Well, it is a crucial PAC-12 opener for Oregon St. Gone are the days with Steven Jackson when we would wake up on Saturday and assume wins at home and great grind it out contests on the road.
This one is hard to call. Mannion should be getting more comfortable yet we heard about his 5 picks in practice on Thursday. The DBs couldn’t be practicing new technique could they? Nah. I expect Mannion will throw for between 210 and 240 yards. Somewhat mediocre numbers but he should get in some rythym at points and complete at a pretty good percentage. My call is around 67% of his passes.
With no Malcolm Agnew the running game will be Langsdorf blah today as far as I can tell. I like Terron Ward but don’t think he is the type to break many longer runs any time too soon and Jenkins is walk-on material. Why a school at this level of PAC-12 play can’t have two effective backs that both are serious threats like at Oregon is beyond me. Ward should get the most yards but I wouldn’t mind Stevenson getting a few runs as I like how he can be used well on screens and as a potential receiver for certain sets.
I expect 2 pass interference penalties on the Beaver DBs today and for them to be beat a few teams. UCLA should score atleast 2 TDs today. Oregon State doesn’t promise much more at this point. I think Rodgers will get open and Bishop should be one of our most consistent receivers. Halahuni will have a few nice catches up the middle. Brandin Cooks will have a few catches and Markus will probably have 4 but I see it being a little disorganized out there and not enough times where we string together 4 or 5 first downs.
I predict a 14-10 OSU lead at halftime and a 24-17 final score with Oregon St winning the game. It will get a little dicey at the end when UCLA has its last drive but the Beavs will hold on and for one game atleast right the ship.
Now if we do lose, it will not be good. Calls to toss out Riley will grow much louder. This is absolutely 100% a game we should win. Riley will be looking at a 30% if not slightly less win % over his last 17 or 18 games with a loss.
I will always love my team and of course am rooting that we will win by 2 touchdowns or more today but I am really not convinced Riley is good for this program much longer. Ever since his contract extension it has looked on the field as though he has mentally gone to Bermuda. I don’t see any results too great over the next 5 or 6 years so to me it is wiser to get a fresh start. With a win today I will quiet those calls for one week. When you are being paid 1.5 Million to coach this game you are expected to win and at home need to. Today is definitely an expected win and one Riley would have no excuses to lose with “the calvary back”.
OSU 24, UCLA 17