Cougars (4-2) vs Beavers (1-4)
Finally, the wait is over. The Oregon State Beavers got their first victory of 2011 in their fifth game at home to Arizona last week. The road gets tougher with 4-2 BYU coming to town this week. Will the Beavers return to the loss column or are they about to turn last week’s win into a streak?
It wasn’t always pretty in Oregon State‘s 37-27 win over Arizona, a game the Beavers led 30-6 at one point, but they got the job done. Nick Foles threw for 378 yards on OSU but, considering he’s viewed as a top-five 2012 NFL draft prospect by many scouts, the Beavers had to be happy holding him to one touchdown pass and picking him off twice.
Limiting Arizona to 2.8 yards per carry was impressive, too.
Sean Mannion completed 32 of 41 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-clincher late in the fourth quarter, but also threw two interceptions, one of which the Wildcats returned for a touchdown.
But OSU carries a good-when-it-mattered defensive effort into this week’s battle with BYU and, if Agnew can finally play, the Beavers may field their best possible offense for a change.
Brigham Young rides a three-game winning streak into Corvallis, though the victories all came at home. So far this season, defense has been BYU’s bread and butter while its offense has arguably disappointed.
Jake Heaps took the quarterbacking job and ran with it last year but has given it right back to Riley Nelson this season. Imagine where BYU would be if Heaps played like he did late in 2010!
This team is still 4-2.
It appears that Nelson will get the nod again this week..
Expect a spirited, close game on Saturday. Remember, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall played for the Beavers in 1986 and 1987 as a safety and linebacker and filled several different coaching roles for OSU throughout the 1990s in the pre-Mike-Riley regime, including co-defensive coordinator.
His Cougars pounded the Beavers 44-20 in the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.
At home this time, Oregon State will be thirsty for revenge.