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Kerry says

After going 3-8 in each of his first two years at Arizona, Mike Stoops is building a solid program. The defense is sound and physical, but the offense is a different story - especially if injured QB Willie Tuitama isn't at full strength or available.

With critics circling like buzzards the last couple of weeks, Oregon State has been in bunker mentality. Mike Riley's even-keel approach has steadied the psyche of his players, who continue to believe they can achieve good things this season.

The mojo returned to the passing game against Washington. The offense will get another good test in Tucson, but the defense has a decided edge on the Wildcats' limited offensive attack.

The unexpected already has happened often this season in the Pac-10, so this game is no sure thing for Oregon State. But the Beavers - who won six straight in the Arizona series before last year's disaster - will have enough to take another step toward a bowl appearance with a victory.

The pick: Oregon State 24, Arizona 13