Oregon State (0-1) at No. 9 Wisconsin (1-0)
Beavers fans, let’s sit in a circle and hold hands. We’re in dark times…and it appears they’re about to get much worse.
Utter disaster struck for Oregon State in Week 1. The Beavers fell 29-28 to Sacramento State. SACRAMENTO STATE!
As in, Sacramento State from the FCS! A school so obscure that it takes forever just to find information about them online! And they edged the Pac-12’s Beavers by a point.
If Sacramento State could make life so miserable for OSU – what will a clash at No. 11 Wisconsin do?
Oregon State Beavers at (11) Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, September 10, 12:00 p.m. ET
Camp Randall Stadium, Madison Wisconsin
Favorite: Wisconsin -20
Perhaps the most frightening thing about the loss to Sacramento State was that it was less about the little school playing way over its head and more about the big school playing down.
Wasn’t quarterback Ryan Katz supposed to be the stabilizing presence with the team playing eight true freshmen in Week 1? He was a disaster, bad enough that he was chased in favor for backup Sean Mannion. After one game, do we have a full-fledged quarterback controversy? Mannion looked reasonably poised for someone getting his first game action and has reportedly looked solid in practice this week.
I’d expect Katz to get at least one more shot this week. Beavers coach Mike Riley suggested as much. Also, as shaky as he looked, Katz didn’t deserve all the blame last week. His line didn’t protect him very well and his receivers were jittery. At least running back Malcolm Agnew had a strong debut.
Still – the Beavers have to play much better this week to avoid total embarrassment against a powerhouse like Wisconsin. The No. 11 Badgers don’t let up against underdogs or non-rivals; they’ve won 29 straight non-conference games. That active streak is second only to LSU’s 33 wins.
Wisconsin’s “D” will give Oregon State more pressure than it faced last week. Also, Wisconsin’s power running game could give the Beavers fits.
Oregon State has trouble against mobile quarterbacks and new import Russell Wilson fits the bill.
The N.C. State arrival made a huge first splash with the Badgers, earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors with 317 total yards and three touchdowns.
Are you seeing the theme here? I hate to be the spoilsport but things look grim for Oregon State this week. Even if they had walloped Sacramento State convincingly, Wisconsin on the road would be a huge challenge.
With Katz struggling and the young team lacking confidence after Week 1, it could get very ugly, very quickly for OSU.
The only hope is that the Beavers’ wounded pride will motivate them to give an inspired effort this week.