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KERRY SAYS: Polk will poke at Beavers' defense

Chris Polk might have to put in for overtime after Saturday's Oregon State-Washington matchup at Reser Stadium.

The Huskies' junior tailback has never toted the ball more than 34 times a game. The mark could fall in the chill of a late autumn afternoon in the Valley.

If Keith Price, ailing with a bum left knee, can't go and redshirt freshman Nick Montana makes his first career start - a Wednesday Seattle radio report says that's the case - the Huskies could decide to ride the 5-11, 220-pound Polk for all he is worth in the ground game.

Then it's a matter of whether Oregon State's maligned run defense can come up with at least a facsimile of a decent performance.

On the other hand, OSU has had misfortunes against neophyte signal-callers before. Arizona's Nick Folks comes to mind.

The Beavers will do their best to establish a run game that has been potent as near beer most of the season.

Washington's defense isn't in the same league as Utah's, Stanford's or California's, but the tackles are space-consumers, with four of the five in the rotation weighing in at 330 pounds or more. Maybe hell freezes over and the Beavers get 100 yards on the ground.

That should open up the passing lanes and give Sean Mannion some holes in the secondary to fire away at.

It's Senior Day at OSU, and the Beavers will want to send James Rodgers, Joe Halahuni, Lance Mitchell and friends out in style in their final romp in front of Beaver Nation.

The 6-4 Huskies, though, are playing for the opportunity for the program's first nine-win season since 2000. The first leg is Saturday, and I think they'll get it.

THE PICK: Washington 27, Oregon State 20