Take a deep breath before reading the next sentence. It’s November and Oregon State has a better record than Washington. That almost doesn’t make sense if you think about where these teams have been over the last decade. That isn’t stopping the Huskies from being a -10 point road favorite for Friday night’s game.
Given the records, it’s almost pointless to look at previous results. Washington isn’t as good as previous seasons and Oregon State isn’t as bad. The Huskies have been done in by a difficult schedule, though they shouldn’t have lost to Cal or Stanford.
They had a chance to upset one of the Pac-12 favorites, but faltered in both situations at home the last two weekends. The last time they played a weaker team on the road, they beat Arizona 51-27. The question is if Oregon State is as bad as that Arizona team.
According to some numbers, the answer is no. The Beavers are coming off back-to-back road wins against Cal and Arizona. On the other end of that, they lost at Hawai’i and were throttled 52-7 at home by Utah, maybe the only other team on their schedule that has talent similar to Washington.
However, the Huskies no longer have the defense to dominate weaker opposition, allowing 375 yards per game. Maybe the most impressive part to Oregon State’s offense this season has been quarterback Jake Luton, who has 19 touchdowns and one interception on 7.6 yards per attempt.
While the interception total is nice, a lot of his numbers are juiced because of schedule. Against Cal and Utah, he completed less than five yards per attempt and barely 50% of his passes. UW maybe doesn’t have an elite pass defense, but it’s still one of the better ones in the conference.
If that doesn’t work, the Beavers have to lean on the ground game, which isn’t a bad thing. Artavis Pierce is at 6.2 yards per carry and the team is at 5.0 ypc. Again, some of that is because of the schedule, but Washington’s defense isn’t at the same level as previous years.
The reason not to take the underdog is that Oregon State’s defense is still bad, allowing 186 rushing yards and more than 32 points per game. Washington may have a losing record in conference play, but it just dropped 30 points on two of the best defenses in the Pac-12 the last two weeks.
Salvon Ahmed is averaging 5.6 yards per carry and should run freely in this matchup if everything goes according to the numbers. While Jacob Eason hasn’t had the easiest season, he’s thrown seven touchdowns in the last two games and is a nice complement to what should be a dominant rushing attack in this matchup.
This game has all the makings of what happened in the Washington win at Arizona. Oregon State maybe has an offense to contend, but its defense is still a problem and could be run over all game.
The over is 5-1 in Washington’s last six games following an ATS loss, while the under is 3-0-1 in Oregon State’s last four against a team with a winning record. The road team has covered in the last four meetings between these schools and the Huskies are 5-2 ATS in the last seven. The over is also 6-1-1 in the last eight meetings played in Corvallis.
Our Pick – Washington -10