The Washington Huskies come into Corvallis this Saturday to take on the red hot Oregon State Beavers. Oregon State began the year with a loss to Big Ten school Purdue, but since then has gone 3-0. The biggest win of the season so far for the Beavers came last week when they went into USC’s territory and took them down by a large margin of 18 in a 45-27 victory. USC began the year as the 15th ranked team in the nation but was handled easily by Oregon State’s high-powered offense. The Beavers relied heavily on the ground game against the Trojans with 322 yards which will be vital for them to continue as they advance in Pac 12 play. The defense also made bigs plays, recovering a fumble and forcing three interceptions.
The Beavers’ upcoming opponent in Washington will be faced with the tough task of stopping this Oregon State offense’s balanced attack. The Beavers have averaged 44 points in the last three games and haven’t put up less than 42. On the flip side, Washington has scored 41.5 points on average in their previous two contests. This should be a close and high-scoring game as the current total is set at 55.5 total points.
It has been an up and down season for Washington so far; they started with one of the worst losses the program has seen in a while to FCS school Montana 7-13. The following week it didn’t get any easier for them as they went into Michigan to lose 10-31. However, the Huskies have recently put together two straight wins, including a Pac 12 win over Cal. What Washington lacks and why Oregon State fans should be confident, is a quality win. Their first win came against 1-3 Arkansas State and their next against 1-3 Cal. However, both of these teams are hot coming into their matchup in Reser Stadium with win streaks.
The keys to victory for Oregon State will be to not let up with this high-powered offense. Sophomore quarterback Chance Nolan has nine touchdown passes in his last three games and has only taken two sacks in that time period. Nolan also completed over 72% of his passes in those three games. The Beavers will need for him to continue that strong play. They have also found a new strength in the last three weeks in the run game. The efficiency of this balanced attack makes this team so dangerous and is a reason they could take down Pac 12 North opponent Washington on Saturday.
An advantage that Oregon State does have is that balanced attack both through the air and the ground. Washington is pretty one-dimensional, beating you through the air but not so much rushing. The Huskies are 49th in the FBS in pass yards per game but only 221st in rushing yards per game. The Beavers crack the top 100 at number 98 in passing but also are 33rd in rushing yards per game in the country. Oregon State should look to sit back in coverage and take away the passing attack and wait for Washington quarterback Dylan Morris to make mistakes because he will. While he has six touchdown passes, he also has five interceptions on the year. The Beavers can take advantage of this to get that edge on defense, and in the game, they will need to come away with a win against Washington.