College Football Pick Arizona St. at Oregon St. 10-2-2010

September 30, 2010

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Arizona State Sun Devils at Oregon State Beavers

October 2nd 2010 6:30 PM EST

Line: Oregon State -3 1/2

This Pac 10 show down features two teams that have had disappointing seasons to this point. For Oregon State, starting off 1-2 is not something they anticipated. As for Arizona State, they have struggled in recent years, but they have played exceptionally well this year. Unfortunately, they threw away two games this season against ranked opponents. Their Wisconsin loss was due to a missed field goal, a missed extra point, and an unlucky kickoff return that fell just short before the second half. They held off the Oregon Ducks, but turned the ball over seven times, shooting themselves in the foot numerous times.

Keys to the Game:

  • Arizona State has to close the game out. It almost seems as though they are afraid to succeed. Oregon State is a good football team, but so were Wisconsin and Oregon. If ASU feels like they are close to a victory it seems as though they do not know how to behave. Coach Dennis Erickson needs to stress the importance of shutting the door. Allowing teams to win because of little errors and a nonchalant attitude with the football is not going to make for a successful season.
  • Jacquizz and James Rodgers do absolutely everything for the Beavers. Jacquizz leads the team in rushing, while James leads the team in receiving. It will be important for the ferocious Vontaze Burfict to unleash pain on Jacquizz Rodgers early and often. James Rodgers will be targeted all game long, but the ASU corners have faired considerably well so far this season. If the Rodgers brothers are contained, the Beavers will be frustrated.
  • Ryan KatzĀ  is overrated. He has a 118.5 passer rating, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. That doesn’t seem like a terrible stat sheet, but if you dig a little deeper, you will see that he has a 46.8% completion rating. Of the passes he does complete, his yards per attempt are 5.99. That means every completed pass is pretty much a quick slant, a dumpoff to Jacquizz Rodgers, or a screen pass of some sort. Katz is looked upon by many as a talented quarterback, but I respectfully disagree.
  • The Beavers need to have an answer for the Sun Devil returners. The Sun Devils have a number of talented return men. Omar Bolden, broke a kickoff return for a touchdown against Wisconsin. There have been many other big gainers throughout the season, giving the Sun Devil opponents a short field to defend. The Sun Devils don’t just have one return man you can kick away from, so it will be critical that the Beavers all stay in their lanes and remain attentive on all special teams plays. The ASU special teams unit is one of the bright points on their roster.

Wrap up:

ASU has been robbed a couple of times now this season. I think it is time they put it all together. I understand that the Beavers are at home, which is probably the reason for the 3 1/2 point spread rather than just the even 3. Oregon State is talented, and they have only lost to juggernauts this season, but I don’t think they win by more than a field goal. This one is going to come down to the wire.

Free College Football Pick: Arizona State + 3 1/2


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