Although the Oregon State Beavers may have watched their national championship aspirations vanish this weekend when they were defeated by the Washington Huskies, they still must rebound in order to save any chance of winning a Pac-12 title.
Not many people expected Oregon State to go through the season's first two months undefeated, but it did, allowing the Beavers to climb as high as No. 7 in the national rankings.
Though they came up flat against a solid Washington Huskies team, their season is far from over. The offense struggled in the first half but came out of halftime strong, scoring 17 second-half points and nearly staging a late comeback that would've kept the Beavers' season perfect.
Saturday's loss surely took some wind out of the Beavers' sails, but they can't allow themselves to become too disheartened with the defeat. There's only one sure-fire win remaining on their schedule—Nicholls State.
They turn around to face Arizona State on Saturday, a team that started off hot before losing its last two games. The Sun Devils are one of the more dangerous teams in the Pac-12 and shouldn't be overlooked.
Oregon State boasts one of the Pac-12's best defenses, giving up just 17 points per game, which also ranks 12th in the nation. That should help to stifle Arizona State's passing attack, but OSU still must stay focused and prepared.
It's possible that the Beavers could overlook the Sun Devils, as they will travel to face No. 17 Stanford the following the weekend. The Cardinal have looked impressive this season in defeating USC, and they'll be looking for another big-time win against the Beavers.
It is imperative that the Beavers get their offense going this weekend against a suspect Sun Devils defense. Putting up 17 points—as they did against Washington—simply isn't a winning style of football.
We all know of the looming "Civil War" showdown between the Beavers and the in-state rival Oregon Ducks, and a win against their bitter foes could catapult them closer to a Pac-12 title.
But in order for that game to have that type of significance, the Beavers must first take care of business in their upcoming schedule.