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Kerry says: Arizona's going to be smarting, just in time for Beavers' visit

If I’m Oregon State, there are a lot of things that scare me about Saturday’s visit to Arizona.

For one, the Beavers have won five straight games in Tucson. The Wildcats, in fact, have been OSU’s whipping boy for a long while, having lost 11 of the past 13 meetings. The last time Arizona won at home in the series was 1997. The odds are certainly in the hosts’ favor.

For another, Arizona’s 49-0 whipping at Oregon last Saturday has to stick in the Wildcats’ craw. It’s going to provide some extra motivation for Rich Rodriguez’s troops. They’re not nearly as bad as the score in Eugene indicated. Had they converted any of their half-dozen trips to the red zone, they might have given the Ducks a game.

Arizona doesn’t have a Heisman Trophy candidate at tailback as did Wisconsin and UCLA, but junior Ka’Deem Carey ranks third in the Pac-12 in rushing with 423 yards and a 5.3-yard average. Senior quarterback Matt Scott can run, too, and has thrown for 1,205 yards and seven TDs this season.

A key matchup will be Arizona’s two good-sized receivers, Dan Buckner and Austin Hill, against Oregon State’s much smaller cornerbacks, Jordan Poyer and Rashaad Reynolds. I think Poyer and Reynolds are up to the challenge, but they’ll have to prove it.

The Beavers must do what they did in the first two games — stop the run, move the ball through the air, and get enough on the ground to keep the Arizona defense honest.

They need walk-on punter Keith Kostol — the Pac-12’s special-teams player of the week for his performance against the Bruins — to do more of the same. And for kicker Trevor Romaine to be solid when beckoned.

Your favorite prognosticator has forecast Oregon State to lose its first two games. Maybe I’ll be wrong again. If the Wildcats have five turnovers and the Beavers return two interceptions for touchdowns in the fourth quarter — as happened last Saturday in Eugene — I’m pretty sure I will be.

THE PICK: Arizona 29, Oregon State 27