The last time the Oregon State Beavers won at Arizona State was 1969, the year the Beatles released Abbey Road. Midnight Cowboy was the big movie, and Sesame Street made it's debut on television.
``That's just one of those old ghosts that's hanging around,'' Oregon State coach Mike Riley said.
Reeaallyy old ghosts.
In fact, the last time Oregon State won at against ASU at Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State wasn't yet a part of the Pac-10.
The Beavers, under coach Dee Andros, beat 18th-ranked Arizona State and coach Frank Kush 30-7 on Sept. 27, 1969.
The Sun Devils lead the overall series with the Beavers 23-9-1. They've won 15 straight in Tempe.
``We try not to dwell on that but there have been a lot of strings around here that have been busted down over the last 10 years here,'' Riley said. ``So this is one more that is hanging out there so we have to go down there and get a win.''
Oregon State (2-1) opened the season with a 24-7 victory over Utah, a team that stunned UCLA 44-6 on Saturday. The Beavers lost 34-3 at Cincinnati the next week, then beat Idaho 61-10 at home.
Riley is not just wary that the Beavers seem to be jinxed when they visit the Sun Devils, he's got concerns about being on the road after Cincinnati.
``It's a road game for us, which we failed at miserably the last time we tried,'' he said.
Under new coach Dennis Erickson, the Sun Devils are 3-0 in nonconference play, with victories over San Jose State, Colorado and San Diego State.
Erickson was the coach at Oregon State for four years, finishing with an 11-1 2002 season and a 41-9 victory over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
That bowl win was played at Sun Devil Stadium, just not against ASU - so it's not the building that has cursed the Beavers.
The Beavers hammered Arizona State 44-10 in Corvallis last year.
ARIZONA'S WOES: Arizona's defense was supposed to be the Wildcats' strength, but it's the D that is becoming problematic.
So far, the Wildcats have given up 1,056 yards and 73 points. In last Saturday's 29-27 loss to New Mexico, the Lobos gained 421 yards.
``That's something we desperately need to change,'' Arizona coach Mike Stoops said.
The game wasn't pretty, and Stoops himself was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct foul for a sideline tirade.
Arizona is 1-2 with a victory against Northern Arizona and a loss to BYU going into this Saturday's game at No. 6 California.
Meanwhile, Arizona seems to be grasping the spread offense installed by new coordinator Sonny Dykes. Against New Mexico, Willie Tuitama passed for 446 yards, second-most in school history.
``I think offensively we gain confidence every time we get on the field,'' Stoops said. ``And I think defensively we haven't been sharp and efficient.''
WEEKLY HONORS: USC tailback Stafon Johnson, and safety Bo McNally and kicker Derek Belch of Stanford, were the Pac-10's players of the week.
Johnson ran for 144 yards on 11 carries, including a 7-yard touchdown run, for the top-ranked Trojans in their 49-31 victory at Nebraska. USC had 457 yards total offense against the Cornhuskers, including 313 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
McNally had 11 tackles, eight solo, and returned an interception 18 yards in Stanford's 37-0 win over San Jose State.
Belch hit field goals from 52, 50 and 37 yards and was good on all four of his PAT attempts.
PROPS FOR BRINK: Alex Brink has a big fan in Pete Carroll.
The USC coach waxed complimentary when speaking about the quarterback for this week's opponent, Washington State.
``Oh man, I love him. I think he's playing great,'' Carroll said. ``Obviously that's no overstatement, he's completing almost 70 percent of his passes. He's off to a fantastic start.''
Brink is averaging 315.7 yards passing yards to lead the Pac-10 and rank 14th in the nation.
He passed for 307 yards and four touchdowns last week in the Cougars' 45-28 victory over Idaho.
For his career at Washington State, Brink has 8,042 yards passing and 60 touchdown passes, ranking him behind only Jason Gesser (8,830 yards and 70 touchdowns) on the school's career list.
``He's doing everything, he runs well, too. He's in command of the game. He's a real problem,'' Carroll said. ``I think he's one of the best guys we're playing.''

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