Colorado (3-4, 0-3) at Oregon State (2-4, 0-3)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/Beaver Sports Network
Series: OSU leads 5-2. The Beavers won last season’s contest in Boulder, 36-31, overcoming a first half deficit. Terron Ward rushed for 102 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Beavers, while Sean Mannion completed 27 of 37 passes, including a score to Caleb Smith.
Colorado’s last game: Lost 38-31 to Arizona.
5 Keys for the Beavers:
Score two touchdowns in 1st Quarter: The Beavers need to get off to a fast start and give the defense some breathing room. Plus, a strong start will hopefully help the offense find some sort of rhythm — something it’s lacked the past two games.
Run the Ball, and Don’t Stop: I know, I know, I am starting to sound like a broken record, but the stats back me up, the Beavers running backs’ yards per carry has been pretty darn good this season, so they need to get the ball more often. Let them find a groove and then run wild.
Keep on Swinging: It’s no secret the Beavers have struggled passing the ball the past two games, but in the late in the WSU game, they found success with swing passes. So they should keep calling those plays until Colorado proves it can stop them.
More Special (Teams) Plays: The Beavers finally broke through on special teams last week with 100-yard kickoff return and a blocked punt, both of which led to scores. So more of the same against the Buffaloes could make all the difference, even if it’s just a 30-yard punt return.
Hold the Buffs Under 24: OSU’s defense has taken its lumps recently, so I’d like to see them rebound and keep a solid Colorado offense in check. If the Beavers can pressure the QB and keep at least one of the Buffs standout WRs in check, it would go a long way.
Here’s the bottom line, this game is for the Pac-12 cellar, and as such, probably represents OSU’s best opportunity for conference win this season. And who knows? Maybe a win Saturday would be the spark the Beavers need to pull off a surprise later on… Go Beavs! (RW)