Where some Arizona State fans might be fretting at the thought of traveling on the road to Oregon State, coach Todd Graham sees an opportunity, he said in his weekly press conference.
The Sun Devils are coming off a last second 45-43 loss to the UCLA Bruins at home. They now are sitting with a two game losing streak and begin perhaps the toughest stretch of their schedule with three games on the road against ranked teams in four weeks.
Graham is maintaining a healthy dose of optimism, citing his players' abilities to bounce back from losses. Earlier in the season, the Sun Devils rebounded from a loss to Missouri to rattle off three decisive victories over Utah, Cal and Colorado.
"Oregon State is another opportunity to get back out on the field and play one of the top ten teams in the country. It is obviously a big challenge for us. Traveling up there is a very tough place to play but I'm really proud of our football team. I'm proud of how these guys respond," Graham said.
It will be a tough matchup. Oregon State is coming off of their first loss of the season at the hands of the Washington Huskies, and their top-notch defense is bound to give the Sun Devils fits. Graham calls them one of the better defenses they will play all season.
"Really impressed with how well they cover in space in the secondary. They are not going to make stupide mistakes and they are very, very well coached on both sides of the football. They are very sound in what they do and as good as coached team as we've played."
A win over Oregon State would go a long way in helping the Sun Devils into bowl consideration. After the Beavers, Arizona State heads on the road to USC, then gets Washington State at home before ending the rivalry game with Arizona on the road.
"We have a chance to redeem ourselves this week. That's what is great about this conference," Graham said.