Beavers head to Arizona after week off

Beavers head to Arizona after week off
Oregon State's Storm Woods (24) makes a cut in the backfield before crossing the line of scrimmage against Arizona during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/John Miller)

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The schedule makers have not done Arizona State any favors in the Sun Devils' bid to win the Pac-12 South.

For the third straight week, the 21st-ranked Sun Devils will be facing a team coming off its bye week. Arizona State managed to win the first two, but facing Oregon State and its juggernaut offense after a week off will not be a lot of fun.

"I'd be a liar if I told you it didn't bother me," Arizona State coach Todd Graham said. "You start over-thinking a little bit. I wish that wasn't like that. I think it should be equal. Obviously, you can't do anything about scheduling. But you can't worry about things you can't control."

The Sun Devils can't control the schedule, but they are in control of the Pac-12 South.

Since losing to Stanford and a nonconference loss to Notre Dame, Arizona State (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) has won four straight and is a game ahead of UCLA and Southern California in the South.

To finish off their goal of playing for the Pac-12 championship, the Sun Devils have to close out a tough final stretch of the schedule.

After facing the Beavers on Saturday night, Arizona State goes on the road against UCLA and closes out the season against rival Arizona.

"I think we're hitting our stride," Graham said. "And we need to be."

Oregon State (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12) has hit a bit of a rough patch following a six-game winning streak.

Coming off consecutive blowout wins over Colorado, Washington State and California, the Beavers lost 20-12 to Stanford and were beat 31-14 last week by USC. Both those loses were in Corvallis, adding to the frustration.

"It's disappointing because they had a lot at stake the last two weeks and I know this is hard for them," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "Particularly in this last game, we didn't play as well as we could have or as smart as we could have and it cost us."

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