As always, here’s the gameday preview box that appears in the paper:
Time: 7:15 p.m. at CenturyLink Field.
TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: KJR-AM 950-AM, 102.9-FM.
The line: Oregon State by 4.5.
The setup: Oregon State comes in as the surprise team in the Pac-12, if not the nation, at 6-0 and ranked No. 7 this week in the Associated Press poll. The Beavers were picked last in the Pac-12 South in the pre-season media poll but are already bowl eligible and now talking of larger goals. The Huskies are 3-4 after a disappointing 52-17 loss at Arizona last week and hoping to win three of the last five to get to a bowl game.
Key matchup: UW’s offensive line vs. Oregon State’s defensive front. UW has not scored more than 21 points in any of its six games against FBS teams, and while there have been numerous offensive issues, most start with an offensive line that will have its sixth different starting alignment against Oregon State. OSU, meanwhile, has been led by a dominating defensive front that is second in the Pac-12 in rushing yards at 80.8 per game.
What to expect: Oregon State has been successful this year getting leads and then using its defense to hold on to them. So don’t be surprised to see the Huskies get aggressive early to try to get the lead and get the crowd into it and make the Beavers play from behind. OSU will try to establish the run and then hit the Huskies with carefully timed play-action passes deep while using its solid defensive front to bottle up UW’s running attack.
Notes: UW holds a 58-34-4 edge in the all-time series in what is the second-longest active series for the Huskies (behind Stanford) the two teams meeting for the first time in 1897. … Oregon State has won seven of the last eight games in the series though UW won the last meeting in Seattle in 2010, a 35-34 double-overtime win at Husky Stadium. … It’s UW’s Homecoming Game … Oregon State becomes the fifth team ranked in the top 11 that UW has played in its last seven games — it’s the first time UW has ever played five teams ranked in the top 11 over seven games in its history. … Oregon State has 14 players on its roster from the state of Washington, including standout defensive end Scott Crichton of Foss High in Tacoma and tight end Connor Hamlett of Meadowdale (nine catches). UW has just one player on its roster from Oregon, offensive lineman James Atoe of The Dalles. … The game will be telecast on the Pac-12 Networks with the team of Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker and Ryan Nece. …
Upset brewing? While UW is coming off a disastrous loss at Arizona, the Huskies have been a different team at home, having beaten then-No. 8 Stanford and playing a competitive game against USC. Oregon State, while undefeated, has not been blowing teams out regularly. So maybe UW can enact the same formula that worked against Stanford of using its defense to keep the game close and then pulling it out late.
Injuries: Out for UW are RB Jesse Callier (knee), DE Hau’oli Jamora (knee), RB Deontae Cooper (knee), WR James Johnson (wrist), OL Erik Kohler (knee), OL Colin Tanigawa (knee) and DL Lawrence Lagafuaina (leg). For Oregon State, QB Sean Mannion is back as the starter after missing two weeks with a knee injury; CB Jordan Poyer (wrist), G Josh Andrews (ankle) probable.