Oregon State’s offensive line for Saturday’s game is pretty close to the lineup projected to start the season.
That’s saying a lot after getting peppered with injuries throughout the first few weeks of the season.
The left side has been set all along and Isaac Seumalo is back at center.
Grant Enger will be back in action this weekend after missing time with a knee injury.
The Beavers also get Gavin Andrews for the first time this season. Andrews was out with mononucleosis.
“We’re probably going to play Gavin but start Sean Harlow,” coach Mike Riley said. “He’s got a little more experience going and we’re really pleased with both of those kids.”
Andrews should see some action even if Harlow has a strong game.
“We would just like to get him in and get him some playing time,” Riley said. “He was slated to be a starter, but it’s funny, Sean Harlow has ended up with more experience. He’s played a lot more ball than Gavin ever has.”
Playing in Pullman
The last time the Beavers actually played Washington State in Pullman was the 2009 season when OSU took a 42-10 win.
The teams played in Seattle in 2011.
So this will be the first trip to the Palouse for most of the Beavers.
“I think that it’s a great crowd, it’s a great atmosphere,” Riley said. “I grew up for a time in my life in Moscow (Idaho) and went to games in Pullman, been on the campus.
“I liken ourselves to Washington State in a lot of ways. We’re relatively rural, they are too, we’re two of the only schools like this in our league. They’ve got great fans, great history. I think it’s a tough place to play but a great place to play.”
Media members were joking about the over/under for passes thrown in the game being 108.
Riley was asked what he thought of the number.
“I know they’re going to throw 60 to 70 probably and I hope we get our running game going where we find some balance,” he said. “But I still think 108’s very possible.”
Big plays by the D
With the possibility of so many passes in the air, there’s a potential for some big defensive plays.
Both teams have shown they can come up with timely interceptions.
Washington State leads the Pac-12 with nine and OSU is second with eight. Both teams have returned two picks for touchdowns.
“Usually plays like that are a combination of everybody doing their job,” Riley said. “The defensive backs need a good pass rush in order to be able to where the quarterback doesn’t have a long time so the receiver doesn’t have a long time because if you don’t get to the quarterback then good players will get open and good quarterbacks will get them the ball.
“So making the guy at least throw the ball on time, particularly when you’re not blitzing and then getting tight coverage early so that the quarterback can’t just get rid of it when you are blitzing, I think all those things are important to a play. Coverage usually helps a sack and pressure usually helps an interception.”