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. 14 Oregon State (3-0) travels to No. 21 Washington State (3-0) in Pullman at 4 pm on Fox. The Vegas line in this game is Oregon State -3.
Here are the picks:
The Beavers defense has only given up 17, 7 and 9 points in its three games this season. I’ll be curious to see if OSU can continue to frustrate QB Cam Ward. Ward completed only 46.3 percent of his passes in the last Cougars-Beavers meeting, his lowest percentage as a Coug. Washington State is playing at home, where it has been effective. But I keep coming back to a singular thought – OSU is better.
Oregon State 27, Washington State 21
The on-field competition is inseparable from the off-field drama as the two remaining Pac-12 schools collide with significant stakes: Both are 3-0 with designs on contending for the conference title as they plot a future together. The Cougars have been more impressive thus far (in particular, the victory over Wisconsin), and we expect their pass rush to cause timing trouble for OSU quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. For the Beavers, everything hinges on the running game, especially first-down efficiency. Second-and-long is big trouble against Ron Stone Jr. and Co.
Winner: Washington State +3
In their first true road test of the 2023 season, I think the Beavers’ ability to run the football and play great defense at all three levels will be the difference against a fun, talented Cougars team. DJ Uiagalelei needs to be better, and I expect him to be. The junior quarterback got away with a couple of late interceptions against SDSU when the Beavers held a sizable lead, but he cannot make those same mistakes again and give the talented Cam Ward-led WSU offense extra opportunities. Oregon State goes on the road and gets their first marquee win of the 2023 season.
Oregon State 23, Washington State 17
Oregon State got by San Diego State in a very sleepy game. This screams of the Beavers looking forward to this game. A Pac 2 showdown in Pullman. I expect Oregon State to be the more physical team. Cam Ward struggled in last season’s game against OSU. It won’t be that bad, but Trent Bray will have the Beavers well-coached and disciplined. Washington State beat Wisconsin. But they haven’t faced a team like Oregon State. Oregon State gets the road win.
Oregon State 30, Washington State 21
DJ Uiagalelei will have to make 4-5 big plays to win this game, and Damien Martinez needs to go for 100 yards again. If DJ can avoid the game-changing turnover, the Beavers will win. I think they do.
Oregon State 24, Washington State 23