By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
There are always games on the schedule where before the season you count them as a win. Then as the season goes along and the game pops up on the schedule you know it’s going to be a tough game.
That’s the exact situation the Beavers are in on Saturday. Oregon State takes on Arizona on the road. Before the season Arizona was thought to be a team who wouldn’t make a bowl game. But after a seven point loss to Washington, a triple overtime loss at USC, a dominant 44-6 win at Washington State, the Wildcats are 4-3 and looking to make a bowl game.
Oregon State head football coach Jonathan Smith joined the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano and said that Arizona has been one of the better teams he has seen offensively this season.
“They’re solid man,” Smith said on 750 The Game. “Offensively they have great balance. They have two big time wideouts. Quarterback play has been really good of late. They’ve had to play two guys and they’re throwing it well to those guys, but they mix in the run game with multiple backs. Just solid, balanced on that side.”
Last season the Arizona defense gave up 36.5 points per game. That was 126th out of 131 teams. This season the Wildcats defense is only giving up 20.6 points per game. That’s 39th in the nation. Smith says you can tell the defense is much better when you watch the film.
“One of the most improved defenses in the league if not the country,” he said. “These guys are playing way better against the run. Shoot, they held Washington State to six points. They’re playing real well.”
With all that’s at stake for Oregon State, Coach Smith knows that Arizona is a tough opponent and the Beavers won’t be overlooking the Wildcats.
“There’s no such thing as a trap game. You respect your opponent. You don’t fear anybody. We talk about ‘respect all, fear none’ around here and how we respect our opponents and how we prepare. Our guys are very aware in this conference week in and week out you got to play well to win.”
No. 11 Oregon State (6-1) heads to Tucson to take on Arizona (4-3). Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN and Oregon State is -3.5 according to betonline.ag.
Listen to the full interview with Oregon State head football coach Jonathan Smith by clicking the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.