Preview: San Diego State at Oregon State
Oregon State is set for a rematch of one of last season’s most dramatic games, a 34-30 win over San Diego State that saw the Beavers overcome a 9-point deficit with 5:18 to play.
While both teams are coming off a bye week, the break likely brought different emotions.
For Oregon State, it was relief. Two weeks ago, the Beavers led Hawaii 38-7 early in the third quarter before surrendering 23 unanswered points in a 38-30 win.
For San Diego State, it was frustration. The Aztecs blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter of their 31-27 loss at North Carolina.
While the second-half defense left much to be desired, OSU can take heart in another strong performance by Sean Mannion (26-37, 300 yards, 3 TDs) and an emerging running attack.
Terron Ward rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, becoming the second Beaver back to go over 100 yards in as many games. Oregon State averaged just 94.4 yards rushing per game last season.
San Diego State is led by running back Donnel Pumphrey, a small sophomore (5-9, 170) who has rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns in both games this season. OSU fans will be forgiven if they have Ken Simonton flashbacks.
San Diego State at Oregon State
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Reser Stadium, Corvallis
TV, radio: Fox Sports 1, AM-1190
Records: San Diego State (1-1), Oregon State (2-0)
Key to game: With Mannion, Oregon State’s passing game is always a threat. But the rushing attack should also have success against an Aztec defense that has allowed 181.0 yards per game this season. That said, the Beavers averaged a whopping 0.5 yards per carry last year against San Diego State. If its offense is balanced, Oregon State should win if they avoid turnovers and penalties.
Quotable: “I told the team, ‘We don’t have any control over it. We already played a 7:30 game, it just happened to be 4:30 in Hawaii.” OSU coach Mike Riley on late kickoffs, which he has previously voiced displeasure about.
Prediction: Oregon State 31-20