Washington State vs. Oregon State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Cougars and Beavers.
When: Saturday, Oct. 29 – 10:45 p.m. ET
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
TV Broadcast: ESPN 2
Washington State’s (5-2) 2016 campaign started off in disappointing fashion with back-to-back losses. Since then, though, the Cougars have rattled off five consecutive wins over Idaho, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Arizona State. Wazzu held on against the Sun Devils this past weekend for a 37-32 victory.
As for Oregon State (2-5), it’s been more of a disappointing season than a disappointing start to it. The Beavers’ only two wins have come at home versus Idaho State and at home against Cal, which they needed an overtime session to complete. Gary Andersen’s squad’s last two games have ended with a 19-14 loss to Utah and a 41-17 beating handed down by Washington.
Wazzu has control of the all-time series with Oregon State, 50-47-3. The last two meetings have gone to the Cougars, including last year’s matchup in Pullman, 52-31.
What To Know About Washington State
What you need to know is that Luke Falk is heating up, and that should scare opposing teams. He wrecked Arizona State, having completed 42-of-53 passes for 398 yards and three touchdowns. On the season, Falk has connected on 72.7 percent of his throws for 2,511 yards and 19 touchdowns. In the win over the Sun Devils, Gabe Marks led the team with eight grabs for 107 yards and a touchdown. Falk’s other two scoring strikes went to Tavares Martin Jr. and Jamal Morrow.
Morrow certainly could have had a better day rushing the football. He was given only four carries for 17 yards, but Wazzu, as team, only ran the ball 19 times. Two of those carries were given to Gerard Wicks, who managed only four yards while breaking into the end zone.
What to Know About Oregon State
The Beavers are hurting. Their list of injuries is baffling. Halfback Ryan Nall is questionable with a foot injury. Darell Garretson is out for the season with a broken ankle. Oregon State is limping into this one. And quarterback Marcus McMaryion is sort of a wild card. Against Washington, McMaryion completed 12-of-26 throws for 148 yards and two interceptions. Victor Bolden led the team with five receptions for 58 yards.
However, despite the absence of Nall, the Beavers were able to run the ball. Tim Cook did most of the dirty work with 18 carries and 108 yards. He also found his way across the goal line for six points. Bolden was given two carries and busted a 75-yard touchdown run.
Offense: Washington State – Falk is on top of his game right now, and Marks is one of the best receivers in the nation.
Defense: Washington State – The Cougars are 40 spots ahead of the Beavers in total defense at No 43, allowing 368 yards per game.
Special Teams: Washington State – Wazzu is ranked No. 31 in yards per kick return with 23.6.
Coaching: Washington State – Mike Leach talks a lot, but a lot of what he says gets the Cougars to put up points.
Matchup To Watch
Washington State running backs vs. Oregon State defense
Morrow and Wicks can do some damage together, and it’ll be up to Oregon State to wrap them up and roll ’em to the ground. The Beavers have to get off their blocks and force both tailbacks to try and pick up tough yardage between the tackles. If the edges get sealed and Oregon State lets them get to the second level, the Cougars will control the entire game. Falk will get what he wants through the air, and if the running game is working, Oregon State has no shot. The Beavers have to do all they can to bottle up the Wazzu halfbacks.
Spread: Washington State -13
Washington State vs. Oregon State Prediction
The Beavers are too banged up to generate any kind of momentum in this one. The Cougars are also riding the wave of a winning streak and have been pretty great on the road this season. Falk will throw for 200-plus yards and few touchdowns. He’ll get the Cougars going offensively, and both Morrow and Wicks will carry the load through the second half. The Beavers won’t be able to get going when they do have possession, which won’t be very often. Wazzu will control the clock and the game for the win.
Washington State vs. Oregon State Score Prediction: Washington State 37, Oregon State 13