Washington (4-6 overall, 2-5 in Pac-12) at Oregon State (2-8 overall, 0-7 in Pac-12)
3 p.m. Saturday, Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Ore.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: 1000 AM / 97.7 FM
The line: UW by 15
There is little reason to believe Washington won’t win this game.
Consider where Oregon State ranks nationally in the following statistical categories, out of 128 FBS teams.
Scoring offense: 17.9 points per game (117th)
Scoring defense: 34.0 points per game (102nd)
Yards per play: 4.93 (112th)
Yards per play allowed: 6.35 (111th)
Yards per rush: 4.55 (56th)
Yards per rush allowed: 5.11 (112th)
Yards per pass attempt: 5.4 (T-123rd)
Yards per pass attempt allowed: 8.0 (103rd)
Sacks: 13.0 (T-111th)
Third-down conversion percentage: 31.25 (120th)
And Oregon State will likely be starting its backup quarterback, redshirt freshman Nick Mitchell, for a fourth consecutive game -- and even Mitchell is a little banged up after leaving last week’s loss to California due to injury.
So as bad as Washington’s loss to Arizona State last week might have been, and as inconsistent as the Huskies’ offense has been all season, there simply is no objective examination of these two teams that would indicate the Huskies shouldn’t win. This is the Pac-12’s worst offense (by far) against perhaps the Pac-12’s best defense, and that matchup in itself should tilt this one heavily in UW’s favor. The Huskies’ passing game has been coming along, too, and the Beavers have the worst pass defense efficiency rating in the league -- but they also don’t stop the run, either, allowing opponents to gain 5.11 yards per carry.
And while Washington has shown bursts of improvement as the season has progressed --such as its 49-3 win over Arizona -- the Beavers have been hit with injuries to several key players, have lost seven consecutive games, and have scored only 49 points in their last four losses.
Add it all up, and it’s hard to see how Washington doesn’t win this game fairly comfortably.
The pick: Washington 31, Oregon State 10.
Christian Caple can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ChristianCaple