Washington State and Oregon State square off Saturday night in Corvallis, and just like last Saturday night when the Cougars faced the Sun Devils in Tempe, I’m concerned about the outcome in this one, too.
Similar to Arizona State, Oregon State is nowhere near as good as Washington State. Last week the Cougs were favored by 7 and won 34-29. This week they’re favored by 13, and I think we’ll win, but not by two touchdowns.
We saw what the Huskies did to the Beavers last Saturday, racing off to a 31-0 lead before winning 41-17 and fortunately not covering the 36 ½-point spread since I had Oregon State as the Smokin’ Lock of the Week.
The Beavers are a largely terrible team, but I think they have a good coach and will start to head in the right direction next year. I know, next year doesn’t matter when I’m trying to figure out what’s going to happen Saturday night.
Because of injuries to the first two guys, Oregon State is down to its third-string quarterback, Marcus McMaryion, but as I mentioned last week, I think he’s the best of that bad bunch.
In its last two home games, Oregon State beat Cal in overtime and beat the spread against Utah, losing 19-14. Utah is 7-1. You can argue that Washington State is better than Utah, about the same caliber or slightly worse.
I’d vote for same caliber. If we played the Utes at Martin Stadium, I think we’d win. If we played at Rice-Eccles Stadium, I think we’d lose. So with that logic, I can’t see the Cougs winning by double digits at Reser Stadium, and I’m worried that we might not win at all.
Oregon State could pull off the upset, and I would be surprised, not shocked, if that happened.
It’s funny when I write these weekly posts about Cougar games. As an alum who has watched more than 40 years of Cougar football, I hope we win every game. But I’m trying to look at the matchups as objectively as I can.
Plus I can’t stand it when people who cover “the home team” always pick the home team to win. You know what you’re going to get every single week with “homers.”
But then when I pick the opponent to win, like I did last week with ASU, it’s as if I’ve turned into some kind of hater who wants the Cougs to lose when that’s not the case at all. I just thought that ASU was going to win based on our history of playing poorly in Tempe.
I’ll hear about how stupid I was on Facebook, and that’s fine, but I was surprised when one of the posts came from a Lucas Falk, who called the Arizona State prediction a “terrible pick.”
Hey Luke, you’re right, now do me a favor and please don’t get hurt between now and the Apple Cup. Last year’s Apple Cup sucked without you. And you sure are getting banged up. Can you please get rid of the ball faster? Or go down quicker? Or take a glancing blow instead of the brunt of the blow once in awhile? You’re looking as battered and bruised as Russell Wilson and we need you to put an end to this Husky national championship chatter! Thank you.
Two years ago I took my kids to Reser Stadium to watch Falk in his starting debut, and he was fantastic, outdueling Sean Mannion, throwing darts all over the lot. I’m guessing we’ll see more of the same Saturday night.
But the Beavers look like a live home dog to me. I’m pretty sure the Cougars will win their sixth straight game and remain unbeaten in Pac-12 play, but this one will go right down to the wire.
Line: Cougars by 13.
Prediction: Washington State 31, Oregon State 27.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.