Saturday night's Pac-12 clash between Stanford and Oregon State is a battle of strength versus strength, as the Beavers' explosive offensive attack will attempt to break through Stanford's rock-wall defense.
Both teams enter the game with one loss on their records, but Oregon State is still perfect in conference play this season.
After getting shocked by Utah two weekends ago, Stanford responded by walloping UCLA at home 24-10, thanks to a stellar showing by the team's defense and by running back Tyler Gaffney, who rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Oregon State has been perfect since losing its opener against Eastern Washington, and the team's last three victories have been complete blowouts.
Stanford won't be easily defeated, however.
The atmosphere at Reser Stadium will be electric on Saturday night, and an upset victory over the mighty Cardinal would send the home crowd into a frenzied celebration.
When: Saturday, Oct. 26, at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Betting Lines (via Covers)
- Over/Under: 55.5 pts.
- Spread: Oregon State (+3.5)
Stanford Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Henry Anderson||DE||Late Nov. - Knee - 10/16/13|
Oregon State Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Connor Hamlett||TE||Out indefinitely - Knee - 10/20/13|
|Roman Sapolu||OL||Out for season - Foot - 9/15/13|
|Michael Doctor||LB||Out indefinitely - Foot - 9/15/13|
Can Stanford Shut Down Oregon State's Explosive Offense?
Coming into last weekend's game against UCLA, Stanford faced a difficult challenge against the No. 7-ranked scoring offense in the nation. The Bruins were absolutely stymied, however, thanks to a stifling defensive effort by the Cardinal.
Things don't get any easier this weekend, however.
Oregon State features the nation's top-ranked passing offense, averaging 442.1 yards per game, and its ninth-ranked scoring offense, scoring 44.1 points per game.
Quarterback Sean Mannion is one of the nation's best-kept secrets. He's already passed for 2,992 yards with 29 touchdowns this season in seven games, throwing just three interceptions.
Stanford was able to pressure Brett Hundley last weekend on a regular basis with a four-man rush, which was beneficial covering the back end. The Cardinal will win if they can similarly pressure Mannion this Saturday night and force him into uncharacteristic turnovers.
As we've seen for the past handful of years, Stanford wins by pounding the rock on offense and by dominating the line of scrimmage on defense.
Tyler Gaffney has rushed for 279 yards and three touchdowns in his last two games, and he's starting to get into a serious rhythm, running hard between the tackles.
Shayne Skov, Trent Murphy and the rest of Stanford's defenders will have another huge game against one of the nation's top offenses, and Mannion will suffer through his worst game of the season in a losing cause.
Stanford will win big on the road.
Stanford wins 38-20
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78