The Oregon State Beavers are undefeated and have an excellent chance at making a BCS Bowl Game this season, but the team still has a few difficult games remaining before the regular season ends.
At 5-0, the Beavers received the No. 8 ranking in the first set of BCS standings this year. This is an incredible accomplishment after being completely ignored in all the preseason polls.
But OSU’s fantastic run will ultimately be forgotten if they do not get more victories in crucial games.
Here is what the Beavers must do to earn a victory in each of their toughest games left on the schedule.
Saturday, October 27, at Washington
Washington has already proved that traveling to Seattle will not be easy for any Pac-12 opponent.
The Huskies stunned Stanford when they were ranked No. 8 in the AP Top 25. But the high-flying Oregon State offense is completely different than the Cardinal’s rushing based attack.
Washington’s success against Stanford came largely by stopping the run and stacking the line of scrimmage. The Beavers currently rank eighth in the country in passing yards, and this strategy will not work against OSU.
Although quarterback Sean Mannion may not be available in this matchup due to a knee injury, backup Cody Vaz proved that he is capable with three touchdown passes against BYU. The Oregon State passing attack has the talent to overwhelm Washington in this game.
Saturday, November 10, at Stanford
Palo Alto is another extremely difficult place for a Pac-12 team to play, as USC knows all to well. The Trojans' latest loss to Stanford came earlier this season when they were ranked No. 2 in the country.
Matt Barkley, Robert Woods and Marqis Lee were contained by the stout Cardinal defense, and the Beavers' potent passing game will have to find a way to make plays in this contest.
Ultimately, it will be difficult to score in this game, but OSU has proven that it can get a victory in a low-scoring battle when it upset Wisconsin 10-7.
Sean Mannion will likely be back from his injury before this game, and the sophomore’s confidence has grown continually this season. The Beavers will need him to play flawlessly in this contest, as points will be at a premium.
Saturday, November 24, at Oregon
This rivalry game should be an entertaining battle that features a stunning amount of points and offensive yardage.
Oregon’s rushing attack is frighteningly fast, and Chip Kelly’s up-tempo system will allow the team to score early and often. For the Beavers to have a chance at an upset, they will have to match the Ducks’ offensive output.
In addition to having elite speed on offense, the Oregon defense covers ground like few other teams in the country. This will undoubtedly be the Beavers toughest test of the season.
But pushing the game into a wild shootout will give OSU a chance, and this matchup is sure to provide a thrilling late-season contest.