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Football predictions: Stanford vs. Oregon State
Running back Christian McCaffrey played like his old self against Arizona last weekend after returning from injury. Can the junior replicate last season's strong performance against Oregon State when the Beavers travel to the Farm on Saturday? (SAM GIRVIN/The Stanford Daily)

Football predictions: Stanford vs. Oregon State

top-bannerCongratulations to Michael Conaway from Santa Barbara the winner of last week’s Stanford Daily Football Predictions Challenge, presented by Chef Chu’s.

Stanford (5-3, 3-3 Pac-12) vs. Oregon State (2-6, 1-4) 

Andrew Mather: Stanford 34, Oregon State 10

Realistically, I just don’t see the Beavers threatening the Cardinal much this weekend. While Oregon State has shown some fight in Reser Stadium this year, the Beavers have gotten absolutely obliterated most of the times they’ve hit the road, and I doubt they’ll be able to put forth the type of effort they did against Cal or Wazzu when they arrive on the Farm. Meanwhile, the Stanford offense appears to be on the upward trajectory again after surviving a rough October, and I think they’ll be able to find their stride early and often against a rebuilding OSU defense.

Keller Chryst throws for at least 180 yards and Christian McCaffrey eclipses 300 all-purpose as the Cardinal put on a show in their last real home game of 2016. The Stanford defense chimes in three interceptions as the Cardinal become bowl-eligible for the eighth consecutive season.

Jamie MacFarlane: Stanford 31, Oregon State 20

I think Stanford continues its rebound against a banged-up 2-6 Oregon State team in what should be a running back-dominated game. Although Keller Chryst didn’t exactly play lights-out last week versus Arizona, going 14-for-30 with just 104 passing yards, I’m a huge fan of David Shaw’s move to get rid of the two-quarterback system. The already predictable Stanford offense becomes even more so when Chryst and Ryan Burns are rotating in and out of the game. Versus Colorado two weeks ago, Chryst would come in for a play here and there just to run the read-option, making it obvious whether Stanford was going to pass or run based on which quarterback was in the game.

Now that Chryst knows this is his team, I think he feels more comfortable and plays better this game, while McCaffrey and Bryce Love continue to reap the benefit of the element of surprise that was eliminated by the two-quarterback system. Oregon State gives up 5.2 yards per carry on the ground and has allowed 18 rushing touchdowns this year, so the combination of McCaffrey being fully healthy, Bryce Love being his underrated self and the one quarterback system should bode well for the Cardinal this week. Furthermore, Oregon State’s third-leading tackler, linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu is suspended for the first half after a targeting penalty in the fourth quarter of last week’s game against Washington State.

Oregon State’s offense has a dangerous backfield as well and is certainly capable of putting up points, despite starting quarterback Darell Garretson being out for the season. Marcus McMaryion has filled in quite nicely for Garretson so far, averaging 7.45 yards per attempt. The top two running backs, Ryan Nail (83 carries) and Victor Bolden Jr. (22 carries), have averaged 7.2 and 14.7 yards per carry, respectively, and Ryan Nall is now back to full health after missing a couple games earlier in the season. This team can put up points behind its running backs, as evidenced by its 31 points last week against Washington State and 17 points the week before against a very tough Washington team. However, I think Stanford’s defense holds them to 20, while the Cardinal offense picks up where it left off versus Arizona.

Vihan Lakshman: Stanford 23, Oregon State 13

While it would be premature to say the Cardinal offense has turned a corner after a four-touchdown performance in Tucson, there were plenty of encouraging signs for a unit desperately looking to get back on track, especially in the running game. With Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love both fully healthy and practicing for the second straight week, look for Stanford to dial up more looks with both playmakers on the field and feed the Beavers a heavy serving of McLovin’. Meanwhile, the Cardinal defense continues its run of dominance since the return of Quenton Meeks, keeping an OSU defense capable of racking up points in check. Keller Chryst connects on a deep throw early to flood the Beaver dam, and the Cardinal control the clock the rest of the way behind a rejuvenated rushing attack while Solomon Thomas adds to his team-leading sack total with another big day to seal bowl eligibility for Stanford.

 

Have your own predictions? Submit them in this week’s Stanford Daily Football Predictions Challenge for a chance to win a $50 Chef Chu’s gift card and be featured in the next football predictions article:

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