The No. 16 Oregon State Beavers more than likely had their BCS dreams crushed when they faltered to the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal in Week 11, but they still have a lot to play for.
Most notably, the Beavers should be looking forward to Nov. 24, when they will get a chance to play spoiler against their biggest rival, the Oregon Ducks.
Let’s a take a look at some Oregon State players that will need to bring their “A” game if they want to pull off a shocking victory over their in-state foe.
QB Sean Mannion
The OSU signal-caller is going to be instrumental in any possible upset here. Because of the undefeated Ducks ability to put up points, and the inability of any defense so far to stop it, the Beavers will have to find a way to match their ability to generate scores.
Mannion lost his job earlier in the season when he went down with injury and backup Cody Vaz excelled upon taking control of the team. However, Vaz suffered an injury at the end of the Stanford loss, leaving the door open for Mannion’s return.
He needs to prove to the world why he was named the starter in the first place and avoid turnovers, an area that he struggled with when playing.
WR Markus Wheaton
Oregon’s defense is beatable. They are often out on the field because of how quickly the Ducks have been able to strike, and their corners have allowed a number of big games to opposing receivers.
Wheaton is going to need to put together the finest game of his career, and the senior should be up to the challenge. He’s recorded 61 receptions for 878 yards and nine TDs in 2012, with two of his best performances coming in the past two weeks against Arizona State and Stanford.
He’ll need to crescendo that momentum against Cal in Week 12 and turn into an absolute beast against Oregon.
CB Rashaad Reynolds
Which team will win?
If the Beavers are going to have any chance to score enough points to beat Oregon, they need turnovers. Fortunately, the junior CB has a knack for creating them.
He has two interceptions on the season, both which came against quality opponents (BYU and Stanford).
If Reynolds can hawk down a pass from Ducks QB Marcus Mariota, it could turn the tide of the game in favor of the underdog.