The Washington Huskies look to avoid a rare three-game losing skid in Corvallis against the Oregon State Beavers. They’re coming off losses against the Oregon Ducks and Utah Utes to put them on the brink of a .500 record. Washington went into this season budding with confidence. Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin may off been off to the NFL, but the future was looking good with Georgia transfer Jacob Eason and the progress of running back Salvon Ahmed in the backfield. There has been nothing wrong with Eason or Ahmed, but something else has been missing from their offense.
If Washington had a John Ross kind of deep threat still, we’d likely be talking about wins against Oregon and Utah. That explosiveness just isn’t there despite Eason and Ahmed compiling nice numbers in 2019. Also keep in mind that the Huskies lost some good defensive talent to the NFL this past year. Eight Huskies were drafted in the most recent draft, with defensive specialists, Ben Burr-Kirven, Greg Gaines, and Taylor Rapp all off to play professional football. Burr-Kirven won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2018. Also out was cornerback Jordan Miller. So, in other words, there was a heck of a lot of talent to replace in Seattle.
Instead of making an extra play or two, Washington are getting beat when they need their defense to rise up and get a stop. While there’s been nothing wrong with their defense, they’ve regressed enough to go from one of the best in the country to just okay. Chris Petersen is a terrific head coach, but there has been a lot of turnover for the Huskies this season and it’s taking too long for everything to gel. Without much to play for now, they have to find a way to get some motivation to play Oregon State on Friday night. They’re on a short week after a tough loss against Utah, so the Beavers have the Huskies right where they want them. The College Football Playoff or a top-tier bowl game is not reachable, leaving Petersen without much of a motivational sticking point for his team.
Oregon State have been playing above expectations this season, as they’ve fielded a team that is at least competitive and winning some ball games. The Beavers welcome Washington on Friday night with a record of 4-4. Oregon State have four games left on their schedule, but it’s not going to be easy finding two wins to go bowling. After Washington, they have Arizona State, Washington State, and Oregon. The fact we’re talking about Oregon State only being two wins away from a bowl in early November is an accomplishment in itself, though. Head below for our free Washington vs. Oregon State pick.
Washington Huskies vs. Oregon State Beavers NCAAF Week 11 Betting Odds:
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Washington vs. Oregon State Pick:
Offense hasn’t been an issue for Oregon State this season. They’ve been airing it out with Jake Luton and getting the best results from a quarterback in Corvallis in years. Luton has been the best quarterback at Oregon State since Sean Mannion, and if he had a better team around him, he’d be getting more attention. Luton has thrown 19 touchdowns to just 1 interception in 2019. At 6’7” and a big arm, he’s going to get plenty of attention from NFL scouts. Scouts are going to have his eyes on Luton against Washington. If he looks sharp here, then his draft stock is going to elevate even more, so this is a big game for him.
It hasn’t been all Luton, though, for the Beavers. They’ve been getting great production out of the backfield from their running backs. Oregon State have netted an average of 176.8 yards per game on the ground, so this is still a well-balanced attack in Corvallis. Artavis Pierce has been chewing up yardage this season, with 696 yards on 6.3 yards per carry. His running mate, Jermar Jefferson, has also been running well with 401 yards on 5.1 yards a carry. This isn’t the same old Oregon State offense, but defensively, it’s the same inept unit hemorrhaging yards.
Oregon State have allowed 434 yards per game and 32.4 points per game. They’ve given up at least 30 points in six of their seven games this season. The two teams they held to less than 30 points? Cal Poly SLO and Cal. Cal rely on their defense and ignore offense, while Cal Poly SLO plays in the Big Sky Conference. Washington might have a bit of a letdown after their defeat against Utah last week, but I think their offense should be able to go through the motions and still score on Oregon State.
I could see the Washington defense getting a bit lazy in this one, though. They’re likely going to underestimate the arm of Luton and the Oregon State running backs. After failing to hold up against Utah, Luton should be able to come at them by surprise. Whether the Oregon State can do their part is questionable, though. Handing the ball off to Ahmed against a defense allowing 186 rushing yards per game is likely going to produce big numbers. I really could see this game being tight until the final play, or Washington runs away with it from the 1st quarter. There could be a good case for both sides. Either result will probably get this one OVER the total on Friday night.