Who to watch for when Washington State travels to Corvallis, Ore. next weekend to take on the Oregon State Beavers
Opponent Outlook: WSU vs. Oregon State (2-5, 1-3)
When/where: 7:45 p.m. Saturday at Reser Stadium (ESPN2)
Coach/record: Gary Andersen (4-15 at Oregon State – second season) Andersen came to Oregon State from Wisconsin, but got his start as the Utah State head coach, where he won a Western Athletic Conference title in 2012.
Early line: Washington State is favored by 15 points.
Last Season: The Cougars thumped Oregon State 52-31 in 2015 behind six touchdown passes from Luke Falk, which tied the WSU school record.
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Last Week: The Beavers were thoroughly outclassed by a Washington team that is now ranked No. 4 nationally. The Huskies led 31-0 by half time in a game no one expected to be anything other than a blowout. In his first career start. Beavers quarterback Marcus McMaryion went 12 of 26 for 148 yards with two interceptions and no touchdowns.
QB Marcus McMaryion: McMaryion lost the battle for the starting quarterback job two seasons in a row, and started this year as the Beavers’ third string signal caller. But injuries to Darell Garretson and Connor Blount have elevated McMaryion to the starting role. He was serviceable against UW but will have to improve if the Beavers are to stand a chance against WSU.
RB Tim Cook: Cook had 108 rushing yards and a touchdown in OSU’s losing effort at Husky Stadium. With the Beavers losing their top two backs Ryan Nall (foot) and Artavis Pierce (stinger) to injuries, Cook, a senior, has assumed starting responsibilities. He did well in his first career start against UW and could start again against the Cougars.
WR Victor Bolden: Bolden, a senior, is one of the Beavers’ leaders on and off the field. OSU’s passing game has been dismal, and Bolden is one of four receivers who have caught one touchdown pass each this season. But he’s also a threat on kick returns, and has already returned one kickoff for a touchdown this season.
LB Bright Ugwoegbu: The sophomore linebacker is the Beavers’ biggest pass rushing threat. He has 3.5 sacks and his 8.5 tackles for loss this season are double that of the Beavers’ next best defensive player in that stat.
LB Caleb Saulo: Saulo, a senior from Kent, is the Beavers’ best overall defensive player. He led the defense with eight tackles against UW and sacked Jake Browning once. He has a team-high 60 total tackles on the season, including four tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and four quarterback hurries.
By the numbers:
4 – total passing touchdowns Oregon State has managed this season
24 – Points Oregon State has averaged per game
128 – Oregon State’s national ranking in pass efficiency