Beavers, Sun Devils ready for matchup
TEMPE, Ariz. — Mike Riley was a student at Corvallis High School the last time the Oregon State Beavers beat Arizona State in Tempe.
It was 40 years ago last week — Sept. 27, 1969. The Beavers have dropped 16 straight to the Sun Devils in the desert since.
"I've been made aware of that," Riley said with a chuckle. "Most of our team that's here now is only 0-1, so they don't have to bear that burden. That is an amazing stat."
The Beavers' only victory in Sun Devil Stadium since the Nixon Administration came on Jan. 1, 2001, when they blitzed Notre Dame 41-9 in the Fiesta Bowl. Oregon State's coach that day? Dennis Erickson, now in charge at Arizona State.
The Beavers (2-2) have a chance to end the misery against the Sun Devils (2-1) today.
So far this year, the Sun Devils (2-1) have defeated lower-division Idaho State and Louisiana-Monroe at home, then lost at No. 21 Georgia on a field goal as time expired.
This week, ASU plays host to an Oregon State team (2-2) searching for answers.
The Beavers opened the season with a victory over lower-division Portland State, then needed a last-second field goal to beat UNLV. Oregon State has dropped its last two games — at home — to No. 17 Cincinnati and Arizona.
Riley and his staff aren't panicking, because it's the sixth straight season Oregon State has split its first four games. The Beavers have started 2-3 the last three seasons and finished with 10, 9 and 9 wins, capping each year with a bowl victory.
As for the Sun Devils, they are smarting after blowing a chance to upset Georgia.
Arizona State's ballhawking defense forced three turnovers, leading to both ASU touchdowns. The Sun Devils lead the nation in turnover margin, with 11 takeaways and one giveaway, an interception thrown by quarterback Danny Sullivan.
Arizona State's defense looks strong enough to keep the Sun Devils in most games.
The offense is a different story.
The Sun Devils managed only one offensive touchdown against a Georgia squad that had conceded 103 points in its first three games.
The good news for Sullivan is that Oregon State has a total of two sacks through four games.
, tied for fewest in the nation.