This is my evaluation of how the Oregon State Beavers could perform through their 2008 college football season.
Aug. 28 at Stanford: Win
Oregon State starts off the 2008 season in Palo Alto against the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford is a young team, and the Beavers offense will just be too potent for the Cardinal's mediocre defense to handle. This is a win in the opener for the Beavers.
Sep. 6 at Penn State: Toss up
This will be one of the most interesting games for the Beavers as they enter Happy Valley. Oregon State is a new wave spread-out team going up against the grit of the Penn State Nittany Lions. This mix of styles makes it hard to predict a winner, and the game could really go either way. It will be on Moevao's shoulders to keep control of the ball. If he can do that, the Beavers could pull this one out of Penn's grasp.
Sep. 13 vs. Hawaii: Win
Although the Warriors had a successful season in 2007, it is hard to see them doing it again. With the departure of June Jones and Colt Brennan, Hawaii is in a rebuilding year. This game is at Reser, and it would take a miracle for Hawaii to pull this one out. Another win for the Beavers.
Sep. 25 vs. USC: Loss
After the catastrophe that occurred in Reser in 2006, where the Trojans were upset 33-31, it is hard to see them overlooking the Beavers again. It is fair to say USC has a superior defense, and while I wouldn't say a win would be out of the question, it would take a lot of things going the Beavs' way.
Oct. 2 at Utah: Win
Last year the Utes had the Beavers on the fence until their quarterback and running back went out with injuries. The Beavers will be ready to play when they enter this game, and their defense will step up huge against Utah's spread/option offense. Look for OSU to put this one in the plus-20 point differential category.
Oct. 11 vs. Washington State: Win
The Beavers put over 50 points on the scoreboard last year at Pullman. This year Oregon State's offense is even more experienced. The Cougars defense will not be able to stop this high-powered offense. The Beavers win at home.
Oct. 18 at Washington: Win
All of the Huskies' hopes and dreams for the 2008 season lie on the shoulders of quarterback Jake Locker. With an experienced secondary for OSU, including Al Afalava, Brandon Hughes, and Keenan Lewis, Locker will have a hard time throwing the ball and will try to do too much with his legs. Oregon State wins in Seattle.
Nov. 1 vs. Arizona State: Toss up
The return of former Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson to Reser Stadium will make for an emotionally charged football game. Last year the Beavers had the game locked up but lost due to multiple interceptions. Lyle Moevao proves to be a better decision-maker than Canfield. This game could go either way, but no matter the outcome, it will be a great one to watch.
Nov. 8 at UCLA: Win
So many questions surround UCLA and first year coach Rick Neuheisel that it is hard to see what will become of the 2008 Bruins. There are also many questions as to who will start at quarterback for UCLA. Dependent on how much of an immediate impact Rick will have, it looks to be another win for the Beavers.
Nov. 15 vs. California: Toss up
Oregon State has won the last two meetings down in Berkeley, but they always seem to struggle when the Bears come to Corvallis. With two solid QBs in Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley, the Beavs' secondary will be in for a long day. The Beavers will be in Reser though, where they have a plus-.750 win percentage since 2000.
Nov. 22 at Arizona: Win
This will be an offensively charged game. Oregon State and Arizona bring high-powered offenses with speed and agility. In the end, Oregon State's experience and defensive presence will prove to be too much for the Wildcats. The Beavers win in a close game.
Nov. 29 vs. Oregon: Win
Oregon walks into Reser after having lost the last two installments of the Civil War. Many Duck fans predict a win for UO on the basis of "revenge," but if that were true, why didn't they win last year after having lost in 2006? The Beavers are home, and with a high-powered offense and run game, look for them to overpower Oregon's mediocre defense. Beavers win by plus-10.
The Beavers have potential records from 11-1 to a worst-case scenario of 8-4.
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