As ASU's quarterback, Brock Osweiler has proven himself at Sun Devil Stadium. Over his career at home in Tempe, Osweiler has completed 98 out of 152 passes for 1341 yards, throwing eleven touchdowns and running for two more. Better yet, he's only thrown two interceptions.
When the show goes on the road, Osweiler has had mixed results.
As a true freshman, Osweiler started in Autzen Stadium against the Oregon Ducks, and it wasn't pretty. Not yet ready for the bright lights of Pac-10 football, Brock struggled before being injured, completing 5 out of 10 passes for 14 yards and an interception.
His second start in a road game, last season's epic 30-29 victory over the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, was marked by sloppy play on all sides of the ball. Osweiler went 22 for 49, but the key takeaway was several poorly thrown balls that were dropped by Arizona defenders.
In total, Osweiler has completed 31 of 70 passes on the road, a mere 44.2% completion rate. With 320 yards and an even 1-for-1 touchdown to interception ratio, the difficulties are well-documented.
The statistics don't lie: Osweiler has yet to have a truly great game on the road. He gets his next chance on Saturday afternoon against the Illinois Fighting Illini, and Sun Devils fans are hoping that the third time's a charm.
It's never easy traveling into Big Ten territory, and Illinois is no slouch. The Illini went to the Rose Bowl following their 9-3 campaign in 2007, but have fallen on hard times since then. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is attempting to spark resurgence in Champaign much like Osweiler is doing in Tempe, and the Illini are 2-0 so far this year.
The 2011 schedule is unforgiving, yet provides ample opportunity for Osweiler to plant himself firmly in the upper echelon of college football quarterbacks. In order to truly assert himself, a big game on the road would help him develop as a leader and quarterback for this Arizona State football team.