On the Beavers
Funny how Oregon State is a five-point favorite in Vegas but most prognosticators like Maryland in Friday's Emerald Bowl.
The Terrapins had a difficult schedule and went 3-5 against three top-25 opponents and eight bowl teams. Their defense is fast and active and the rushing game boisterous with tailbacks Keon Lattimore and Lance Ball. If sophomore QB Chris Turner gets the Maryland passing game going as he did in a 42-35 win over Boston College (337 yards, 3 TDs), look out.
But the Terrapins might not have faced a defense as menacing as Oregon State's. The Orange will pressure Turner, key on the backs and try to make the Terp offense one-dimensional.
Yvenson Bernard intends to have a big college finale. If that happens, the Beavers should run coach Mike Riley's bowl record to 7-0.
The pick: Oregon State 27, Maryland 17