Washington vs. Oregon State: TV info, betting odds, expert predictions
Washington plays host to Oregon State on Friday night in a battle between a pair of upstart 6-2 teams and for what amounts to an elimination game in the drive to the Pac-12 championship game in Las Vegas. Both sides already have two conference losses; they can’t afford another while staying in the title game picture.
When UW has the football, it’ll be strength on strength. A 40-points-per-game offense led by the NCAA’s leader in passing yardage against a pass defense that ranks top-20 nationally in completion rate allowed, quarterback rating against, and interceptions forced. Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. against Oregon’s Jaydon Grant and Alex Austin and Rejzohn Wright and Kitan Oladapo.
Complicating matters is the weather. Rain and wind are expected. How severe it gets remains to be seen, but it could certainly play a factor.
“The weather around here has been great. I don’t think it’s rained for a two-month stretch, maybe even longer than that,” Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith said this week. “Count on it being a little wet on Friday.”
Added UW coach Kalen DeBoer: “You certainly have to have different plans and different ways to attack, and we have all those things built into our offense. It’s just a matter of which direction you focus on a little bit more, and you add to what you already do. But really, it’s the same offense we’ve run for 20 years. But right now, because we have such a great skill set and have had so much success in the passing game, you call a few more of those.”
Both teams are coming off byes. Oregon State has had some extra time to prepare for Washington’s all-the-time aerial attack. The last time UW was on the field inside Husky Stadium, Penix set a single-game school record for passing yards with 516.
If conditions are poor, advantage Oregon State, which won’t rely on its quarterback to do the heavy lifting. In their last two games — both wins over Colorado and Washington State — the Beavers have gotten a combined 486 yards from the ground game at more than 5 yards a carry. Freshman running back Damien Martinez has found a rhythm, with back-to-back 100-yard performances.
In their six wins this season, the Huskies have 24 total sacks. They have one in the two losses. Third-down defense has been a major pain point for Washington all year (127th nationally), and with a secondary that’s starting to return to full strength, what happens on standard downs between Oregon State’s offense and UW’s defense might be what tilts the game.
Can Oregon State run the ball on UW’s front? The Beavers are fourth in the Pac-12 in rushing efficiency and behind only Oregon in terms of rushing attempts per game. At 3.3 yards allowed per carry, Washington leads the Pac-12 in run defense.
Or can Washington find ways to keep Oregon State behind the chains, opening up opportunities for the pass-rush to heat up Ben Gulbranson? The Beaver quarterback has completed 62% of his passes since taking over for Chance Nolan and has helped steady the ship for Oregon State, but he has yet to throw more than 28 passes in a game or for more than 250 yards.
These two sides match up well. Weather permitting, it should be an entertaining game.
Here’s all the info you need to know for it.
TV info and kickoff time
Kickoff time: 7:30 p.m. PT
TV Network: ESPN2; fans can also watch the game live on WatchESPN with a cable or satellite provider login
Location: Husky Stadium, Seattle
Line: Washington -4.5
Moneyline: Washington -200, Oregon State +164
ESPN’s FPI gives Washington a 60.7% chance of beating Oregon State.
Bill Connelly’s SP+ is calling for a 31-27 Washington win.
Dawgman.com’s Chris Fetters picked Washington to win 35-31:
Based on the last two years, expect a tight game. I don’t know if UW will need a Peyton Henry field goal at the end of the game to win it, but I know he has it in him – even in sub-standard weather conditions. If this game was down south, I’d probably switch the score in favor of the Beavers. But since it’s in Seattle, I’m going with the home team. And with Vegas having UW -4, they know what they’re talking about. It’s going to be that close.
BeaverBlitz’s Carter Bahns also picked Washington to win by four points, 28-24:
This matchup features strength-on-strength in a multitude of areas, which should make for a thrilling contest that could be lower scoring than some may expect and closer than some may hope. If the Oregon State secondary, which still appears to be one of the best in the nation, can slow down Michael Penix Jr. and that Husky aerial attack, the Beavers can win this game – arguably the biggest one they’ve played in a decade. If not, that and the home field advantage in Seattle will be too much to overcome, and Washington will win this battle of 6-2 squads.
The Seattle Times’ Mike Vorel picked UW to win 31-30:
Washington is 5-0 inside Husky Stadium, and those wins have followed a familiar formula. Penix has been prolific, his wide receivers have been productive, UW’s run defense has been feisty and its pass rush has showed up in opportune moments. With a bye week to get healthy, the Huskies should follow that formula (for the most part) again on Friday night. Granted, Oregon State’s running game will wear down Washington and the Beavs — like Cal — will focus on nullifying explosive plays. But Penix will take what’s given to him, and UW’s defense will do just enough to win. It won’t be easy, but Washington will stay undefeated inside Husky Stadium by downing a ranked Pac-12 opponent.