The Beavers take on the #5 ranked Washington Huskies in Seattle at 3:30 PST this Saturday.
After a narrow loss to #19 Utah last week, the Oregon State Beavers now face an even tougher test.
For much of the season, the talk of the PAC 12 has been about #5 Washington and their unstoppable defense. The Huskies are well on their way to securing their first conference title since 2000.
To add insult to injury, the Beavers are without their two leading quarterbacks. Darell Garretson is out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury and backup Conor Blount will also be on the sidelines.
The Beavs are also without the 6-foot-2, 234-pound running back Ryan Nall. Nall has been ruled out for the game with a left foot injury. ‘Wrecking Nall’ has been a go-to guy for much of the season, raking in 6 touchdowns and 464 yards… but has been battling the same injury for much of the season.
So it will be sophomore quarterback Marcus McMaryion leading the Beavs this weekend. This will be his second career start. Freshman Mason Moran - who was pulled from the scout team in order to play - will be in as backup. We also can’t forget about the option of WR Seth Collins, who started 7 games as quarterback last season. Aside from the quarterback position, the outside line has a lengthy injury list as well – with three starting players out.
For Washington, who is coming off a bye week after smacking Oregon 70-21, this should be an easy battle.
The Huskies are leading 3-0 in conference play, and 6-0 overall. With them comes powerhouse quarterback Jake Browning, who threw for a school-record 6 touchdown passes and ran for 2 against the Ducks.
But the real talk of the Huskies has been the defensive game. They lead the conference in defensive scoring, and have only permitted 177.3 passing yards per game. Several of their players are already expected to go fast in the NFL draft.
Keys to the Game:
Offense: Browning is truly a machine, with 236.3 passing yards per game. He’s currently among the highest ranked college QB’s in the nation.
Defense: You had better believe it’s going to be all Huskies here. However, there is a chance Browning could find some issues with the Oregon State secondary, which is ranked #1 in passing defense. The Beavs will HAVE to generate a pass rush against Browning and disrupt his flow, or he could wipe them over like he did Oregon.
Special teams: In terms of kickers, neither OSU’s Garrett Owens nor UW’s Cameron Van Winkle have been that superb this season. Keep an eye out for Victor Bolden Jr., who has been solid in the Beaver return game.