FACTS & STATS: Site: Reser Stadium (45,674) — Corvallis, Oregon.
Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: WSU 1-4, OSU 2-2. Away Record: WSU
1-2, OSU 2-2. Neutral Record: WSU 0-1, OSU 0-0. Conference Record: WSU 1-5,
OSU 1-4. Series Record: Washington State leads, 48-47-3.
GAME NOTES: The Washington State Cougars will try to regroup after losing
their starting quarterback for the rest of the season when they battle the
Oregon State Beavers in a Pac-12 Conference matchup at Reser Stadium.
Connor Halliday, who leads the country in just about every passing category,
suffered a broken leg during last weekend’s 44-17 loss to USC. Halliday’s
college career came to an end as the Cougars’ senior leader will be unable to
play the rest of the season. As a team, Washington State has dropped four
straight games to fall to 2-7 overall.
Oregon State may be a bit healthier than the Cougars, but it is going through
its own stretch of futility. The Beavers were defeated, 45-31, by California
last Saturday, marking their third straight loss. They have a 4-4 overall
mark, but have been nearly as dismal as Washington State in league play (1-4).
Last season, Oregon State broke a tie in the all-time series with Washington
State by posting a 52-24 victory in Pullman. The Beavers now have a 48-47-3
edge against the Cougars.
Although Halliday is out, the Cougars’ offensive game plan isn’t likely to
change much. Opponents can still expect a healthy amount of passing from
Washington State, which leads the country in aerial offense (481 ypg).
Luke Falk is now the man under center for WSU, and he has a lot to live up to.
Halliday threw for 3,873 yards and 32 touchdowns prior to the ghastly injury.
Falk did a decent job against USC, piling up 370 yards and two touchdowns on
38-of-57 passing, although he was intercepted once.
Vince Mayle broke the 1,000-yard mark in the loss to USC, tallying 83 yards on
nine receptions. He is the Pac-12’s leader in receiving yards (1,009), while
ranking second in receptions (80) and third in touchdown catches (eight), a
spot he shares with Arizona State’s Jaelen Strong, USC’s Nelson Agholor and
Arizona’s Cayleb Jones.
There have been plenty of opportunities for other receivers to make an impact.
Isiah Myers (61 receptions, 742 yards, 10 TDs), River Cracraft (59 receptions,
698 yards, seven TDs) and Dom Williams (34 receptions, 553 yards, six TDs) are
all enjoying stellar seasons as well.
The Cougars do not run the ball very much, although Jamal Morrow (263 yards)
and Gerard Wicks (212 yards, four TDs) have each tallied more than 200 yards
rushing. Morrow has been a big help in the passing game as well, producing 351
yards on 48 receptions.
What has held Washington State back this season is its effort on defense. The
Cougars are allowing 38.7 points and 453.8 yards per game, ranking 11th and
10th in the Pac-12 in each category, respectively. They really took a beating
against USC, letting up 527 total yards to the Trojans, despite forcing a stop
on 9-of-11 third-down plays.
Pedestrian is the best way to describe Oregon State’s offensive performance
this season. The Beavers are scoring 26.1 points per game, while tallying just
over 380 yards per outing.
Sean Mannion is coming off a 320-yard effort against California, although he
was picked off once. He is completing 62.2 percent of his passes this season,
totaling 2,018 yards. However, he has not found the end zone as frequently as
he might like, with only nine touchdown passes compared to six interceptions.
Victor Bolden (41 receptions, 442 yards, TD) handles the bulk of the throws
from Mannion. He had one of his best games of the season against Cal, with 119
yards on a game-high 11 receptions. Connor Hamlett (24 receptions, 263 yards,
TD) is second on the team in receptions, but Jordan Villamin (20 receptions,
300 yards, three TDs) is second in yardage following a 140-yard effort against
the Golden Bears.
The tandem of Terron Ward and Storm Woods has carried the team on the ground.
Ward has tallied a team-high 499 yards and seven touchdowns on 103 attempts.
Woods has been more explosive, posting 466 yards and three scores on 77
carries, for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt. Woods was the better of the
two against California, finishing with 78 yards to Ward’s 53.
The defensive success the Beavers enjoyed earlier this season is a distant
memory following the performance the Beavers put forth against the Golden
Bears. Cal registered 34 first downs and 546 yards of total offense in the
On the season, the Beavers are allowing 369.5 yards and 28.6 points per game,
two totals that were easily surpassed in last weekend’s loss.
It’s not as if the first nine games of the season went all that well for the
Cougars, but with a new signal caller running the show, things are likely
going to get worse.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon State 34, Washington State 26