By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
We knew the Pac-12 was going to be competitive week in and week out this season. But the conference seems more open than it has ever been, and Oregon State is right in the thick of it.
According to betonline.ag, the Beavers have the third-best odds of winning the Pac-12 right behind Washington (+125) and Oregon (+250). Oregon State is at +500 to win the conference. The thing the Beavers have that other teams don’t are games against both the Huskies and the Ducks.
Before those games, the Oregon State Beavers will be on the road this week taking on a much improved Arizona Wildcats team that is 4-3 and looking to get to six wins for the first time since 2017. A win this week for Arizona gets them one win away from reaching that goal.
Arizona’s offense has been elite the last two games averaging 43.5 points per game. Now Arizona is at home against Oregon State who has struggled on the road defensively. Oregon State averages giving up more than 400 yards a game on the road and 285 yards per game at home. Head coach Jonathan Smith was asked on Monday what the difference is between his defense at home and on the road.
“Look, we’re confident in the defense. We understand that week in and week out these opponents we’re playing are good and we’re going to have to tighten up some details,” Smith said.
Jonathan Smith knows that this Arizona team is much better than teams in the past. Especially on the defensive end.
“They (Arizona) made a huge jump defensively this year. This is one of the better defenses statistically in the league. (They’re) Sound. Make you earn it. They’ve gotten bigger and stronger on the defensive front and then coverage recognition they do a good job with the disguise. So that’s going to be a challenge.”
Arizona has always had a good offense. But this season they are elite. Smith talked about how good that Arizona offense is and why they are so good.
“Offensively, Coach Fisch knows what he’s doing. On offense they got a couple of big-time playmakers on the outside. They play more than one back similar to us. So they’ve got weapons and it’s a balanced offense.”
The betonline.ag line in this game is Oregon State -3 1/2 on Monday. It should be a very competitive game in the desert, and a game Oregon State needs to win if they want to keep their Pac-12 Championship hopes alive.