Any hopes for the Pac-12 regular season title ride on this game with the Oregon State Beavers face the Stanford Cardinal Saturday afternoon at Stanford Stadium.
Both teams rest behind Oregon, but should the Ducks falter, the winner of Saturday’s matchup has the inside lane to he Pac-12.
The Beavers bounced back from their letdown at Washington, with a 36-26 victory over Arizona State last week. Quarterback Cody Vaz would throw for 267 yards and three touchdowns, including a buffer score that put the Sun Devils away with 10:54 remaining. Vaz replaced Sean Mannion as the full-time starter, after Mannion threw four interceptions against Washington.
No. 13 Oregon State’s defense held the Sun Devils to their second fewest points this season, and handed them their third straight loss. The Beavers lost cornerback Jordan Poyner for most of the game after he sprained his knee, but he will return Saturday.
Running back Terron Ward filled in for usual starter Storm Woods, and rushed for 146 yards and a touchdown. Woods had a sore knee, but is expected to play against Stanford.
The No. 16 Cardinal will also start their replacement quarterback Saturday with redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan getting the starting nod.
Hogan entered Stanford’s 48-0 win at Colorado, going 18-for-23 for 184 yards and two touchdowns, and will start Saturday in place of senior Josh Nunes.
Nunes had 10 touchdowns to seven interceptions this year, and head coach David Shaw decided Hogan gave Stanford the best chance to win for the rest of the season.
The Cardinal No. 1 ranked rush defense should help Hogan in his first career start, with inside linebacker Shayne Skov returning to form after recording a sack last week.
The contest begins at 3 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast FOX.
Prediction: This should be a low scoring affair with two less experienced quarterbacks. Stanford will take away the Beavers run game, and should pull out the win.
Betting Odds: Stanford is favored by 4 points
Over/Under: 44 points
Predicted Score: Stanford 24, Oregon State 17