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Oregon State vs. Colorado: Preview/Prediction

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NCAA Football: Colorado at Oregon State Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday October 1st the Beavers will square off against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO. OSU suffered an ugly 17-13 loss last season at Reser where the Beavers offense struggled to find the endzone and defensive back Treston Decoud was carted off the field with an injury. Colorado also struggled to get into the endzone but were able to do it once more than the Beavers.

This season both teams are optimistic about improving and moving up in the PAC-12 standings. Colorado finished last season 4-9 (1-8 in PAC-12). The Buffaloes did show signs of improvement losing games to Arizona, UCLA, USC and Utah by a total of 20 points. They were a very young team and will look to build off of that this year.

The Buffaloes will be returning their leading passer Sefo Liufau, leading rusher Phillip Lindsay and their leading receiver Shay Fields. Their statistics do not jump off the page at you, but they all were able to improve as the season wore on. Their defense was their biggest problem last season as they gave up over 396 yards per game, 239 yards of that being passing. Colorado did not bring in any recruits that will impact the passing defense right away but are returning everyone in their secondary except Jered Bell, who had 3 interceptions and 32 tackles last season.

If the pass defense of Colorado has not improved then the Beavers could look to take advantage of the Buffaloes in the air. Last year when these two teams met up it was later in the season and the Beavers still hadn’t figured out who their quarterback was. With the hope that Darell Garretson will provide more than Nick Mitchell or Marcus McMaryion could, this could be an advantage for Oregon State. By that point in the season the Beavers will hopefully have gotten into the swing of things offensively and can use it to their advantage against the Buffaloes.

As has been the theme this offseason, the Beavers defense is still a big question mark until we see something this season. The coaching staff was impressed with what they saw in Bend during camp, but putting it to the test against the talent of other teams will be the real indicator. If the Beavers defense doesn’t improve then they might get into a shootout with the Buffaloes.

Prediction:

These teams have had close games against each other the last two seasons and with the outlook of both teams it looks to be the same this season. Look for a high scoring game with both defenses struggling to stop the passing game. The Beavs will pull out a close 35-30 win, winning their first PAC-12 game in two seasons and starting off PAC-12 play strong on the road.