Third-string sophomore Marcus McMaryion made the second start of his career last week in Oregon State's 41-17 loss to Washington after the Beavers lost starter Darell Garretson and backup Conor Blount on back-to-back drives the week before against Utah.
McMaryion completed 12 of 26 passes for 148 yards, no TDs and two interceptions against the Huskies.
Garretson (ankle) is done for the season. And Blount, a walk-on true freshman expected to be out “at least” a week after a knee strain against the Utes, is probably best described as questionable for Saturday’s tilt with the Cougars. Seth Collins, a former starting QB for the Beavs who is now one of their top receivers, is the emergency backup signal caller.
THE BEAVERS’ SEASON: Wins over Idaho State and Cal, a tight loss to Utah, respectable losses to Boise State and Minnesota and blowout losses to Colorado and Washington. ESPN pegs the Beavs at No. 10 in the Pac-12 power rankings, just ahead of Arizona and Oregon; WSU is No. 4.
PLAYER TO WATCH: OSU senior Victor Bolden Jr. is an all-purpose dynamo. He’s not only the Beavers’ top receiver for the third straight season but also one of the most dangerous return men in the conference. And for good measure, he rushed twice against the Huskies last week and went 75 yards for a touchdown on one of his carries.
- KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:45 pm Pacific
- TV: ESPN 2
- THE LINE: Cougs by 14 (WSU opened as 17-point favorite)
- THE RECORDS: Cougs 5-2/4-0; Beavs 2-5/1-3
- THE SERIES: Cougs lead 50-47-3
- THE RANKINGS: Cougs No. 26 in AP poll
THE COACHES: Oregon State’s Gary Andersen is in his second season in Corvallis following two successful years as the head man at Wisconsin (and prior to that, a solid 4-year stretch at Utah State). Mike Leach is in his fifth year at WSU and has the Cougars poised for their third bowl invitation under his direction.
LAST SEASON: Luke Falk fired six touchdown passes in the first half and Dom Williams caught 11 passes for 158 yards as the Cougars routed the Beavs 52-31 in Pullman. WSU led 45-17 at halftime.
THE CORVALLIS MOMENT: Falk made the first start of his career at Oregon State in 2014, leading the Cougars to a 39-32 win and serving notice that he was going to be something special. After firing for 471 yards and 5 TDs he was named Pac-12 offensive player of the week and Manning Award national quarterback of the week. His performance was so impressive that CF.C's post-game headline simply read "Un-FalkingBelievable."
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: The Beavers are last in the Pac-12 in passing offense but No. 6 in rushing, averaging more than 200 ground hashes per game and a glossy 5.4 yards per carry. Three weeks ago in the 47-44 victory over Cal, sophomore running back Ryan Nall piled up 221 yards on 14 carries, marking one of the best single-day efforts in OSU history.
In total offense, WSU ranks fifth in the Pac-12 (479.3 per game) and OSU 11th (347.0).
In total defense, WSU also is fifth in the conference (giving up an average of 368 yards per game), while OSU is No. 8 (427.9).
FAMILIAR FACES: Beaver punt returner Rahmel Dockery is a one-time Coug. He redshirted at WSU as a true freshman in 2012 before transferring to hometown Tacoma Community College and then landing at OSU in 2014. He has appeared in all seven games this season and has returned four punts for 13 yards.
Other products from the Evergreen State on the Beavers' roster are leading tackler Caleb Saulo, a linebacker from Kentlake High; LB Andrzej Hughes-Murray/Federal Way;LB Isaac Garcia/Bellevue; and OL Dustin Stanton/Lakewood.