Washington Huskies vs. Oregon State Beavers
Date and Time: Saturday, September 30, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA
Opening College Football Odds: Washington -28
Washington vs. Oregon State TV Coverage: ABC
It’s easy to forget about the Huskies at this point. They haven’t really played against a tough competitor this year, and their closest game was a 30-14 win over Rutgers to kick off the season.
Arguably their toughest game of the entire year came last week against Colorado, and even then, U-Dub an 11-point road favorite at the closing number at college football sportsbooks. The Huskies were the completely dominant team in a 37-10 victory, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Buffs scored a touchdown on their first drive of the game and didn’t sniff the end zone again the rest of the way.
Jake Browning hasn’t had a stellar statistical season, but has he really had to? Even with an offense that ranks No. 63 in total offense, the Huskies are still No. 11 in the nation in scoring at 44.5 points per game.
Oregon State was beaten 52-23 two weeks ago by Washington State the last time it was on the field, but that wasn’t nearly the storyline of the game. Jake Luton took a nasty hit on a scramble towards the end of the game. He fractured his spine. Obviously, football is the least of his concerns right now, though it does put the Beavers in a bit of a pickle.
Darell Garretson would be the next man in line to step into the starting job. The Beavers would have loved to keep away from Garretson this year, knowing that his strength is really in running around and not throwing the ball. Instead, it’s time for the offense to take a bit of a direction changing, leaving the drop back, pro-style passing game that Luton ran and trusting this offense to the makeshift and nimble Garretson.
The former Utah State quarterback was only good for 50 percent completions during his career with the Aggies as a starting quarterback, but this is going to be his chance to get on the field off of a bye week against one of the better defenses in America.
The Washington punt return game has been on point thus far this season, and it’s causing teams to deviate from their norm. Dante Pettis returned a punt for a touchdown in each of his first three games of the season, but Colorado didn’t give him a single opportunity to return one. The end result? The Buffs netted just 32.0 yards per punt last week, setting Washington up in fantastic field position all night long.
If the Huskies could have converted on a couple field goals, their win over Colorado would have been all the more impressive.
Washington vs. Oregon State Free Picks
At some point, the oddsmakers are going to put Washington on too high of a pedestal, and we think we’re at that point. This is a big spread for sure. It’s justifiable with Garretson having to step in under center, but it’s still a Pac-12 game on the road, and these conference contests this time of year aren’t easy for anyone.
Though we don’t expect to see the Huskies ultimately be put into a real test, Browning has been off just enough to make us think that this game could stay more competitive than you might think. Browning will have to play the whole way just to be sure that this one stays in the win column where it belongs.
College Football ATS Pick: Oregon State +28 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Washington 34, Oregon State 20