KERRY SAYS: Team with best ground game will win OSU-Utah
- Kerry Eggers
- Portland Tribune - Sports
It's hard not to look back at Oregon State's season and think, 'Wow, if the Beavers hadn't blown that game against Sacramento State, and if they'd won as they should have against UCLA ...'
As Dandy Don Meredith used to say, 'If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas.'
The season is about going week to week for the Beavers, and they're eager to make it two in a row with a victory at Utah.
Historically, those aren't easy to come by. From 2008-10, Utah was 17-1 at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Things have changed, though. The Utes, 3-4 overall, are more vulnerable than they've been in a while, with JC transfer Jon Hays instead of the injured Jordan Wynn at quarterback.
Utah has dropped its last two home games - 31-14 to Washington and 35-14 to Arizona State - and will be doing all it can to avoid a three-game losing streak in front of the Ute faithful.
Oregon State's offense has been coming on in recent weeks, and Malcolm Agnew's presence in the running game provides balance that makes the Beavers dangerous. The defense is still beat up, but Mark Banker has been able to cobble together a unit that could give the Utes some trouble.
Utah has a big, physical front seven that ranks third in the Pac-12 and 15th naionally against the run, yielding only 99.4 yards per game.
It could come down to a battle of which team can run most effectively.
Come Saturday evening, I see some handwringing in the home locker room at Rice-Eccles.
THE PICK: Oregon State 30, Utah 21.