A chance to finish the regular season on a positive note hangs in the balance for Arizona State and Oregon State when they meet Saturday night in a Pac-12 contest in Corvallis, Ore.
The Sun Devils (1-2) are coming off their first win of the season, a 70-7 rout of rival Arizona last Friday in Tucson.
The Beavers (2-4) fell 27-24 to Stanford last Saturday at home, their third loss by six or fewer points this season.
One of the most pressing concerns for Oregon State is if star running back Jermar Jefferson will be available after an ankle injury kept him sidelined in the second half against the Cardinal.
"I've been rehabbing every single day," Jefferson said. "I'm just waiting ... to see how I feel."
Jefferson ranks second in the Pac-12 with 755 rushing yards and has scored seven touchdowns in five games.
ASU's Rachaad White is coming off a 133-yard, three-touchdown game against Arizona. His 93-yard touchdown run tied for the fifth-longest in school history.
Jayden Daniels completed 9 of 11 passes for 203 yards with two touchdowns against the Wildcats. He also added a 20-yard touchdown run.
The Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in scoring at 38.3 points per game and a strong showing against the Beavers could boost their chances of earning a bowl invitation.
Oregon State ranks seventh at 28.2 points per game, but the Beavers may be without Jefferson in addition to already losing starting quarterback Tristan Gebbia for the season after a hamstring injury suffered in the Nov. 27 win against rival Oregon.
Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith takes solace in his team potentially being one of only two in the Pac-12 (UCLA) to avoid COVID-19 cancellations and play all seven games scheduled this fall.
"I go back before the first game and the captains get up in front of this team and ask them that the choices you make affect more than just yourself," Smith said. "These leaders voiced that early, and continue to follow through with it."
Arizona State and Oregon State also met in Corvallis last year with the Beavers winning 35-34 in dramatic fashion. Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards elected to go for two at the end of regulation but the attempt failed.
--Field Level Media