1: Tackling the Quarterback
With or without the football, Oregon State could effect this game in a big way by bringing down Connor Halliday several times. Halliday is still recovering from some sort of lower body injury (looked like a hip against Stanford and Cal) and still isn’t moving particularly well. Taking shots from Beaver defensive players could affect his willingness to step into a couple throws, where we know Halliday can be interception prone.
On the other end, it’s a different challenge for WSU. They need to take down OSU trigger-man Sean Mannion with the ball in his hands. The big 6’5″, 220 pound quarterback is adept at shaking off pressure to get the ball out. Cal quarterback Jared Goff is similar in height and even less heavy, but shook of Cougar tacklers too many times last week to complete passes. Wrapping up this week won’t be enough, the Cougs need to force Mannion to the turf.