The old batting average hasn't been so good for the Trib's senior scribe in prognosticating Oregon State games this season.

I've missed the last two weeks, picking OSU to lose to Arizona and to beat a Brigham Young team I underrated (BYU will finish at 9-3 with its soft schedule).

The Beavers go from Cougars to Cougars, facing a Washington State team that will take Seattle's CenturyLink Field Saturday night fully expecting to win. I notice that Spokane Spokesman-Review beat writer Vince Grippi agrees and sees it as a rout, picking WSU 42-21.

Jeff Tuel is back in the saddle, and the 6-3, 225-pound junior gives the Cougs a two-way threat at quarterback. That's never good news for an OSU defense that tackles running QBs like greased pigs.

The Beaver D is thin as Chaz Bono's beard right now, with more injuries than a tarmac after a jet crash. Can coordinator Mark Banker cobble together enough bodies to slow down a WSU offense that averages 36.2 points and 453.3 yards per game?

Oregon State's offense could be ready to come together Saturday if Malcolm Agnew's troublesome hamstring holds together. The passing game, with Sean Mannion at the controls, has been solid, and I'm thinking Joe Halahuni and James Rodgers could both be ready for a breakout game.

This one might be a wild one. I'll go with a hunch, but don't bet the Maserati on it.

THE PICK: Oregon State 34, Washington State 30

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