The Arizona State Sun Devils are looking to rebound off two mistake-ridden matchups against the No. 11 Wisconsin Badgers and the No. 5 Oregon Ducks in an away game against the always steady Oregon State Beavers.
Both the Sun Devils and the Beavers have had a rough start to the 2010 season, but it is to be expected when you enter games as the clear underdog.
Oregon State tallied losses against then-No. 6 TCU and No. 3 Boise State, but being able to acquire a win against Big East foe Louisville.
The Sun Devils head to Corvallis as six-point underdogs as the Beavers open up their first Pac-10 game at home.
Let's break down the offense and defense for both teams heading into Saturday's conference matchup.
Oregon State places 101st in the country for both passing and rushing, averaging 161 yards in the air and 109 yards on the ground.
Starting quarterback Ryan Katz has only totaled 461 yards and five touchdowns through the first three games, with a season high 160 passing yards against Boise State. Katz has also yet to break the 57-percent completion rate that he put up against Louisville.
Now to the "heart and sole" of the Beaver offense—the Rodgers brothers.
Running back Jacquizz Rodgers has 253 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the season, with only one game in which he rushed for over 100 yards (132 versus Louisville).
Wide receiver James Rodgers, who led the team in receptions last season, has brought in 113 yards and one touchdown through three games. James sustained a concussion against Boise State last week, and remains questionable for Saturday's game against the Sun Devils.
Arizona State's offense has been exceptional, ranking fifth in the country for passing yards (326/game) and 47th in rushing yards (169/game).
Quarterback Steven Threet has 1,228 passing yards through the first four games, including 387 yards against the nation's No. 5 team last week.
Threet hasn't been totally perfect though, throwing seven interceptions through the first four games—four against Oregon to result in a loss.
ASU running backs Cameron Marshall and Deantre Lewis have both been solid in recent games, adding a much needed ground attack to the high-octane offense. Lewis had back-to-back 100-plus rushing games against Wisconsin and Oregon—two teams that featured nation-leading defense heading into the contests.
The Sun Devil offense put up 597 total yards against No. 5 Oregon in Tempe, but mental mistakes in the red zone prohibited ASU from scoring—a weakness that has shined in the past two games.
EDGE: Arizona State
The Oregon State defense has allowed 30 points or more in each of their first three games, and allowing an average of 392 total yards each game.
After allowing 288 passing yards against Louisville and 294 yards in the air against Boise State, the Oregon State defense will likely have their hands full with the fast-paced, pass-oriented spread offense the Sun Devils have implemented.
On the flip side, the Arizona State defense is as strong as ever coming off a week were they forced Oregon to punt a total of 11 times.
The ASU defense cut the explosive Duck running game nearly in half, allowing them only 145 yards on the ground—a feat no other team has accomplished this season.
In fact, the Sun Devil defense was able to contain Heisman candidate LaMichael James to his first game this season under 100 rushing yards and 3.2 yards per carry, his lowest average of his career.
EDGE: Arizona State
In what should be a close game, the Arizona State Sun Devils have an advantage on both sides of the ball heading into hostile territory.
Both teams are in dyer need for a win in Week 5, but ASU should come out with a conference win, assuming the team limits mental mistakes and sloppy turnovers.