The Washington Huskies travel this week to Corvallis, Ore., where they will take on arguably the Pac-12’s most woeful team in the Oregon State Beavers. In what is something of a recurring theme with regard to Washington’s opponents so far this year, few expect this game to be much of a contest, as ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Dawgs a 97.1 percent chance to win while Vegas has the Huskies as 26.5-point favorites over their Pac-12 North opponent. Do the UW Dawg Pound writers see a competitive game in store?
I’m not going to bury the lede here: Washington is going to win this game, and they’re going to win it decisively.
At the start of this season, Oregon State fans had more than a few reasons to think that their program was ready to take the next step. Head coach Gary Andersen’s rebuilding project was entering into its third year; stud running back Ryan Nall seemed poised to build upon his 15-touchdown sophomore season; and the program snapped a five-game losing skid last November by rattling off two consecutive wins over Arizona and Oregon.
Fast forward to the present day, and just one of those circumstances seems well positioned to pay dividends. Nall is averaging a shade over six yards per carry and has found the end zone four times in as many games, but the Beavers are just 1-3 after losing to Colorado State, Minnesota and Washington State by a combined score of 158-64.
As you might imagine, the lion’s share of Oregon State’s problems this year fall on the defensive side of the ball. With four games down, the Beavers have yielded 6.39 yards per play (ranked 113th nationally among 130 FBS teams), 47.5 points per game (127th), and possess a turnover margin of negative-six (120th). In Jake Browning, they’ll face a quarterback who is 2-0 against them with a career stat line of 32 completions on 48 attempts (67 percent) for 502 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Even if Washington’s passing game doesn’t live up to its billing, there is little reason to think that Myles Gaskin shouldn’t potentially have another career day. The Beavs so far this season have surrendered 4.65 yards per carry and 11 rushing touchdowns, figures that rank 97th and 117th nationally, respectively.
In other words, this is a name-your-score type of game, which Chris Petersen always manages to keep from turning into an utter embarrassment for the opposing program. (Well, almost always.) I’d be shocked if Oregon State leads for a second of this contest, but I also think they cover the point spread due to nothing else than Petersen taking his foot off the gas somewhere around halftime. Washington 41, Oregon State 17.
One truism in college football is that your opponent is never quite as good ... or as bad ... as the fan base perceives them to be.
I'm not sure that this principle applies to the 2017 Oregon State Beavers.
For whatever reason, the Beavers have not been able to capitalize on the momentum they claimed at the end of last season. Maybe it is because of the insertion of a new QB in the now-injured Jake Luton. Maybe it is because of the injuries. Maybe it is all the new players they've worked in on D.
What I do know is that I have a certain discomfort with this matchup. Let's count the reasons: Darrell Garretson is back at QB which almost certainly means that OSU will retrench around the rushing attack. They still have man-child Ryan "Wrecking" Nall. Noah Togiai has emerged as a legit weapon at TE (posing the first true TE test UW has seen all year). The weather is going to suck.
Notice that I mentioned nothing about the OSU defense because, well, there is no hope for them on that side of the ball.
And that, my friends, is why UW wins no matter what progress OSU's offense makes on Saturday.
Gekko's Pick: UW 45, OSU 17
For the fourth time in five games so far this season, the Huskies play a team they should demolish.The weather forecast for Saturday evening in Corvallis calls for 65 degrees and cloudy. The football forecast calls for UW domination from the opening snap. The Beavers are going to be ready and will treating this game like their Rose Bowl.
I think the Beavs play well in this game and it won't be over in the first quarter, but it will be getting closer to that by halftime. Ryan Nall is a legit running back and between him and Darell Garretson OSU will get a little bit of a running game going early. If Oregon State can avoid giving up the big play and possibly generate one or two of their own, they will be able to keep things interesting for a half.
Second half, UW unleashes the running game, Garretson makes a few mistakes, and K.J. Carta-Samuels is snapping his chinstrap in the 3rd quarter.
UW 45, OSU 13
A lot to very little. I feel like I tend to predict things as closer than they end up so it's nice being 100% confident in this one.
I can't imagine the Oregon State offense is gonna be able to do much -- although Ryan Nall will probably have a couple annoyingly beautiful runs -- and I imagine their defense will subsequently get pretty tired out relatively early on. Then the Washington offense should have little trouble being mega-efficient, the run blocking should destroy, and Gaskin and Ahmed (and Coleman if he's back) will probably rack up some yardage. Looking forward to see what non-Dante receivers make noise too and if the pass rush can improve upon last week's performance at Colorado.
Final: Washington 49 - 16 Oregon State
What result do you expect from the Washington vs. Oregon State game?
This poll is closed
Washington wins a blowout
Washington wins a close one
Oregon State wins a close one
Oregon State wins a blowout