After previewing Oregon State’s offense, defense and special teams, and speaking with our friends at Building the Dam, our writers are ready to predict the outcome of tomorrow’s matchup with the Beavers. Washington owns a four-game winning streak over the Beavers, and are expected to extend that record via a more than five-touchdown victory. Be sure to chime in the comments below with your own prediction.
On paper, tomorrow's game holds little intrigue for all but the most faithful of Washington fans. After opening up at 29 points in favor of the Huskies, the betting line for the Washington vs. Oregon State contest has shifted even more massively in favor of the Dawgs, with some books giving UW a 36.5-point advantage as of Friday night. Absent any unforeseen dramatics, this game should be well in hand by halftime.
Our attention, then, is better spent on what the Huskies are doing to better themselves, since there's likely little to be learned from watching one of the conference's most talented and healthy teams take on one of the conference's least talented and most injury-decimated squads. For starters, how does this team deal with the success it has acquired in recent weeks, along with its status as the Pac-12's reigning king of the hill? A poor start against an inferior Arizona team, for example, led to the Dawgs needing overtime to knock off a Wildcats team that needed the second half to take out woeful Grambling State. If the Huskies come out feeling fat and happy from their 6-0 record, there's no telling what might unfold.
In addition, it seems likely that we will see two offensive starters, wide receiver Chico McClatcher and offensive guard Shane Brostek, return to the lineup after missing the Oregon game. The offense didn't miss a beat -- they did put up 70 against the Ducks, after all -- but there's no question that the Huskies' offense is humming along at its best when all of its starters are healthy and ready to go.
All this is to say that I expect tomorrow's game to be about as competitive as the season-opening Rutgers contest, in which the final score could vary wildly depending on how soon Washington's reserves substitute in, and how late Oregon State's starters keep playing. Suffice to say that it should be UW plenty, OSU considerably fewer. Washington 56, Oregon State 9.
I've spoken about it before and I still stand by it: I think Gary Andersen is the right coach to fix Oregon State's problems. Unfortunately, that's still in the future for the Beavers. Oregon State has shown plenty of improvement from last year but the thing is that Washington has improved even more. So that's tricky.
I expect them to put up a noticeable fight, however Washington's athleticism and commitment to detail plus solid fundamentals doesn't seem like something the Beavers will be able to overcome at this point in their multi-year rebuilding project. Plus The Wrecking Nall is out at RB and McMaryion is in at QB. I think the latter looked decent last year, but he's second string for a reason and the injuries in key places doesn't make OSU's job any easier.
Washington 49 - 17 Oregon State.
This will be a good test for the Huskies, similar to the first game against Rutgers. There is no logical reason why OSU should give the Huskies any kind of legitimate challenge, but with a week off to hear about how great they are, staying focused on the task at hand is not a foregone conclusion.
Oregon State has really struggled against the run, but Chris Petersen seems to like to come out throwing the ball early regardless of the opponent.
This week, it should be the Myles Gaskin show from the get-go, with Jake Browning taking what he is given in the passing game.
The defense has to be ready for Marcus Mcmaryion to play kind of a wildcard role with essentially nothing to lose like the rest of the Beavers' squad. He will make a play or two, but it won't likely be enough.
UW 52, OSU 16.