Pac-2 Clash on the Palouse; #14 Oregon St. Travels to #21 Wash. St.
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — No. 14 Oregon State (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12) at No. 21 Washington State (3-0, 0-0), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Oregon State by 2 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Washington State leads 56-48-3.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
In a strange bit of synergy, the only two schools that will still be part of whatever the Pac-12 looks like in 2024 will meet to open the conference slate as No. 14 Oregon State travels to No. 21 Washington State. It’s a matchup thick with story lines going on off the field and an on-field clash that could have implications to the Pac-12 championship chase. The Cougars will close out a stretch of three straight games at home that included an upset of Wisconsin. The Beavers were sluggish last week but still dispatched of San Diego State, setting up an important two weeks facing the Cougars followed by a Friday night home game with No. 11 Utah.
The best defense in the Pac-12 through three weeks faces the team that has one of the best offenses in the conference. The Cougars are averaging 48 points and 535 yards per game. The Beavers have allowed just 11 points and 260 yards per game. If there’s an area Oregon State’s been vulnerable it’s been in the pass game and that is clearly the strength for Washington State’s offense.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oregon State: RB Damien Martinez. It was last season against Washington State when Martinez announced his presence as a force in the Beavers offense when he rushed for 111 yards in the win over the Cougars. Including that game, Martinez has rushed for at least 100 yards in nine straight regular season games.
Washington State: S Jaden Hicks. It’s not easy to fully quantify the impact Hicks has made on the Cougars defense other than to say he’s been really good. Hicks has 18 tackles, four pass breakups and an interception in the first three games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as one of the top defensive players in the country thus far.
FACTS & FIGURES
First time in series history both teams are ranked in the AP Top 25 entering the matchup. … Oregon State held its last two opponents to under 10 points. … Washington State QB Cameron Ward is fourth in the country in total offense and fifth in passing offense. … Oregon State has 12 sacks in three games; had 20 in 13 games last season. … Washington State coach Jake Dickert is the third coach in school history to start 3-0 in each of his first two seasons and the first to do so since 1920. … Oregon State has not won in Pullman since 2013.