Stanford will face Oregon State tonight in what should be a very competitive game in the Bay Area. Both teams have huge question marks going into the season.
OSU lost their front seven to graduation so there will be new starters all around on the defensive side. They will definitely miss former players such as linebackers Derrick Doggett and Joey LaRoque. No one knows what to expect from their new starters on defense.
Stanford returns many of its starters on both sides of the ball. The strength of Stanford's team is in the trenches as they have a solid O-Line and a potentially dominating D-line.
Both of these teams won't have their starting free safety for the game as OSU's Al Alfalava is serving a one game suspension, and Stanford's Austin Yancy is injured. This is a huge loss for both teams.
It will be very hot on the field tonight and this could play a factor in the second half of the game.
RB Ryan McCants is a bruising runner who could run for some nice gains if the Stanford defense gets worn down by the heat.
QB Lyle Moevao is the starter for OSU and Stanford will start Tavita Pritchard behind center. Look for Pritchard to try to scramble for yards as the WR corps for Stanford is very thin.
The only steady pass catcher Stanford currently has is junior Richard Sherman.
This game should be dominated by the defense, and a late turnover could be the deciding factor in the game. Special teams will definitely be key in this game, too.
Both teams have new punters and kickers. Give the edge to OSU on kick and punt returns as they have the athletes to take it to the end zone.
The coaching edge would have to go to Mike Riley, but Jim Harbaugh is a young coach who has instilled enthusiasm to the football program at Stanford.
The Beavers have more playmakers on special teams and on offense than the Cardinal.
If the Beavers can contain the D-line of the Cardinal, they will be able to move the ball down the field and get points.
Stanford will look to run the ball with RB Anthony Kimble. They will be in for a long evening if they can't establish the run because their receivers are very inexperienced and facing a veteran secondary. CBs Brandon Hughes and Keenan Lewis are one of the top tandems in the Pac-10.
This is a must-win for both teams if they want to get to a good start this season because both teams will be underdogs on the road next week.
OSU has to face Penn State and Stanford travels to Arizona State.
This game starts at 6:00pm Pacific and will be shown live on ESPN2.
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