02.Oct.2012 Washington State @ Oregon State
Two computers (Massey and Colley Matrix) have Oregon State ranked 1st in the BCS, just ahead of Oregon. No doubt it has been an amazing start to the season. For those who question pre-season rankings, OSU is a poster child. For those who like neat In-and-Out Burger stories, OSU is the poster child. For those who like the underdog, OSU is the poster child.. You get the point–there is a lot of media around OSU right now. It's good, but also makes me nervous–one slip up and it's all over. No ranking, no attention, back to irrelevance.
For that reason, the Beavs can't let up if they want this story to continue. But to expect a team to bring their A or B effort every weekend isn't realistic. At some point they're just not going to be into a game. This weekend's matchup looks like a possible trap (OSU riding high, WSU low and desperately needing a win, OSU could be thinking about BYU, etc).
I mean, I think the Beavs should win big and will win, but I'm cautious. Seems the Connor Halliday era has started in Pullman. What that means, no idea. I expect him to check down and take what OSU gives. Don't expect their WR Wilson to have a huge day as OSU will key on him. If Halliday insists on getting the ball to him then expect turnovers. WSU has a bad run game, so OSU can stop it without committing too many resources. Again, this should make it tough for Halliday to get much going. Only question for me is whether the Beavs are up for this game and ready to give the effort to beat an opponent there isn't much glamor in beating. It takes a workaday, disciplined mentality to win these types of games. You don't just show up and blow WSU out; you chip away slowly and wait for them to break.
I expect the OSU offense to have some fun. The Cougs hung with the Ducks for a half, somehow…but the Beavs have two NFL WRs, an NFL QB, and a couple NFL linemen–that is going to be hard for a lower rung college D to defend.
Curious to see if this game will sell out (bad opponent might keep people at home, but fans really should get out there and support OSU when they give effort and do things right). Curious to see if the Beavs sure up their flaws (safety play, kicking game, kick returns).
The Beavs need a blowout on their resume. This is that opportunity. Seriously, though, how often to the Beavs blowout opponents they're supposed to? Doesn't really happen. The Cougs might not be good, but they give effort and are trying to buy into the new system. This would be a big win for that program, so they're going to give their best, no doubt about that. Turnovers are the neutralizer, if the Beavs hang on to the ball they win big. If not, I don't even want to think about Sunday…
Beavs 31, Cougs 17