The Oregon State Beavers come off of what was a down game against Stanford last week. Stanford has always been a powerhouse in the PAC-12 North and Washington is no different. The Beavers go up to Seattle with no easy task in front of them trying to take down the Huskies. If they hope to beat Washington in Seattle this is what they will have to do.
Key 1: Running back involvement
I know this is a surprising one due to the success of Jermar. The glaring issue is we also have AP who is a very talented running back that has not been back to full speed since the injury. Having two dangerous running backs gives the defense a different look and can catch them off guard. AP has experience and can also help to clean up the pass protection woes from the running back position. Washington is preparing for Jefferson, as they should, but having AP play a dominant role alongside him may give this rushing attack the push it needs.
Key 2: Defensive Secondary
The secondary got torched last week. Stanford is generally known as a running team with one of the premiere backs in the nation in Bryce Love. They held him to 90 yards, which is a lot, but an accomplishment nonetheless. They did give up 352 passing yards though. Washington is a passing team. They showed that last year against the Beavers. They attack their mismatches and air it out with their talented receiving corps. The Beavers will need to try and contain this the best that they can if they hope to win this game. If they let Jake Browning get into a groove, then they will be in for a long day of running after receivers.
Key 3: Coaching
We have the ace up our sleeve in this game. Coach Smith was the Washington OC for multiple years. He should know this offense and defense well. He has seen how they operate and their weaknesses which should help him exploit these. This is the biggest hope Oregon State has at pulling this upset. If Washington keeps the same ideas as last year, and they have all year’s film to back this up, they may be able to shut down Washington. This is a stretch but if Coach Smith can get into the mind of his old coaching staff, they may be able to out-coach this Washington team. With that said, Coach Peterson is not a top coach in the Pac-12 for nothing and this will be no easy task.
The Beavers come in with a big task in front of them this week. They’re going into a hostile environment against a very good team in the Pac-12 North. This is the Pac-12 and there is no sense anymore so expect anything.