One third of the way through the 2011 regular season, the Arizona St. Sun Devils are 3-1. They are tied for first place in the Pac-12 South with the UCLA Bruins, a team that hasn't exactly lit up the scoreboard.
In essence, the Sun Devils have an incredible opportunity on Saturday against the Oregon St. Beavers. A 17.5 point underdog, the Beavers are without starting running back Malcolm Agnew. They will be reliant on redshirt freshman Sean Mannion to move the ball through the air to his experienced receiving corps.
Expectations are high for ASU this week after a huge win over the USC Trojans. This team is a Jekyll & Hyde story, however -- look at how they performed against the Fighting Illini of Illinois after a big win against Missouri.
Oregon State is not going to be a cakewalk. This isn't the Wazzu of the recent past (no offense to Cougars fans). While we had a dose of reality against Illinois, this team can still get to a BCS bowl if they play their cards right. It starts with a hard-nosed effort against a Pac-12 foe that usually gives us fits. A big win tonight would go a long way towards establishing ourselves as the team to beat in 2011.
For more on the Sun Devils, head over to House Of Sparky.