The Oregon State Beavers hit the road this week and head to beautiful Boulder, Colorado, for a showdown with the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday. The Buffs are 5-2 to start this campaign, but are coming off a loss to #15 Washington over the weekend. Despite that, Colorado is averaging more than 31 points per game and will undoubtedly present problems for Oregon State’s struggling defense.
- The Buffs got off to a hot 5-0 start but the last two games have been tough conference losses. Just some rough days or is this team losing some steam?
It’s just some tough days against tough teams. As mentioned by every national pundit, the Buffs played an easy schedule for the first five games. Granted, they mostly dominated during those 5 weeks and they looked good regardless. So, when the Buffs went to L.A. to play USC, it was a wakeup call. USC and Washington are good, physical teams, and the Buffs struggle against good, physical teams.
2. A Pac-12 south title is still doable. Can they do it and what needs to happen for that to be attained?
They can do it. Not necessarily due to merit, but opportunity. No one team is that far ahead of the others in this race Every single Pac-12 South team is in the thick of the hunt. While some teams are definitely not going to win it (Arizona), every one has a chance.
I mean, realistically, USC would need to fall apart and Utah would need a characteristic November collapse. Both teams are sitting above CU in the pecking order and they would need to drop games that the Buffs wouldn’t. CU has a favorable schedule from here on out (no offense) and if they can win against WSU and Utah at home, a tall ask, they will be looking good.
3. Watching Laviska Shenault Jr. has been a lot of fun, but an injury kept him out of the game against Washington. Will we see him back this week against OSU?
I would bet against him playing on Saturday. Toe injuries can linger for a while, and Shenault could use the extra rest. The coaching staff will be extra cautious with Laviska, given his volume in games where he is playing. If he does play, I would guess it will be in more of a decoy role.
4. If there is one, what’s the biggest weakness of this Colorado team?
The offensive line. It is glaringly obvious that this team is going to go as far as the OL allows it to go. The offense has stagnated in the past two games (against good defenses, to be fair), largely due to the poor offensive line play. Steven Montez has little to no time to throw, the running backs are given precious few holes, and the plays have no time to develop. There are three freshmen playing on the line, to be fair, and the past two teams would beat up on almost everybody. If Oregon State wants to win, they need to attack the offensive front.
5. Winner and score prediction for this game?
I think Colorado wins the game, and rather easily. I’m sorry to the Oregon State fans, but that run defense is just waiting to be exploited at altitude. Jonathan Smith is building an exciting team, but it will take time. Don’t discount the fact that Mike MacIntyre knows all of Brian Lindgren’s tendencies.
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