#18 Oregon St. (2-0, 1-0) at Arizona (3-1, 0-1) / Arizona Stadium , 7 PM AST (7 PM PDT) / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. is on the road again this week, taking their first ranking since the one they achieved after their last trip to Tucson, a 29-27 win over then 9th ranked Arizona, with them.
Arizona is breaking out copper colored helmets for the first time for the event, which should only further energize a 'Zona Zoo, which always helps make Tucson a tough place to play. The Beavers have beat the 'Cats the last 5 times they have met at Arizona Stadium, but its been tough of late. In addition to the 2 point win that also saw a season ending injury to James Rodgers 2 years ago, 2008 was a 19-17 Beaver win, and in 2006 it was 17-10 Oregon St.
The game will be the first of the season for the Beavers against a true spread offense, as the 'Cats have fully bought into the "RichRod" system, which normally and historically has been a run first system, though Arizona wound up throwing 52 times against Oregon, against only 32 rushes.
Oregon St. will again be trying to further establish their rushing game, which churned out 122 yards at UCLA, but the Beavers success probably hinges on another good game from Sean Mannion, who threw for a career high 379 yards in beating the Bruins 27-20.
The Beavers will be doing so against a somewhat unfamiliar look, as new Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has also implemented a 3-3-5 defense, something not previously seen in this conference.
An Oregon St. win will make coach Mike Riley the winningest coach in the history of the program. The good news for celebrating that, should it develop? There's an In and Out near the stadium, and 3 in Tucson, so the team buses can pull in on the way out for another [large] order of double-doubles, with fries.
It's also the first game on the Pac-12 channel for Oregon St., which means some Comcast customers, people who are served by cable carriers not carrying the Pac-12 channel, and those who only have satellite service and haven't switched to Dish Network yet won't see the game, at least at home.
Interestingly, ESPN has chosen this game as the Pac-12 Game of the Week, even though they aren't covering it.
Fortunately, there's a viewing opportunity in the mid-valley, at least for those 21 and over, as the game will be shown on the big screens at the "Brewfest" at the Linn County Fairgrounds in Albany. "Brewfest" is a fund raiser for the Albany Boys and Girls club. Doors open at 4 PM, and goes on past game end until 1 AM. $10 gets you in, and gets you a mug. You can sample local microbrews for $1 a sample, or $4 a full mug.
The Oregon St. University Marching Band Alumni will be on hand to provide the atmosphere, and help with the beer drinking.
Buildingthedam.com will be back after the game with complete analysis, including a report on the Brewfest viewing experience.