By 750 THE GAME STAFF:
Each week our staff at 750 The Game and fellow Pac-12 experts predict the score of every Oregon State Beavers game. This week No. 19 Oregon State (3-1) hosts No. 10 Utah (4-0) in Corvallis at Reser Stadium on Friday night on FS1. The Vegas line has Oregon State a 3.5 point favorite.
OSU’s Jonathan Smith backed DJ Uiagalelei as his starting quarterback. He’s sticking with the transfer. But don’t be surprised if we see a little Aidan Chiles at some point during the game for a change of pace. Just a hunch.
Home favorites in the Pac 12 don’t always cover but they do have a 23-1 record this season when it come to winning the game straight up. So I’m going to to take Oregon State to squeeze out a home victory over a banged up Utah team playing on the road in a short week.
Oregon State 24, Utah 21
The first of four Friday night conference games is a weighty affair as the hosts attempt to rebound from a loss (at WSU) and the visitors aim to remain undefeated. The status of Utah quarterback Cameron Rising is unknown — he hasn’t played all season and will be rusty whenever he returns. But the Utes are struggling without him and have relied on their defense for salvation. The Beavers rushed for 260 yards in an eight-point head-to-head win two years ago in Reser Stadium. Their approach Friday will be similar, but can they repeat the success against the best defense in the conference? We aren’t convinced.
Winner: Utah +3.5
The Beavers played so poorly a week ago and yet still finished within just three points of the Cougars. Utah does not provide the same offensive threat that Washington State did even if Cam Rising plays, and the Reser Stadium effect will be in full force. The Beavers will come home motivated, and win an absolute slugfest against a really good Utah team.
Oregon State 16, Utah 13
I may be overreacting. But I really don’t like the way Oregon State has played the last two games. The offense struggled against San Diego State and the defense was bad in Pullman against Washington State. DJ Uiagalelei wasn’t the reason the Beavers lost, but he has looked indecisive the last two games against the best teams they have faced. This Utah team is on another level over SDSU and Washington State. Utah beat UCLA last week with Nate Johnson at quarterback. They have beaten Florida, Baylor and UCLA. I don’t care who the quarterback is. I have to take Kyle Whittingham and the points even though it scares me that Oregon State has lost one game at home in the past two seasons.
Utah 24, Oregon State 21
In the Pac-12 this year, there are rules. And one of those rules is no one team is absolutely head-and-shoulders better than another. In Week One, the Beavs got blitzed from kickoff and couldn’t recover on the road while Utah smothered an inexperienced quarterback at home. This week, the pendulum swings. A defensive touchdown from the Beavers in the fourth quarter wins it and covers the spread.
Oregon State 23, Utah 13