The rushing explosion against California provides optimism for a strong finish to the season for Oregon State, which would seem to have four winnable games left. But the passing game must get better, or defenses will send eight players to the line of scrimmage and dare QB Derek Anderson to throw. That means Anderson needs to improve, but receivers such as Cole Clasen and Jayson Boyd also have to hang on to catchable balls to keep drives alive and provide a boost in the confidence department.
The win seemed to lift a burden from the shoulders of Anderson, a team guy. I have a feeling he will play better against Arizona.
Arizona's defense is tough, and Bobby Wade might be the best receiver in the Pac-10, but this is a game OSU has to win. If the Beavers play with purpose and don't underestimate Arizona, they will make it four in a row over the Wildcats.
The pick: Oregon State 27, Arizona 14.