Coming off a bye week UW should be looking fresh to take on Oregon State at home. The Huskies are currently favored by a whopping 36 points. Oregon State however has been improving this season and it would not be surprising if the Huskies were not able to cover this large spread. Oregon State narrowly lost their last game to Utah after losing their starting quarterback. Oregon State also upset Cal earlier this year so its possible the Beavers might put up some fight but probably not enough to slow down the Dawgs. Let's break down the Beavers and see what if anything they bring to the table in this game.
On the offensive side the Beavers do not look stellar but still might be better than several other Pac-12 teams. Unfortunately for them the starting and backup quarterback are injured. Also the brightest spot so far this season has been the running game of Ryan Nall. Nall is injured and is not expected to play Saturday. So that leaves Marcus McMaryion, their sophomore quarterback, to try to tame the giant beast that is the Huskies. McMaryion will have two decent targets in Seth Collins and Victor Bolden. In the running game Art Pierce is expected to play after suffering a stinger and providing some hope in the run game averaging 5.5 yards per rush this season. The offensive line looks to be moderately good and have improved over the last few games to prevent the sack fest that occurred early in their season. The O-line will have their work cut out for them as they can not afford to lose another QB to the punishing Washington defense. If McMaryion gets hurt I would not be surprised to see Bobby Boucher out there as Oregon State really has nothing left on the bench and would like be forced to use receiver and former QB Seth Collins.
Defensively Oregon State is not likely to cause Jake Browning too much hassle. Oregon State defense is allowing 31 points per game to opponents 233 yards on the ground and 180 yards through the air. It is realistic that a potent offense like Washington will put up 500 yards against an outmatched Oregon State. Oregon State did hold Utah to 19 points in their last game nearly pulling off an upset over a ranked opponent. Linebacker Caleb Saulo leads the defense with 52 tackles this year and is the keystone of the defensive line. If he can get the Beavers motivated perhaps they can slow the Huskies down. Despite their secondary holding strong in the last game versus Utah, they have been burned earlier this year in games versus Boise State, Cal and Colorado. Chris Petersen is certainly going to test the cornerbacks and safeties but will likely pound the ball on the ground just as effectively. The dynamic Washington offense is certainly going to be Oregon State's biggest test this year.
For the Huskies the outlook is pretty rosy both on offense and defense. After destroying Oregon two weeks ago the Huskies are going to look to continue their momentum. Jake Browning is now a legitimate Heisman contender. His ability to pick apart defenses is masterful and NFL scouts are certainly already drooling over the prospect of drafting him in 2018. As the breakdown may be getting repetitive we'll keep the Huskies preview short.
Washington's offense should be back at full strength with Chico McClatcher returning after missing the game versus Oregon. The trio of John Ross, McClatcher and Dante Pettis have been nearly unstoppable. All three have big playmaking ability. Darrell Daniels is coming along at the tight end position. Myles Gaskin is starting to show more flashes of brilliance mid-season rushing for nearly 200 yards versus Oregon and Lavon Coleman has become a reliable addition to the backfield. Both should see plenty of touches in this game and there is a good chance both running backs will get 100+ yards versus Oregon State. The offensive line remains fairly healthy and Shane Brostek should be back after missing one game. Fans should be excited to see a lot of the same action they saw against Stanford and Oregon.
Defensively, Washington should continue the absolute dominance over their opponents. Nothing Oregon State will throw at the Huskies will be new or particularly threatening to the defensive line or secondary. Azeem Victor should intimidate Oregon State's offense and is likely to rack up a few sacks during the game. Currently, the Huskies lead the nation in turnover margin at 13 over even. It is likely the Huskies will recover at least 1 fumble considering the Dawgs also lead the country in fumble recoveries. To make matters worse Budda Baker, Sidney Jones and Kevin King will be hungry for the ball and try to steal one or two out of the air from the sophomore Beaver quarterback. Thus, it is no surprise the Huskies are favored by 36 points. Oregon State is unlikely to score over 20 points against this tough defense.
Special Teams will include one major task, stop Victor Bolden. The one potential ace up the Beavers' sleeve is the impressive kick returning of Victor Bolden. On Washington's side John Ross and Dante Pettis will again look to open it up against Oregon State. Good chance we see some major kick return yards from Ross and Pettis. Washington's kicking game has not been excellent so far this year but considering Washington is likely not to be punting or kicking too many field goals in this game it should not be an issue this week. Going to Utah next week might be a different story but for now hopefully Van Winkle gets some more in game work to work out the kinks in the field goal game.
Let's make some Husky Hype predictions for this weekend.
-Huskies go for 500+ total yards
-Jake Browning adds another 4 touchdowns to his stats and completes over 70%
-Gaskin goes for 100+ yards again in the first half
-Huskies get a fumble and interception. One of which goes for a score.
-Oregon State is held to under 200 yards offense
Final Score prediction: Huskies 56 – Beavers 14