Place: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
On a steady climb up the BCS standings, No. 9 Oregon State visits Washington for a Pac-12 Conference game at Seattle on Saturday night. Despite losing their starting quarterback, Sean Mannion, a couple weeks ago, the surprising Beavers are off to a 6-0 start, tied for the best in school history.
The Beavers, ranked seventh in the latest BCS list, suddenly have a legitimate national title chance if they can run the table. And Mannion is expected to return to the lineup after undergoing a surgical procedure on his knee Tuesday.
The Huskies continue to slide and the cries for a change at quarterback are getting louder. Keith Price has turned the ball over 10 times in his last three games, all losses.
Saturday’s game will be Washington’s fifth against a team ranked in the top 11 this season. While they own a quality win over Stanford this season, the Huskies were embarrassed last week, dropping a 52-17 decision to Arizona. While Price was awful, Washington’s once-strong pass defense was even worse.
Oregon State Beavers (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12): The Beavers gained only 226 yards in last week’s 21-7 win over Utah but limited the Utes to 306 yards and forced four turnovers. Oregon State has won seven of the last eight games in the series and is one of 11 FBS schools still undefeated. And of the undefeated, Oregon State’s schedule is ranked second-hardest.
The Beavers have ridden a staunch defense to its fine start. Oregon State has allowed nine or fewer points three times this season and is fifth in the nation in rushing defense. Before he was hurt, Mannion was averaging 339.5 yards passing to rank second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation.
Washington Huskies (3-4, 1-3): Price offered no excuses after last week’s loss but the pattern for the Huskies remains the same. They fall behind big early and then can’t protect their raw quarterback in their comeback bid. Last week, Price was sacked four times by an Arizona team which entered the game with only six sacks.
Price completed 29 of 52 passes for 256 yards and one touchdown, getting harassed throughout the game. After the contest, coach Steve Sarkisian criticized his struggling quarterback, saying he needs to trust his play-calling.
1. The last time Oregon State was 6-0 was in 1907.
2. Washington won the last game at Seattle 35-34 in two overtimes.
3. The Huskies rank 105th in the nation in total offense.