Scott Hood (3-0)
No Sean Mannion, no problem? Yes. Unless they're facing a very weak defense, BYU has problems scoring points. They scored six in two of of the last three games. As long as Cody Vaz minimizes the turnovers and make safe, secure throws, Oregon State should grind out a non-conference road win. Mannion might be out, but wide receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks remain healthy. So is running back Storm Woods, so Vaz has plenty of support players around him. And the last time I looked the OSU was still pretty good defending the run. Running the football, mixing in some passes for variety and stopping the run is always a pretty effective formula.
Oregon State 24 BYU 13
Angie Machado (3-1)
I expect an SEC type defensive battle where the Beavers are able to keep BYU out of the endzone, but score only one touchdown for themselves. Cody Vaz takes care of business in his first start, but a hostile crowd and tenacious defense keep him on edge for half of the first quarter. He then settles down, but the BYU defense goes to work. Not to be outdone, the Oregon State defense has a huge day and holds the Cougars to negative rushing yards on the day, due in large part to the multiple sacks of Riley Nelson.
Oregon State 10
Travis Rice (4-0)
Cody Vaz has waited for this opportunity his entire career and now it comes, on the road, on national television, against one of the best defenses in the country. Perfect. BYU is giving up less than 2 yards per carry to opposing runningbacks and OSU isn't exactly a juggernaut on the ground. What OSU needs to do is stick to the game plan, utilize Wheaton and Cooks in space and rely on their play making ability. Storm Woods and Malcolm Agnew should again be about 70/30 with carries to remain fresh and Coach Riley HAS TO stick to the run enough to keep BYU honest on the back end. I see Riley cutting a few loose early down field to loosen up the secondary and then using his TE's and crossing routes in the intermediate passing game. Defensively OSU needs to lock up Hoffman on the outside and get in Nelson's face all game. I wouldn't be surprised to see Doctor in another "spy" role for most of the game while Coach Banker sends 5 guys early and often. Key to this game is remaining close and not letting BYU get up early and rely on altitude and their blacked out (multiple meaning) crowd to create a more difficult atmosphere. Nelson is not a good quarterback and is prone to INT's, but does have the ability to make plays with his feet which OSU has been very good about vs. Hundley and Scott. In the end I just can't see how many points will be scored by either team. I think BYU knows what they have in Nelson whereas OSU is a bit unsure how Vaz will react. The first quarter will tell a lot and luckily OSU has yet to allow....I won't say it. It's a good showing in Provo for the Beavers, unfortunately redzone issues arise yet again.
Oregon State 13 BYU 14
The football gods have been kind to me this season when I comply with the oddsmakers. I'm less concerned about the quarterback situation for Oregon St. and more concerned about the smashmouth nature that BYU will bring. Physically the Beavers can withstand their attack, but Oregon St. needs to avoid the retaliation trap. Fortunately this an out of conference game.
Oregon State 10 BYU 13 (BeaverTodd predicts 24-0 for those counting at home)
Eric Machado (2-2)
BYU's quarterback Riley Nelson is coming back from fractures in his back. Yes, he had a broken back...three weeks ago. I'm not sure how "healed" he can be in that short time, or how effective he can be in the game, but he's the starter. For Oregon State, they have their own quarterback woes, with Sean Mannion out for this game. All eyes turn to first time starter Cody Vaz. He's been in the program going on four years now, but only has 17 total passes to show for it. He will play more in this one game than he's played in four years. But will it be enough on the road in front of a hostile crowd? He'll get plenty of help from the Beaver defense, who played an excellent game last week and appear to be hitting their stride. BYU's defense is also formidable, but their opponent resume is not as impressive as OSU's. As long as Vaz keeps turnovers to a minimum, I feel the Beavers can bring home the victory.
Oregon State 16 BYU 10