The last time Brigham Young and Oregon State met up on the gridiron, the Cougars beat the Beavers 44-20 at the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.

Neither team is as good as it was back then.

The Cougars are 4-2 but got whacked 54-10 at home by Utah before the Utes lost quarterback Jordan Wynn for the season due to a shoulder injury.

The Beavers are gathering some momentum after an unseemly 0-4 start.

The outcome of Saturday's game will hinge on a number of things.

Oregon State must show at least a semblance of a run game against a solid BYU defense.

OSU has to do a decent job controlling BYU's new quarterback, junior Riley Nelson, a run-first southpaw who is the type of QB the Beavers have had some trouble with in recent years.

If the Beavers can win the battle of the trenches on both sides of the ball, they have a great chance to win. The tougher task will be O-State's O-line going against a BYU D-line that goes 330, 320 and 295 across the front and 240, 235, 230 and 245 at the four linebacker spots.

And OSU's special teams - such a plus in the win over Arizona last Saturday - must be up to the task again.

A victory Saturday would mean the Beavers can begin to think about the possibilities of salvaging the season and actually putting themselves into position to become bowl eligible. A loss wipes away any chance of that happening.

The Beavers seem to be trending upward. We'll know more after Saturday.

THE PICK: Oregon State 27, Brigham Young 23

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