The Stanford Cardinal bounced back from a huge upset loss to Utah two weeks ago with an extremely encouraging 24-10 victory over a talented UCLA team at home. The schedule does not let up this week, however, as Stanford travels to Corvallis to take on a potent Oregon State squad.
The Beavers, who have won six straight games after a shocking loss to Eastern Washington to open the season, are one of the hottest teams in the nation and certainly have their eyes set on upsetting the Cardinal.
Quarterback Sean Mannion is on fire, eclipsing 365 yards through the air in every game this season. He has developed a seemingly unstoppable connection with receiver Brandin Cooks, who has tallied over 1,176 yards and 12 touchdowns in only seven games so far in 2013.
While Stanford held strong in its win over a talented Washington offense and virtually shut down Brett Hundley and UCLA, the Cardinal defense has not yet seen an offense quite this powerful in 2013.
The strength of the Stanford defense remains its front seven. It is essential that Shayne Skov, Ben Gardner and Trent Murphy supply plenty of pressure on Mannion to make him uncomfortable early. This will keep the Beavers, who are only averaging 73 rushing yards per game this year, one-dimensional on offense.
On the other side of the ball, Stanford will face a pretty strong Oregon State defense as well. The Beavers rank fourth
in the conference in rushing defense, but their secondary has struggled a bit, allowing 265 yards per game through the air.
With big wideout Devin Cajuste on the sideline today, Kevin Hogan will need to find Ty Montgomery early and often on the outside in order to stretch the field and take advantage of this matchup.
Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson is also out today with an injury, so it is imperative that Hogan and the Cardinal take advantage of any red zone opportunities and convert them into touchdowns.
Had Oregon State not fallen to Eastern Washington, they would likely be sitting at 7-0 in the Top 10. This is one of the best Pac-12 battles of the season, and the Beavers will be looking for redemption at home after a tough 27-23 loss last year.
The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. PDT so be sure to tune in.