Oregon State is in unfamiliar territory this week. It is November and the Beavers have a Pac 12 game at home to try and go above .500. It is the first time since 2013 that the Beavers are playing a game this month without more losses than wins — here’s what you can expect when the Beavers face off with Washington in Reser on Friday.
Jacob Eason Will Challenge the Secondary
I be the first to admit that I have not been particularly impressed with Jacob Eason this season. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think he will have success against OSU’s struggling secondary.
Although Eason has had some rough moments down the stretch of the Oregon and Utah games — his overall stats are pretty impressive so far. Eason has completed 186 of 285 passes (65.3 %), for 2,297 yards, 20 touchdowns to just 5 interceptions.
I get the feeling that Washington is going to try and air the ball out more than run which is strange for a Chris Peterson team. Oregon State’s run defense has been much better than in recent years and I think they’ll be able to hold off the Huskies run game, which likes to run up the middle. Elu Aydon has a chance to be a big factor in cramming up the middle of the defensive line to stop those inside zones.
If the defensive secondary can make some stops against the passing game, the Beavers have a real shot of pulling off the upset. We haven’t seen them do that yet, but hey, weird things happen in Corvallis on weeknight football.
Jake Luton Will Have a Statement Game
Words can express how impressed I have been with Jake Luton this season. There wasn’t much that I saw from him in his OSU career to confidently saw I expected him to go into the Washington game with 19 touchdowns and 1(!) interception.
I keep thinking this season feels like OSU’s 2009 campaign, where former QB Sean Canfield went from being a someone who struggled to complete 50% of his passes, to becoming the first team all Pac-12 QB.
That being said, after coming off one of his best games of his career against Arizona last week, I think Luton will continue to throw with success against Washington’s fairly good defense. Isaiah Hodgins has proved that he can get open against any secondary — and having Trevon Bradford back will only make things easier for Luton. I’m not sure if his performance will be enough to get the Beavers a win, but it will be enough to put them in a position to do it.
Next, I can’t quite say I expect this to happen, but for the first time this season I’m including what I hope will happen...
Fans Will Show Up For the Game
Listen, I know the challenges of being an OSU fan outside of Corvallis and 7:30 pm kickoffs, but the reality is — showing up and being loud really does effect how the game can turn out. This is by far the best OSU team we have seen on the field since 2014, and this is easily the biggest game at Reser since the 2016 Civil War (which had a pretty good turnout).
Again, I cant expect there to be too much of a ruckus crowd for a nigh game on Friday night, but if one show’s up, I think the Beavers have a much better shot at pulling an upset and coming this much closer to being bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.