Can any state match the Oregon universities for region-appropriate but completely unthreatening mascots. Beavers are super-cool, but what are they going to do on the football field? Gnaw your leg off and wap you with their tail? Slowly build a dam that will funnel the opposing offense toward a waterfall? That dam defense bends but doesn’t break!
I have to admit, ducks are among my very favorite birds, and I really like birds. They have a certain je ne sais quoi. Mystery hides behind their bills and well-groomed feathers. But put them on a football field and you just get this.
UW comes into Corvallis licking it’s wounds after two straight weeks of getting thrashed by superior conference foes. Oregon and USC exposed so many weaknesses in the Dawgs top to bottom, I’d bore you to death with the details. All you need to know is they got rocked. Thankfully, they get Benny the Beaver this week, and he is not a superior foe. OSU has struggled all year to be competitive (except for the beat down they administered to Wazzu), and I expect that to continue this Saturday. It’s senior day at Reser, so emotions will be high, but that’s all they have going for them at home. A porous defense that has given up over 800 yards on the ground over the past three games should be a welcome sight for the Huskies. With Nick Montana making his first ever start, I expect Sark to called Chris Polk’s number all day. I better see 30 carries from #1. I have a good feeling Polk will deliver. Sean Mannion is a legit, strong armed, up and coming QB in the Pac 12. Even though just a freshman, coach Riley has handled the program over to the young signal caller. He’ll play with confidence and throw a lot to his stable of solid WRs. Since the UW secondary is terrible, expect to see OSU throw and throw often. In the end this game will be about tempo and ball control. If UW expects to win, the ball must be in the best players’ hands, i.e. Polk, ASJ, Kasen. If Montana finds those guys, I like the chances of winning.
UW 31 – OSU 24
These next 2 games will define the season for the Huskies. If they beat OSU and WSU, which they should, then the season will be seen as a success and another step forward for the program. If they drop one of these games then it’s hard to be as excited about this season. So, this game means more than just playing a team with 2 wins.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why the line on this game is so low. The Huskies are clearly a better team even if they have their backup quarterback. Oregon State isn’t very good, but they will play hard and will play with emotion. If the Dawgs are able to get their running game going and play decent defense they should win this game by double digits, but it’s hard to know if that will happen after the last couple of games. I’m thinking that Chris Polk will make sure his team is ready to go. As for Nick Montana, I think he’ll be efficient and will wow us and then make us scratch our heads every once in a while. This game has me nervous, but not nervous enough to pick against the Huskies.
UW 38, OSU 27
My emotions are swirling heading into this game tomorrow. That’s not terribly unusual, but this game in particular has me anxious. A month ago, the Huskies were rolling and the Beavers were playing like the Beavers we remember from the 90’s. As it stands today, UW has lost 2 in a row, and coming out of its toughest stretch of the schedule, the team is beat up physicially, emotionally, and most likely mentally. The Beavers are not exactly surging having lost 3 straight, but they are as healthy as they’ve been, and from what I’ve heard the team is practicing hard, and in no way resembles a typical 2-8 football team. No matter how you dice it, the Huskies are better at nearly every position, on both sides of the ball. The offensive line’s struggles have been well documented, but the truth is all 5 starters would probably start for the Beavers. The talent gap is large, but that has never prevented the Beavs from competing well, especially in November. I expect a heavy dose of Chris Polk tomorrow, but then again I expect that every week, and sometimes it doesn’t happen. For me, the 2 factors that scare me most are the Keith Price injury, paired with the weird juju that often occurs at Reser in November. I smell an upset, and a frustrating afternoon.
With Nick Montana getting the start and the Huskies’ recent swoon, this game had me pretty worried. Then I realized how bad the Beavers have been most of this season. I guess I’m so used to the Beavers being a tough game, especially late in the season, that I just assumed the Huskies would end up with the loss. I could still see that happening, but OSU isn’t a major threat. The rushing numbers are so heavily in UW’s favor that they should decide the game. We’ve heard things like that before, of course, and it often doesn’t work out. I have a feeling that this time, it will. Montana should be good enough to keep the defense honest, and Polk should have a huge day. Go Dawgs!
UW 34, OSU 20