Oregon State attempts to end its eight-game losing streak to Washington State when the Beavers and Cougars meet at 6 p.m. Saturday in Reser Stadium.
OSU is coming off a 28-27 win over Stanford. This is the first of two consecutive games in Reser Stadium for the Beavers.
Here is a preview:
Washington State (4-2, 1-2) at Oregon State (4-2, 1-2)
Time: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Reser Stadium
Coaches: OSU’s Jonathan Smith (fifth year, 20-30), Washington State’s Jake Dickert (second year, 7-5)
Latest line: Beavers by 3½
TV channel: Pac-12 Network (Xfinity Comcast 420/421/720, Dish 406, Charter Spectrum 332/452)
How to watch live stream online: You can watch this game live for FREE with fuboTV (free trial) or with Sling TV (promotional offers) if you are out of fuboTV trials, or simply prefer that platform and their pricing plans. You can also watch this match live on Pac-12 Live with your cable or satellite provider login information.
On the air: Radio on KEX (1190), KPOJ (620), Sirius 137, Sirius XM 203, Sirius XM App 966
Oregon State offense vs. Washington State defense
One of the more formidable defenses OSU will face this season. The Cougars will test quarterback Ben Gulbranson with pressure, as WSU ranks fourth nationally in tackles for losses (49) and 11th in sacks (19). The Cougars have two players among the Pac-12′s top 10 in tackles in Nevada transfer linebacker Daiyan Henley (55) and safety Jaden Hicks (41). Henley also ranks fourth in the country in tackles for loss with 10. The Cougars have a terrific pair of edge rushers in Ron Stone Jr. and Brennan Jackson. Stone was first-team all-conference in 2021, while Jackson has 7½ tackles for loss this season. Statistically, the Cougars’ weakness is pass defense, as they rank 10th in the conference, giving up an average of 260.7 yards per game.
Oregon State will turn to quarterback Ben Gulbranson for a second consecutive week, Gulbranson, replacing Chance Nolan (concussion protocol), had a successful starting debut a week ago, throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns in a 28-27 win over Stanford. The Beavers will attempt to crack WSU’s run defense with the three-man rotation of Deshaun Fenwick, Damien Martinez and Jam Griffin. The Beavers average 181 rushing yards per game, with Fenwick leading the way (331 yards). Tre’Shaun Harrison, owner of the spectacular 56-yard catch-and-run for the game-winner against Stanford, has emerged as OSU’s top receiver. Harrison has 31 catches for 441 yards and three touchdowns. Complementing Harrison is Anthony Gould (20-351, 2 TDs) and Tyjon Lindsey (14-160, 1).
Oregon State defense vs. Washington State offense
Another week, another experienced, talented quarterback facing Oregon State’s defense in Cameron Ward. The transfer from Incarnate Word is as slippery as they come among Pac-12 quarterbacks. Getting Ward on the ground is a problem, and he’s made defenses pay, throwing for 1,617 yards and 15 touchdowns. Donovan Ollie, in his fourth year with WSU, is having a breakout campaign with 31 receptions for 333 yards and two touchdowns. Just behind Ollie is De’Zhaun Stribling (25-314, 4 TDs). The Cougars will be without their most polished receiver, Renard Bell, and starting running back, Nakia Watson. Both suffered injuries last week against USC, knocking them out for several weeks. In the case of Watson, Washington State has an option in freshman Jaylen Jenkins, who ran for 130 yards against the Trojans. WSU’s offense is a bit turnover prone, as it has 12 through six games. Statistically, the Cougars offense is meh, as in the Pac-12 they rank sixth in passing (269.5 yards), 10th in scoring (27.0) and total (369.5) and 12th in rushing (100.0).
Oregon State has probably tired this week of hearing about the greatness of WSU’s defense. The Beavers can make a statement, as they’ve held five of their six opponents to fewer than 400 yards. OSU’s defense is fifth in the conference in total (358.2 yards) and passing (215.7). The Beavers give up a conference-low 14.4 yards per pass completion. Safety Kitan Oladapo leads OSU in tackles with 38, while inside linebacker Kyrei Fisher-Morris has 36 tackles, and a team-high four for a loss. Rejzohn Wright and Alex Austin make up one of the conference’s most experience cornerback duos. The Beavers are decent at stopping the run. What could use a boost? Sacks and takeaways. Oregon State has only five sacks this season, and seven takeaways, all interceptions.
Matchup of note
The Beavers pass rush against Ward. If OSU can contain Ward, this becomes a pedestrian offense. But if Ward gets loose, he can do some damage, as he did with 300+ yard passing performances against Oregon and California.
Former Beaver receiver Mike Hass will be honored after the first quarter. Hass is going into the College Football Hall of Fame in December.
The loss of Bell is significant, as he has a team-high 35 career starts. No one else has more than 24.
This has been a streaky series of late. Prior to WSU’s current eight game winning streak, the Beavers won eight of 10 games over the Cougars from 2004-13.
OSU offensive coordinator Jim Michalczik is a WSU grad, having played for the Cougars from 1984-88.
Oregon State had two 100-yard rushing performances in last year’s game against WSU, as B.J. Baylor ran for 145 yards, and Fenwick 127.
Washington State 24, Oregon State 21