After a hard fought battle against Utah State, the BYU Cougars are facing an even tougher challenge this week against the No. 10/14 Oregon State Beavers.
The Beavers are off to one of their best starts in 73 years with a 4-0 record and are ranked second in the Pac-12 North.
Oregon State is led by head coach Mike Riley, who is in his 12th season as head coach. Riley is Oregon State’s all-time winning coach with 75 victories.
- No. 10/14 Oregon State (4-0, 3-0) at BYU (4-2)
- Date/Time: Oct. 13, 2012 - 1:30 p.m. MDT
- Site: LaVell Edwards Stadium
- TV: ABC
- Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM 1160 AM
- Series Record: Tied 5-5
- Last Meeting: 2011 (BYU 38-28)
- Kickoff Weather: Mostly sunny, temps in the low 60s
Last week, Oregon State beat Washington State 19-6 at home. The team has also beat ranked Wisconsin and UCLA.
The Beavers and Cougars met last season in Corvallis, Ore., where the Cougars won 38-28.
This will be the 11th meeting between the teams with the series tied 5-5. The last time the Beavers played in Provo, Oregon State won and BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall was a safety on the team.
Oregon State’s offense has experienced a shake-up this week as it lost sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion to a knee injury.
Junior quarterback Cody Vaz will replace Mannion against the Cougars. Vaz has not played in a collegiate game since the 2010 season. During that season, he played in five games and completed 6-of-17 for 48 yards.
Despite having a new quarterback leading the team, Oregon State's offense will be led by a strong running back and wide receiver.
Freshman running back Storm Woods is the leading rusher for the Beavers. Woods has rushed for 357 yards this season and two touchdowns.
Last week against Washington State, Woods rushed for 54 yards.
Senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton is the team’s leading receiver with 498 yards and four touchdowns throughout the season. Against Washington State, Wheaton had nine receptions for 95 yards.
Wheaton is fifth in the nation with receptions per game, and his longest reception is 51 yards.
Oregon State’s defense has done well this season and kept Washington State to two field goals last week.
The defense is led by senior cornerback Jordan Poyer.
This week, Poyer was named the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Back of the Week for his performance against Washington State. During the game, Poyer had three interceptions.
This season, Poyer has had 14 tackles, four interceptions, one forced fumble and three tackles for loss.
Junior cornerback Rashaad Reynolds is the team’s leading tackler with 27 tackles this season. Reynolds also has one interception.
Sophomore defensive end Scott Crichton is going to present a challenge to BYU quarterback Riley Nelson. This season, Crichton has six quarterback sacks, including three against Washington State.
Crichton also has 14 tackles, nine tackles for loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
This game is expected to be a battle of the defenses as both teams are facing quarterback injuries.
If the Cougars perform well in this game and beat a top 10 team, it will be a strong victory for the Cougars as they begin the second half of their season.
Ashley Anderson is a senior at BYU majoring in public relations with the hope of one day having a career in sports public relations.