For the last few months I have been working on an undergraduate research project with a professor. This was the first project I was given to work on. I want to pursue a phd after undergrad so I took this project on and have dedicated a lot of time and energy to the project as I really wanted to see it succeed. However, this project is in a branch of CS that is not related to their research expertise at all. So I have been on my own to to read papers to see what the SOTA is and try to come up with algorithms. In our meetings, the professor likes to see my work but the ideas he proposes show that this isn't their area of research and is unaware of SOTA algorithms. Furthermore, there is no one at my university who is specializing at this research currently. The way I saw research is to improve upon the SOTA or to develop innovative algorithms to achieve some task, however I don't see that happening without some expertise in the domain.
I have a very high amount of respect the professor, however I don't see myself getting very far by myself and without any fellow undergrad/grad students. Has anyone been in a similar situation? I want to ask for research directly correlated to the professor's areas of expertise but I don't want to be negative towards the professor as I am very grateful to the opportunity that was given to me. How should I approach the professor about my situation?