The Arizona State Sun Devils are headed to Oregon to take on the ninth-ranked Ducks in a game that coach Dennis Erickson sees as an opportunity for his underdog team. Vegas has the Ducks as 14.5-point favorites and history tells us that ASU hasn't beaten Oregon since 2004 back when the Ducks only had multiple and not unlimited uniform combinations.
"For us to get to get this program down the road to the elites, you have to win games like this," Erickson said. "This is really our first opportunity to have that in a while. It's going to fun, our players know that."
The team is definitely excited about the opportunity and claim to have had a great week of preparation. That included fake crowd noise to prepare the offense for operating in loud Autzen Stadium.
Having the game featured by ESPN's College Game Day doesn't hurt either. Brock Osweiler claims the team is focused and ready for the game on Saturday.
Asked why this time will be different than the last seven failed attempts to beat the Ducks, Osweiler rattled off a list of reasons his team can win. ASU has won on ESPN. ASU has won on the road. ASU has beat ranked teams. And of course, ASU hadn't beaten USC in 11 years before trouncing them at home a few weeks ago.
"We expect to win." Oswieler said. "We don't pay attention to what outsiders outside of this football program predict, write about, talk about. We're just concerned with our football team and our football team's goal is to win every football game so we treat it the same way."
Erickson, perhaps calling on a few more years of experience in such matters, had a slightly more subdued prediction, "We'll go up there and play as hard as we can and see what happens."