#7 Oregon St. (6-0, 4-0) vs. Washington (3-4, 1-3) / Century Link Field, Seattle / 7:15 MDT / Pac-12 Channel* / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
* The game will not be live on the Pac-12 Mountains and Bay Area Channels.
Oregon St. visits Washington in the Huskies home away from home, the Seahawks' Century Link Field, for Husky Homecoming. With Washington St. playing their hosted game against the Oregon teams at the Clink every year, the rebuild of most of Husky Stadium means this is the second of 3 straight years the Beavers will play south of downtown in Seattle.
It's the 97th meeting of the Northwest rivals in a series that dates back to 1897, an Oregon St. 16-0 win. Washington holds a 24 game edge, 58-34-4, built mainly during the "dark ages" of Beaver football, which coincided with the "golden age" of Husky ball, as Washington won 25 of 27 games from 1975 through 2003.
But the Beavers have won 7 of the last 8, including last year's 38-21 win, which put James Rodgers into the record books, saw both Jordan Poyer and Ryan Murphy pull down interceptions, Sean Mannion throw for a pair of touchdowns, as well as direct a 99 yard scoring drive to put the game away, and Markus Wheaton led Oregon St. in both rushing and receiving.
Oregon St. is off to their best start in 105 years, having improved to 6-0 for the season with last week's 21-7 win over Utah. The win also has the Beavers 4-0 in conference play, their best start since 1968, the dawning of the Pac-8.
Washington is coming off a 52-17 thrashing at Arizona, their 3rd loss in a row, and the Huskies are 3-4 for the season, and 1-3 in the Pac-12.
Oregon St. is favored, and has been floating around between 3 and 4 points depending on which bookie you trust. There's been a lot of talk about the Beavers likely covering that spread.
If the story of the game is the quarterbacks, then the story within the story could well be about the coaches on the sidelines tonight, and how Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley, and Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian handle the game. Both Riley, who just secured a season's extension to his contract by assuring a bowl trip, and Sarkisian, who has some of the Huskies heating up his seat just a year removed from back to back bowl trips, both call the plays for their teams.
Riley has Sean Mannion back behind center, after missing only 2 games for arthroscopic surgery to clean up damaged meniscus in his left knee.
Will Mannion be sharp or rusty?
Sarkisian has a nervous Keith Price on his hands, made so by a battered offensive line that's had such a hard time protecting Price that he's been flighty even when not under pressure.
Mr. Price, meet Mr. Scott Crichton, the Pac-12's leader in sacks and tackles for a loss. You can then introduce him to Coach Sarkisian. (For some reason, Washington did not even offer a scholarship to Crichton, who happened to go to Foss High School in Tacoma.)
Buildingthedam.com will be at the game, and be back with full coverage and analysis afterwards.
Kill The Huskies!