NOTEBOOK: Oregon State vs. Colorado

IF A HIGH-SCORING AFFAIR materializes between Oregon State and Colorado on Saturday, and many are predicting exactly that because of the way the respective offenses and defenses have played, two receivers are likely to be at the forefront.

Brandin Cooks leads the nation with seven TD receptions.

Paul Richardson leads the nation in receiving yards, at 208.5 ypg.

Both defenses are expected to key on them.

For Cooks, he's been the focal point all season of OSU opponents and he just keeps chugging along -- he's averaging 159.7 receiving yards per game.

Part of the reason for that -- the sure hands of Richard Mullaney. And Mullaney has also had more a chance to use his mitts because of Cooks.

Few receivers have the burst of Cooks, but Richardson might be in the same class.

He missed last season with a knee injury and usually it takes a full year for a guy to get back that push he had before. That doesn't seem to be the case with Richardson.

If there is a game for the Beaver secondary to start playing to the level they're capable of (see 2012), this is it and Richardson will provide a good measuring stick.

IT'S AN EARLY START in Corvallis so get all of that yard work done early in the morning.

Kickoff is at 12 p.m. The game is being televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

SOME DON'T THINK this is going to be a close game.

Colorado has only played two games and while they've won both, the competition wasn't top-shelf. The Buffs' two wins are over Colorado State (1-3) and Central Arkansas (1-2). Colorado comes into the game averaging 39.5 points and 467.0 yards per game.

But the Buffaloes have also had an awfully long time to scheme and practice for Oregon State.

They last played on Sep. 7. Of course, three weeks off before a bowl game isn't in any way unusual but in the middle of the season it's virtually unheard of.

The Buffs are also full of confidence and by feeling that way, they might just surprise Oregon State.

And that's where guys like Sean Mannion, Mullaney (22 receptions for 344 yards) and others can come in and set the early tone. Defensively, Oregon State needs to win the battle up front to give the secondary some help.

Watch the first five minutes closely. If Oregon State has the clear upper hand, the Beavs could notch their first comfortable win of the season.

That's the glass half-full look. You only have to look back at the first four games, when Oregon State jumped out to early leads only to downshift into neutral later.

Indeed, the Beavs held the lead in all four those games, and double digit margins in three of them and yet none of them were decided until late in the game. The conventional just doesn't seem to apply to this Beavers' team.

The Beavs came out flat against San Diego State and SDSU proceeded to take it to them for about 55 minutes. Oregon State can't just "show up" and expect to beat the teams they're expected to beat soundly -- if the first four games have proven anything, it's that.

Oregon State vs. Colorado

Where: Reser Stadium
When: 12:00 p.m.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Line: Oregon State is a 10-point favorite

BY THE NUMBERS:
  • The Beavers rank No. 92 nationally in yards allowed (432.0 per game) and 107th in points allowed (35.3 per game).

  • A year ago, OSU gave up just 20.6 points and 354.0 yards per game with much of the same starting personnel.

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