|Oregon State QB Sean Mannion will start on Saturday night against Washington. Mannion was sidelined for two games after undergoing meniscus surgery on Oct. 10. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 10:15 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Spread: Oregon State by 4.5
Watchability: One reason to watch is to see Oregon State QB Sean Mannion, who will be making his first start since undergoing meniscus surgery on Oct. 10. One reason not to watch is Washington's offense, which has been borderline unwatchable this season. The Huskies have averaged 17.3 points and turned the ball over 12 times in the last three games.
Shining stars: Oregon State -- WR Markus Wheaton and WR Brandin Cooks. Cooks and Wheaton have been equally impressive this season, which is why they're lumped together here. The duo has combined for an average of 220.2 receiving yards per game in 2012, but it could be tough to reach that number going up against a Huskies passing defense that ranks second in the conference. Washington -- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Seferian-Jenkins was one of the few highlights for Washington in last week's 52-17 loss to Arizona. The sophomore tight end caught eight passes for a career-high 110 yards. ASJ could put up similar numbers going up against a Beaver pass defense that's almost as bad as Arizona's. Oregon State is surrendering 271.1 passing yards per game this season, a number that ranks them 109th nationally.
Who could steal the show: Oregon State -- Mannion. The eyes of Beaver nation will be on Mannion and his surgically repaired left knee on Saturday as the sophomore QB will be making his first start since undergoing meniscus surgery. Mannion is probably hoping this start goes better than his last one, when he threw three interceptions in a 19-6 win over Washington State on Oct. 6. Washington -- QB Keith Price. Its been an off year for Price, who's thrown two interceptions in the each of the Huskies last three games. Price could steal the show and the national spotlight if he engineers an upset of the undefeated seventh-ranked Beavers.
You going? Ranking the road trip: The forecast for Seattle on Saturday is rainy and cold, which usually means "don't go to the game." However, Oregon State's a top-10 team and the last time a top-10 team was in Seattle (Stanford), the Huskies beat them.
Magic number for Oregon State: 339.5. Mannion set a pretty high bar for himself in his first four starts this season, throwing for 339.5 yards per game. If the sophomore quarterback approaches this number, that will be good news for fans worrying about rust.
Magic number for Washington: 184.6. Washington's pass defense ranks second in the Pac-12 and 19th nationally, if they can keep Mannion near this number, there could be an upset in Seattle.
The game comes down to: Price. The Washington defense should give the Huskies enough ammo to compete with the Beavers, the only question is if the Washington offense can put points on the board. The Huskies have only averaged 15.5 points against FBS competition this year, so the guess is no.
Prediction: No. 7 Oregon State 31, Washington 27