Greetings on another road-game Saturday, although by how the purple-and-gold faithful travel, Corvallis might seems like home away from home this afternoon.
Rain is in the forecast, which is ideal for two road-grader type offenses.
Here are three intriguing matchups heading into the UW-Oregon State game:
1. Huskies MLB Azeem Victor vs. Oregon State RB Ryan Nall
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Don’t we all agree, the best chance the 27-point underdog Beavers have to win this game is by shortening it, relying heavily on this bruiser from down the road in Sandy, Oregon.
Nall is a legitimate Pac-12 tailback, averaging 6.1 yards per carry this season. He has both the downhill power and the run-by-you speed to make things happen.
Many on this UW defense have not faced Nall, who missed last season’s matchup in Seattle with a foot injury.
Meanwhile, Victor, the preseason All-American linebacker who was suspended for the first game at Rutgers because of a team-rule violation, is finally rounding into form. He is easily coming off his best game last week at Colorado, notching a team-high 10 tackles, including a sack.
The UW rushing defense is allowing just 2.7 yards per carry, second in the conference to Utah. It has also only given up just one rushing touchdown.
This is the Beavers’ player the UW coaching staff has talked about all week as the guy to stop. Hear that, Azeem?
2. Huskies TE Hunter Bryant vs. Oregon State OLB Andrzej Hughes-Murray
Something tells me this is a game that coach Chris Petersen and his coaching staff go back to seeking out the tight-end crew in the passing game, notably Will Dissly and this emerging standout.
Hughes-Murray, a Federal Way High School product, is a guy that was initially supposed to switch inside, but now is back in his familiar spot in Oregon State’s 3-4 defense.
He is a guy the Beavers certainly like for his toughness — he won a Class 4A state wrestling title his senior season. But does he have the wheels to hang with Bryant? The Huskies will test that.
3. Huskies QB Jake Browning vs. ex-Oregon State QB Ed Browning
OK, so this isn’t a matchup that can ever unfold since “Easy Ed” Browning — Jake’s father — played nearly 30 years ago for the Beavers.
In terms of head-to-head accomplishments, this is a mismatch in the worst way. Jake now has 7,343 yards and 68 touchdown passes in two-plus seasons, and is climbing every UW passing-record chart.
Ed shuttled in and out of the starting lineup for a historically bad Oregon State team (1987, 1990-91), finishing his career with 527 yards and four touchdowns.
Oh yeah, with a win Saturday, Jake will go to 3-0 lifetime against his father’s alma mater.