OSU and Utah-st have both played Wisonsin this year.
Utah-st there@ Wisconsin and OSU with Wisconsin at home.
Both games were low scoring. USU lost 16-14 on a missed FG with seconds left. OSU won 10-7 in a similarly close game.
We do know that both Utah-st and OSU have good defenses this year, statistically speaking.
If you switched the games venues-putting Wisconsin @ USU and OSU @ Wisconsin, you might even have similar outcomes to the above with OSU losing at Wisconsin and USU winning against them at home. Home field advantage is usually around 3 pts for most teams.
So USU is not a bad team by any means. Neither is OSU, as evident by their current top-10 ranking. Both teams were nearly undefeated also. But USU never cracked the top-25 and gets less benefit of credibility, as they are not a big name team or in a BCS conference like OSU is.
USU had 308 total yards against W, while W had 234. OSU had 354 against Wisconsin, while W had 207.
Though USU is ranked better than OSU defensively, these stats should be telling to a degree-that both teams would be pretty close in terms of strength defensively, despite defensive rankings and stats. OSU has a better rushing defense than USU and this matchup played well against Wisconsin, who loves to run the ball a lot. So it was a favorable matchup for OSU in that game, in a way.
BYU had around 10 yards less rushing than Wisconsin fared against USU, for a comparison. But they had around 140 yards passing MORE than Wisconsin did against USU. Freshman Taysom Hill could run the ball very well and so offered BYU a solid rushing attack against USU. Hill's not a bad passer, but inexperienced. Difficult to say what Nelson would've have done against USU or at full-strength.
OSU saw Nelson healthy last year and what he can do, but that was with a weaker OSU defense.
BYU's not gonna put up 38 pts this year on Oregon-st. I don't think they will even put up 30 or 24 pts. I think around 14-17 pts looks good. 21 at the high range, if OSU is not doing anything on offense(which is possible with Vaz in there, against BYU's defense) and BYU gets lots of chances on offense and provided Riley is playing well. Or someone gets a defensive TD, etc.. BYU scores only 14 points on offense, but gets a TD on defense putting them at 21 pts sort of thing...