#8 Oregon State takes on Utah Saturday night at 7:30 on a national ESPN2 broadcast. Oregon State will try to equal the all-time best start in OSU history, which was achieved when the 1907 team went 6-0 for the season. The game only has a handful of tickets left, and when all is said and done, I would not be surprised if attendance is just over 46K. If OSU beats Utah they are guaranteed bowl bound and will have achieved it in the minimum games possible. It also should allow them to try to edge toward #7 or better in the AP and BCS rankings.
I believe OSU has too much for Utah to overcome on the road. Vaz will likely play the whole game, unless the coaches feel we really need to do something to try to claw a victory after being down and feel Sean gives the better chance to prevail late. As long as OSU plays a smart game they should be playing with the lead for most of the game. Vaz just has to limit mistakes and let the team help him. The crowd needs to have high energy from the start, get super loud and make it difficult for Utah. If the defense keeps up their great national average of holding teams on 3rd down, it should be hard for Utah to score enough to keep pace with the OSU offense. OSU’s offense has a good balance going and Vaz just needs to get comfortable and allow his teammates to help him.
I expect Vaz plays well. On the heels of his Pac-12 Offensive POW honors, I believe he throws for 250+ yards and 2TDs. I think OSU’s RBs will tack on 2 more TDs. At halftime look for a score around 17-10 Oregon State. In the second half OSU gets two more TDs and scores 31 points for the game. Utah gets 10 more in the 2nd half and OSU wins 31-20. Utah is susceptible to Oregon State’s premier wide receivers and passing game. Even though Utah is tough in middle run support, I expect Woods will get a solid 115 yards rushing with Agnew and fullback Tyler Anderson also each adding 30-40 yards for 185 rushing yards overall. Storm will get one TD and Anderson the other. Wheaton and Cooks each will catch a TD pass.
Utah’s freshman QB Travis Wilson will get the start. I don’t feel he should be able to outwit an Oregon State defense with leaders like Jordan Poyer, Ryan Reynolds and Scott Crichton. I expect Poyer will get a pick and maybe someone like S Ryan Murphy another. If the offensive line gives Vaz the amount of time they did versus BYU than Cody has the accuracy to sustain drives and deliver strikes to OSU’s speedy receivers. Oregon State needs to take advantage of the spotlight and do their best to play like the nation’s #8 team. That means winning by atleast 2 TDs if possible. I think OSU does just shy of that and that the Vegas line of OSU by 10.5 is about right. If the Beavs take care of business early in this game, they should be able to dishearten Utah and not allow them to believe they can pull off the upset. If the game is tied going into the 2nd half than Vaz will have more pressure. It’s up to the #8 team to grab the momentum early and show the nation that Oregon State is a legit contender for the Pac-12 crown. Jacquizz and James Rodgers will be at the game to add to the electric atmosphere of OSU’s first blackout of the year.
Oregon State 31, Utah 20