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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 18, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Just the facts — and the pick

Here’s the Scouting Report for tomorrow’s game that also includes my prediction:

Washington (6-4, 4-3) Oregon State (2-8, 2-5)

Time: 12:30 p.m. at Reser Stadium TV: ROOT Radio: 950 AM The line: Huskies by 2.

The setup: UW is looking to snap a two-game losing streak and get seven wins in a regular season for the first time since 2002. Washington is also looking for its first win in Corvallis since 2003. UW has already secured bowl eligibility, and the Pac-12 title is out of the picture, but wins in the last two games can help bowl positioning. OSU is mostly hoping to avoid first 10-loss season since 1995.

What to Expect: Redshirt freshman Nick Montana will get his first start at quarterback for the Huskies. And while the Huskies will no doubt let him take a few shots down the field, expect a heavy dose of handoffs to Chris Polk against an OSU defense that is one of the worst in the conference against the run. Twenty-five or more carries for Polk — who had just nine last week at USC — won’t be a surprise. OSU will likely test UW’s balky pass defense with strong-armed QB Sean Mannion and a solid receiving corps.

Notes: UW beat Oregon State 35-34 in double overtime in Seattle last season when the Beavers misfired on a two-point attempt to end the second OT session. Prior to that, OSU had won six in a row, its longest winning streak since the two teams began playing in 1897. UW leads the all-time series 58-33-4. … The two teams have played in Corvallis just four times since 1999 and OSU has won three of those games, including a 48-21 victory in 2009. … UW coach Steve Sarkisian has never won a game in Corvallis losing the only two times USC played there when he was an assistant with the Trojans (2006, 2008) and again with UW in 2009. … The broadcast team consists of Tom Glasgow, former OSU star Steve Preece and one-time Western Washington QB Jason Stiles. … After playing a number of close games during Sarkisian’s first two seasons, Washington has had just one game decided by fewer than eight points this year — a 30-27 win over Eastern Washington in the opener. UW has won two games by eight points, and its other three by 11 or more, while all four of its defeats have come by 13 or more. … Regular starting QB Keith Price is sidelined with a knee injury (he could play in an emergency) so Montana gets the start. He becomes the first QB other than Price, Jake Locker and Ronnie Fouch to start for UW since 2006. …

Key matchup: Chris Polk vs. Oregon State’s defense. The Beavers have been blistered by the run lately and rank 11th in the Pac-12 in run defense, allowing 183.7 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry. Polk has been held below 100 yards in the last two games against Oregon and USC but should find running lanes easier to come by against the Beavers. Expect UW to hand him the ball early and often and try to gain control on the ground to take the pressure off Montana.

Injuries: UW — RB Deontae Cooper (knee), CB Adam Long (knee), DE Hau’oli Jamora (knee), RB Johri Fogerson (knee), DB James Sample (shoulder) out. QB Keith Price (knee), LB Garret Gilliland (stinger) doubtful, DT Alameda Ta’amu, WR James Johnson (ankle) probable. OSU — LB Rueben Robinson (concussion), OT Geoff Garner (shoulder) out; C Grant Johnson (ankle), LB Feti Unga (knee), RB Malcolm Agnew (hamstring) probable.

Upset brewing?: The 2-point spread indicates there may not be as much difference between the two teams as the records suggests. And OSU will be highly motivated to send a group of 15 seniors out with a win in their final home game. UW needs to get pressure on Mannion or he could have a lot of success against Washington’s secondary.

Prediction: Washington 31, OSU 24.

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