Game-By-Game Predictions for Oregon State's 2014 Season
Oregon State's 2014 football schedule is out, so let's take a game-by-game look at whether the Beavers can beat .500, after last year's 6-6 regular season campaign that started so promisingly, turned so badly but still concluded with a bowl win.
Okay, the month of May is a little bit ridiculous of a time to be making Pac-12 football schedule predictions. Injuries can happen over the summer, not to mention once the games begin this fall. If senior quarterback Sean Mannion suffers another knee injury, these predictions are all but shot. If he reamins healthy all season, he has an excellent shot to break the Pac-12 career passing record.
Let's take a look at the schedule and see how the games shake down. All of these are Saturday games, except Thursday, October 16 at Utah.
Aug. 30, vs. Portland State: WIN
This is the fourth time the Beavers have opened against the Portland State Vikings. They've won every time. Expect the Beavers to roll again in an opening win.
Sept. 6, at Hawaii: WIN
The Beavers were lucky the last time they played at Aloha Stadium, winning the Aloha Bowl this past Christmas Eve. Know what else is lucky? Playing a Hawaii Rainbow Warriors team that went 1-11 last season. Should be another win and a 2-0 start.
Sept. 20, vs. San Diego State: LOSS
After an early bye (Week 3!), the Beavers face their first real test against the dangerous and underrated San Diego State Aztecs. There goes the undefeated start, as the much-improved Aztecs look like a top team in the Mountain West.
Sept. 27, at USC: WIN
New USC coach Steve Sarkisian just might have the USC Trojans back to contender status, but he won't do it this year. USC is still a ways off, and the Beavers should have a nice win to begin their Pac-12 schedule.
Oct. 4, at Colorado: WIN
Remember last year when Sean Mannion threw for 414 yards and six touchdowns against these very same Colorado Buffaloes? Sean Mannion does, and he expects to do so again with ease for another big win.
Oct. 16, vs. Utah: WIN
The first Thursday night home game for the Beavers since 2008! The up-and-coming Utes can pose a challenge, but the Beavers should come through with another victory here.
Oct. 25, at Stanford: LOSS
Oregon State benefits from a mini-bye here, with a nine-day break since they last played. Unfortunately, they face the defending Pac-12 champions Stanford and a likely loss on the Cardinal home turf.
Nov. 1, vs. Cal: WIN
The Cal Golden Bears come to Corvallis for the homecoming game, and Cal's team is still historically awful. Look for a blowout win to celebrate homecoming weekend.
Nov. 8, vs. Washington State: WIN
The Beavers host Mike Leach and his Washington State Cougars, who have probably lost too much talent on defense to compete here. Expect another big day for Mannion and an easy win.
Nov. 15, vs. Arizona State: LOSS
It's the third consecutive home game for the Beavers, but it's against the Arizona State Sun Devils who expect to compete again for the Pac-12 title. I suspect Arizona State will make short work of the Beavers in this one.
Nov. 22, at Washington: LOSS
In the final road game of the year, the Beavers find themselves pretty evenly matched with Washington. This one could go either way, but the ascending Huskies seem likely to tough this one out on their home turf.
Nov. 29, vs. Oregon: LOSS
The Civil War game is in Corvallis this year. Unfortunately, the Ducks are still just too good. They'll be in contention for the College Football Playoff at this point, and will probably exclaim it with a crushing win over the Beavers.
So, by my predictions, the Beavers are looking at a 7-5 (5-4) record and some mid-level bowl game invitation. So where am I wrong? Pipe in with your opinions in the comments section below.