Week 6 Pac-12: Oregon State at Colorado Preview

Oregon State (3-1) at Colorado (2-3) Oct. 4, 4:00, Pac-12 Network 

Here’s The Deal: Oregon State and Colorado meet in Boulder with a shared goal—rebound from a conference loss. The Beavers fell for the first time in 2014, failing to measure up to USC in the Coliseum. This is a key moment in the year for OSU, which needs to get turned around immediately, or else it runs the risk of going south in a hurry. The Buffs will need short memories after agonizingly falling to Cal in double-overtime, 59-56. The loss hurts, but Colorado is making undeniable gains for third-year coach Mike MacIntyre.

Why Oregon State Might Win: Unlike a week ago in Los Angeles, the Beavers are facing a defense it can solve. Oregon State’s offensive struggles ought to dissipate in Colorado against a Buffalo D that’s allowed 14 touchdown passes and five yards per carry. QB Sean Mannion will bounce back from an awful effort by locking into his favorite targets, WR Richard Mullaney and TE Connor Hamlett.

Why Colorado Might Win: Teams will score on the Buff D. But the offense is proving that it can keep pace this year. Sefo Liufau to Nelson Spruce is now one of the most dangerous pitch-and-catch combos in the Pac-12, hooking up 19 times last week. Oregon State has yet to play a complete game in 2014, and injuries are really hurting Mike Riley’s team.

Who To Watch Out For: Since the Beavers, led by a veteran secondary, have played the pass rather well so far this season, Colorado would be wise to feature its backs a little more this week. Oregon State is beatable on the ground, and Buffs Christian Powell and Tony Jones are experienced runners capable of keeping their team out of third-and-long.

What’s Going To Happen: With more defensive talent and the edge at quarterback, Oregon State will find a way to avoid the beginnings of a losing streak on Saturday. It won’t be a breeze, though. Colorado is becoming feisty and confident under MacIntyre, and the Beavers have glaring issues that need to be addressed before the season slips away.

Prediction: Oregon State 38 … Colorado 31 
Line: Oregon State -7.5 o/u: 57 
Must Watch Factor: 5: Gone Girl – 1: Mulaney … 2