Here’s the fact box that runs in the Saturday paper:
Oregon State (3-2, 2-0), Washington (2-3, 1-1)
Time: 7:21 p.m. at Husky Stadium TV: ESPN Radio: 950 AM The line: UW by 1.
The setup: Just about a must-win for the Huskies if they are going to get to at least 6-6 and to a bowl game — the stated pre-season goal. UW has four of six on the road in the second half. After going 1-2 against a tough non-conference slate, OSU has opened Pac-10 play strong and needs a win to remain atop the conference.
What to expect: Probably a lot of points — each ranks near the bottom in points allowed in the Pac-10, each allowing right around 30, while each has an offense scoring at least 25. OSU got its passing game going last week, throwing for 393, but may also try to establish a ground attack with RB Jacquizz Rodgers. OSU ranks ninth in the Pac-10 in pass defense and UW figures to try to take some shots downfield. Much of what UW does may depend on the health of Jake Locker, who was limited in practice early in the week due to a thigh bruise.
Notes: UW holds a 57-33-4 edge in the series, but OSU has won the last six in a row, including four at Husky Stadium, all since 2004. … OSU won last year in Corvallis, 48-21, officially ending UW’s bowl hopes. … OSU is 10-4 in its last 14 Pac-10 road games, and 18-5 since 2006 in games decided by a touchdown or less. …
Injuries: UW — RB Deontae Cooper (knee), P Will Mahan (knee) each out for the season; LG Erik Kohler (mono) out; WR Devin Aguilar (hip), RB Johri Fogerson (hip) doubtful; QB Jake Locker (thigh bruise) probable.
OSU — WR James Rodgers (knee), TE Brady Camp (back) out; WR Markus Wheaton (knee), C Alex Linnenkohl (ankle), G Grant Johnson (neck) probable.
Upset possibility: Is anything in the Pac-10 an upset these days? Frankly, given the nature of the conference, little that happens in this game would surprise. UW is a slight favorite. For OSU to pull off the minor upset it may simply need to keep taking care of the ball — OSU has lost just one turnover all season, fewest in the nation.
Key matchup: UW TB Chris Polk vs. OSU’s front seven. Given Locker’s health, the Huskies may try to give it to Polk even more than they have in recent games. But Polk won’t make a lot of yards if a remade UW offensive line can’t provide some headway against a sturdy OSU front.
Prediction: Washington 31, Oregon State 28