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Oregon State Football Opponent Preview: Washington

Can the Huskies reclaim their status as the Top Dog in the PAC 12 North?

Stanford v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Washington Huskies

  • 2017-18 Record: 10-3 (7-2 PAC 12)
  • Current Record: 7-3 (5-2 PAC 12)
  • Previous Game Result: Win vs. Stanford (27-23)
  • Head Coach: Chris Petersen
  • Total Offense Ranking: 67th in FBS (406.5 YPG)
  • Total Defense Ranking: 15th in FBS (313.5 YPG)

Tale Of The Tape

While many teams would gladly take a 7-3 start to the season, Washington isn’t one of them. An early PAC 12 favorite and one of only two PAC 12 teams to reach the College Football Invitational, I mean “Playoff”, the Huskies have certainly failed to live up to expectations. The season started with a tough loss against Auburn, who was ranked #9 in the country at the time. However, Auburn has since fallen out of the Top 25 entirely and it has proven to be a stain on Washington’s resume. After losing to Oregon and California later in the year, the Huskies hopes to reach the College Football “Playoff” are all but gone. However, the Huskies can still win the PAC 12 if they manage to win out against the Beavers and upset their bitter rivals Washington State in the Apple Cup. As a result, don’t expect the Huskies to be taking it easy on Saturday, especially at home and coming off a bye week.


Player To Watch

Jake Browning (QB, Sr.)

Stanford v Washington Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The former Heisman candidate has certainly had a rough go of things since the 2017 season ended. After watching the man who recruited him leave for a head coaching job in a little town called Corvallis, Oregon, Browning has struggled to reclaim his production from last season. However, he still has running back Myles Gaskin to rely upon, as well as a talented receiving corps. The Beavers are dealing with their latest wave of injuries on the defensive side of the ball and struggled mightily against a Stanford team that UW held to only 23 points. Expect Browning to have a career day in Seattle against the Beavers.


Biggest Question Mark

How will the Huskies react to Jonathan Smith’s Return to UW?

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no way around it: The Huskies have more talent than the Beavers do right now and will almost assuredly win on Saturday. Running Back Myles Gaskin and QB Jake Browning look poised to have career days against a Beaver defense that ranks 129th out of 130th in scoring defense, allowing over 40 PPG. While the Beavers offense is certainly potent, it is also going up against what is arguably the best defense in the PAC 12. This is also a home game for the Huskies and they are coming off a bye week and a big win over Stanford, a team that demolished OSU last week. That said, Beavers Head Coach Jonathan Smith was the offensive coordinator at Washington for 4 years and studied under current UW Head Coach Chris Petersen. It will be interesting to see how the UW fans, coaches and players react to their former ally’s return.


History With Oregon State

The Beavers and the Huskies have met on the gridiron a total of 102 times, with Washington leading the series with a record of 64 wins, 34 losses and 4 ties. The first meeting between the two teams was 121 years ago in 1897, a 16-0 win for the Huskies.


Schedule

Both Oregon State and Washington have only one game left, and it is the dreaded rivalry game. Washington will be driving out to Pullman, WA for the Apple Cup against Washington State in a game that may decide the PAC 12 North winner. The Beavers will return to Corvallis to host their hated rivals from Eugene in the Civil War.