregon State meets Arizona State in Tempe on Saturday night (TV: Pac-12 Networks, 6:30 p.m.). The high-powered Beaver offense came to a screeching halt against USC last time out and ASU is allowing the fewest yards (332.7) in the Pac-12. Something, as they say, has to give.

ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has done some damage this season with his feet, and Oregon State has had, you may have heard, problems with running quarterbacks.

That said, Utah this past week provided the OSU coaches with a pretty good blueprint.

Disguised pressure from all angles.

If ever there was a game for the Beavs to throw caution to the wind and send the pressures and blitzes, including run blitzes, this looks to be it.

No, OSU hasn't had a lot of success in bringing the heat this season. But they've got to find it this week or there's a good chance, if OSU plays back, that ASU is going to light up the scoreboard.

Utah didn't play back. They sacked Kelly six times and as the game went on, he began getting rid of the ball earlier than he needed to and displayed a pretty good case of happy feet. For most of three quarters, ASU was grounded, despite coming into the game having scored 50-plus points in each of their last three games. But ASU escaped by scoring the go-ahead touchdown late and won 20-19. And the ASU defense in the second half was exceptional.

Still, Utah dominated much of the game and was up by 12 points entering the fourth quarter. Without two costly interceptions and a third down conversion here or there, it well could have been a different result.

Oregon State has already surely picked out things that fit their scheme and that Utah did successfully, and they'll work on them this week.

But most of all, Oregon State has to get back to forcing their game on an opponent. The last two games, losses to Stanford and USC, have seen the opposite.

This will be a tough matchup for Oregon State and on both sides of the ball.

ASU is second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 43.7 ppg. That's only four points behind Oregon. It was a complete stunner that ASU had only seven points entering the fourth quarter against Utah next week.

ASU has control of first place in the South. They play Oregon State at home then have a big showdown with UCLA. You'll hear a lot of talk this week about how the Sun Devils are not looking ahead and won't sleep on the Beavs.

Whether that ends up being true or not won't be known until next Saturday night.

But OSU needs to get the ship righted and they've had an extra week to get it done. Las Vegas gives the Beavers little chance, installing them as a 13.5 point underdog.

ASU is coming off a physically and emotionally exhausting win and Oregon State would be well served to try and punch them in the mouth early.

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