College football sure is getting good! At this point in the season we’re seeing some big October match ups and the spotlight is finally in the State of Washington! Gameday makes it’s way to Seattle as the #16 Washington Huskies take on the #2 Oregon Ducks. This should be a really good match up but our focus is what’s happening on the other side of the state.
This weekend, Pullman is the spot to be late night Saturday as the Oregon State Beavers come into town to take part in this Northwest rivalry against the Washington State Cougars. Both teams had very disappointing losses in week 1 (one more than the other) and have been on fire ever since racking up 4 wins heading into week 7.
Both these teams are kind of being slept on in the Pac-12, especially in the North. Oregon State has been a back story ever since week one when they lost to Eastern Washington. Washington State has been put aside ever since a let down in Seattle against the #5 Stanford Cardinal. There is a chance for both these teams to get the attention on a national stage Saturday as whoever wins this game will move to 5 wins on the season and great position in the Pac-12 North! So lets take a look at this under looked big time match up.
What the Beavers Bring:
Two words, Sean Mannion. Maybe it’s the fact that Oregon State HAS been overlooked this year or maybe it’s because the national eye has been elsewhere, but Sean Mannion is one of the best quarterbacks in the country and he leads the Pac-12 in total passing yards, followed closely by the quarterback on the other sideline at #2 in the Pac-12, Connor Halliday. Believe it or not, it does get even scarier than Sean Mannion because he is not alone on the offensive side. The Cougar secondary will have it’s hands full with one of the Pac-12′s most explosive receivers, Brandin Cooks.
So what are the Cougar trends this week?
Defensive backs need to step up and prove they can handle a furious passing attack. Last week the Cougar secondary was embarrassed by California’s “Bear-raid” offense. This week it has to be different, Damante Horton, Daquawn Brown and Nolan Washington need to have their best collective effort since USC to hold Oregon State under 40 points.
Once again the defense will have to continue to get great pressure on the quarterback. Last week the Cougars did an awesome job pressuring the quarterback most of the time and forced things to shorten up and speed up. If Cooper, Pole and Guata can continue to put pressure on the quarterback, the Cougars will have a good showing on defense. Another key is for Darryl Monroe to stay grounded when rushing instead of jumping, he gets good pressure and can get off of blocks pretty well when he decides to stay on the ground.
Last is for the offense. This week our offense will most likely be in a shootout, the Oregon State defense hasn’t been great so it’s an opportunity to put a lot of points up. What the offense can’t do as a unit is miss plays and let down for series at a time. No dropped passes, limit overthrowing receivers and keep possession of the football. The offense just needs to keep scoring this week, I believe we have to put up 35-40 points to win.
Lets get it on this weekend! GO COUGS!