Washington (6-4) at Oregon State (6-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 10:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Reser Stadium (45,674) -- Corvallis, Oregon. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Washington 5-1, Oregon State 2-3. Away Record: Washington 1-3, Oregon State 4-1. Neutral Record: Washington 0-0, Oregon State 0-0. Conference Record: Washington 3-4, Oregon State 4-3. Series Record: Washington leads, 59-34-4.
GAME NOTES: With just two games to play on the season the Washington Huskies and Oregon State Beavers will each be looking to improve their standing as they meet in a Pac-12 battle at Reser Stadium.
The Huskies were once ranked No. 15 in the country with hopes of playing in the Pac-12 Championship game. The bottom has fallen out since then as Washington is just 6-4 overall after a 41-31 loss on the road against UCLA last Friday, dropping to 3-4 in league play. Washington didn't just lose the game against UCLA, as starting quarterback Keith Price missed the entire second half with a shoulder injury. Price is listed as questionable for this contest.
Oregon State can certainly commiserate with the Huskies when it comes to falling from lofty heights. The Beavers began the year in the national rankings and looked to be building their way back before a recent three-game losing streak. Although all three setbacks, including the 30-17 one they suffered against Arizona State last weekend, have all come against ranked teams, losing multiple games is never a good thing. This is the final home game of the season for Oregon State, which is just 2-3 at Reser Stadium.
A 30-yard field goal from Travis Coons with just over a minute to play lifted Washington to a 20-17 victory when these teams met last year. The win extended the Huskies' all-time series lead to 59-34-4.
Stepping in to take Price's place at quarterback for Washington was Cyler Miles. The redshirt freshman threw for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 15- of-22 passing against UCLA but he was also intercepted twice. Miles may have big shoes to fill going forward as Price had thrown for 2,662 yards and 19 scores to just three interceptions in his 10 games as the starter.
With Price likely sidelined and Miles an uncertainty, the Huskies will rely even more on leading rusher Bishop Sankey. The one-time national leading rusher has turned in an impressive season already with 1,396 yards and 14 touchdowns on 249 carries this year.
A bright spot out of the UCLA loss was the play of Demore'ea Stringfellow. The freshman wide receiver was an unlikely leader, but finished with eight receptions for 147 yards and a touchdown. Stringfellow had three receptions for 20 yards entering the game. Normally Jaydon Mickens (55 receptions, 643 yards, five TDs) and Kevin Smith (38 receptions, 608 yards, three TDs) are the top receiving options. Kasen Williams (29 receptions, 421 yards, TD) is another receiver that works into the rotation, while tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (27 receptions, 328 yards, six TDs) is a valuable target in the red zone.
Overall Washington has managed to put forth strong offensive efforts each week. The Huskies are behind only Oregon in total offense (507.5 ypg) among Pac-12 squads.
On defense the Huskies are less prolific, ranking fifth in the league in both scoring (23.7 ppg) and total defense (384.3 ypg). Hau'oli Kikaha (7.0 sacks) has proven to be an effective pass rusher for the Huskies, who have not been adept at creating pressure. Sean Parker (47 tackles, four INTs) and Marcus Peters (41 tackles, three INTs) both shore up the secondary with the ability to make plays on the ball.
Even though Oregon State leads the Pac-12 in passing offense (396.3 ypg), the Beavers are not finding it so easy to move the ball through the air of late. The Beavers did have 320 passing yards against Arizona State but they also had only 390 total yards.
Sean Mannion threw for all 320 yards and completed 31-of-46 pass attempts as well as tallied a pair of touchdown passes. However, Mannion forced a few too many passes and wound up with four interceptions as well. Mannion has been ripping through secondaries this season en route to 3,860 yards and 33 touchdown passes, all while completing 67.8 percent of his pass attempts.
Mannion isn't particularly generous with his passes, as Brandin Cooks has been getting the bulk of the work at receiver. Cooks has hauled in 100 passes for 1,443 yards and 14 scores already this year. Cooks leads the country in receptions and yards, while ranking second in the nation in touchdowns. Cooks managed 99 yards on nine receptions against Arizona State. Richard Mullaney (46 receptions, 702 yards, three TDs) has been another productive receiver while Connor Hamlett (36 receptions, 329 yards, five TDs) had nine receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown last weekend.
Rashaad Reynolds (41 tackles, five INTs) and Steven Nelson (48 tackles, five INTs) have been blanketing opposing receivers this year as the two are tied for the league lead in interceptions. Scott Crichton (6.5 sacks) is the top pass rusher on the OSU defense, while Tyrequek Zimmerman (76 tackles) and Jabral Johnson (71 tackles) lead the team in stops. As a unit Oregon State is allowing 28 points and 387.8 yards per game.
Event though they have not had a ton of success at home this year, the Beavers should be able to put forth a stronger effort on offense, especially if Mannion is able to bounce back from his four-interception game against the Sun Devils. Adding to the Beavers' advantage is the fact that a freshman quarterback on the road isn't likely to carry the Huskies to a victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon State 32, Washington 27
11/20 10:46:45 ET