750 THE GAME STAFF
Just the thought of a Pac-12 After Dark game in Tucson, Arizona with a highly-ranked Beavers team against a fiesty Wildcats team is enough to make any Oregon State fan just a bit nervous.
The No. 11 Beavers (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) are coming out of a bye week, but have two straight road games that begins this weekend at Arizona and continues to Coach Prime’s Colorado program next week.
The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released next Tuesday, and the Beavers hope to be in the national conversation, maybe even in the top-ten, when the rankings are revealed.
“Schematically they’re extremely different,” Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch said of the Beavers in his weekly press conference. “They’re much more under-center team, they’re not a spread team. They are willing to play with a fullback, which we haven’t seen really since UTEP. They have some really good skill players on the perimeter, which is what we’ve been going against every week. They have a very good quarterback which we’ve been going against every week. But what they do and how they use him and what they do in their running game is very different and unique.”
The Beavers are just 3.5-pt road favorites in Tucson, and John Canzano thinks that is an accurate indication of what kind of game this will be.
“Really tricky game for Oregon State,” Canzano said on 750 The Game. “On the road, but coming in the wake of a bye — I think it’s going to be a really close game in Tucson, and a very important game.”
Arizona (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) is also coming out of its bye week. The Wildcats nearly upset Caleb Williams and USC on Oct. 7th, losing in double-overtime 43-41. They rebounded, though, with a 44-6 thrashing of then-No. 19 Washington State in Pullman.
“I think Oregon State has a chance to get to the conference title game but they don’t get there if they lose this game to Arizona. They have to win at Arizona. They have to win at Colorado. Then they will face Washington, they will face Oregon, you see the end of the season coming for Oregon State, but this is a big one for Oregon State. They got to get this one.”
Listen to Canzano’s take on the Beavers visiting the Wildcats at the 1:03:00 mark of the show podcast below.
John Canzano delivers the Bald Faced Truth afternoons 3-6 p.m. exclusively in Portland on 750 The Game.