KERRY SAYS: Upset? Not in the cards for Stanford-Oregon State game


Upsets happen all the time in college football.

Ask Sacramento State and Oregon State about it.

It'll take one of about those proportions for the Beavers to take down fourth-ranked Stanford at Reser Stadium on Saturday.

I wrote before the Wisconsin game that, in my years covering Oregon State football, I've never felt less optimistic of the Beavers pulling off a victory than against the big, bad Badgers.

I was right on that one. This one has a similar feel, the only difference being it's at home.

The Cardinal are pretty much the full orchestra, and the conductor - Andrew Luck - is Leonard Bernstein material.

Oregon State will likely be without a pair of injured middle men - linebacker Feti Unga (calf) and center Grant Johnson (ankle). Even with a full deck, ending Stanford's win streak at 16 is a tall-as-Manute Bol order.

The Beavers were so bad in the first half of last Saturday's 27-8 loss at Utah, I expect them to have a little extra fire in their bellies for the Stanford game.

The OSU offense has to play as it did against Washington State, and the OSU defense must perform as it did in the second half against the Utes. The Beaver O-line has to block well enough to create opportunities, use the clock and keep the ball away from Luck and company.

Even that might not be enough to pull off a shocker.

Oregon State's biggest chance might be in catching Stanford at the right time - after the 56-48 triple-overtime win over Southern Cal, before the showdown with Oregon on Nov. 12. Maybe the Cardinal will be looking past the Beavers.

Stanford is averaging 49.5 points a game, ranking third nationally. The Cardinal put up 57 on San Jose State, 65 on Washington and 56 on SC. Only once have they been held under 40.

I see the Beavers keeping them under their average and playing them to their closest game except against the Trojans. Chaminade over Virginia, though, I'm not expecting.

THE PICK: Stanford 42, Oregon State 20