Oregon State squares off against Washington State on Saturday at 3pm in Corvallis. The Beavers' first home game since Wisconsin, almost a month ago. OSU is favored by -14 1/2 points, something they're familiar with having been double-digit favorites in 2010 against the Cougars, and Wazzu won 31-14. Of course, this is a different team, different year, and OSU clearly has the better team. Even if you're still not sold on OSU, you can't look at this match-up as anything but a game Oregon State should have. Sure, Wazzu has the talent, especially at wide receiver, but OSU has an offense that is clicking on all cyclinders, a defense -- coming off their toughest challenge last weekend against a motivated spread offense in Arizona -- that remains fired up and unsatisfied, and a head coach that is out to prove and show everyone that doubted him and his consistency just how wrong they were, in my opinion.
As for the game itself, I don't expect anything like the start of the 2010 game, when RB Jacquizz Rodgers was run out of bounds and then hit, sparking a downtrodden Wazzu team, and showing just how lifeless and unsupportive that 2010 team truly was. I think OSU comes out fired up. I think they fling it through the air 40-45 times. I absolutely think Storm Woods can run all over the defense, but I think Riley might pull the reigns in a bit, considering Woods was in and out of practice all week. But, don't be surprised if he can get it going early, Riley might want more runs than passes. Wazzu's offense is good. Yeah, they lost to Colorado, an epic meltdown in front of their home fans, and sure Oregon boatraced them in the 2nd half last weekend, but they can move the ball, and they will score. Marquess Wilson is a furture NFL wide out, and I believe you'll see exactly why a few times on Saturday. However, I still don't trust this program to do much. The Mike Leach hire was a good move, but its still early to expect big time results just yet. There is a reason the term "Coug'd it" still exists.
So, I'm taking Oregon State in this one. Reser will be sold out for the first time since the 2010 Civil War, the students will be amped to be back at a football game, and this group of players isn't overlooking any opponent. They know what it's like to be doubted, I mean, they were 3-9 just a season ago. Which is why I'm going big. I think OSU makes a statement this weekend. I think the Beavers win 41-20. It's hard to imagine the Wazzu defense holding Sean Mannion and Co. As it is, hard to see Halliday really light this athletic, fast, and active defense up.
The Beavers will be looking at 4-0, and possibly moving up even further in the rankings, especially with all of the ranked teams that are playing each other this weekend. I might be wrong, I might be right, but I just can't see this Wazzu team -- coming off an emotional late night game where they thought they were hanging with the No. 2 team in the country -- keeping it close, and I can't see OSU letting this one slip away.