Oregon State Beavers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Preview and Pick

Oregon State +16.5, 47 O/U (0-1 in Pac-10) 0-1 overall at Penn State -16.5, 47 O/U (0-0 in conference) 1-0 overall Saturday September 6 University Park, Penn. Beaver Stadium (107, 282) 3:30 EST
by Wilson of Predictem.com

The current point spread for Saturdays matchup between OSU and Penn State may be a bit of a nice gesture towards Oregon State gambling fanatics as this will be the first time these two teams have ever played against each other. In fact, the total is currently set at 47 which certainly is a welcoming number for those who expect a close matchup, but it may just be 40-7 in favor of the Nittany Lions.

Head coach for the Beavers, Mike Riley, is no spring chicken as he has been around the game too long to go into Beaver stadium unprepared. His experience in the NFL (San Diego) has surely seasoned him in long road trips, especially across the country. However, the Beavers have struggled in recent years with long trips by losing badly to Louisville and Cincinnati. Riley changed travel plans this week for the Penn State game by scheduling a flight for Thursday afternoon which will allow the team to arrive a day earlier than usual. His rationale is that the players will be more settled-in and not as rushed in final preparations for the big game.

The Beavers will need to run the ball a lot more than 18 times like they did in their season opening loss to Stanford. They will definitely need to establish a ground game, specifically on the inside rather than running the Rodgers brothers on drifts and quick routes to the flats. Oregon threw for more than 400 yards against Stanford but they were behind which caused them to fall into that type of pass or die situation. Surely they will need a more balanced attack against Penn State.

Defensively, Oregon State will need to show up in force against Penn States hard nosed running game. Stanford rushed for 210 yards against the Beavers, and now OSUs defense will be asked to stop the Nittany Lions who rushed for 334 yards in their season opener. If the Beavers dont bring their A game it could be an extremely long day especially in front of 107,000 fans!

Riley was quoted earlier this week regarding their passing game; he said We dont want to play in games where were throwing 54 passes. Thats usually not a good sign for the Beavers. To get consistency in the ground game will be big for us. The balance thing will be crucial.

Meanwhile, Penn State celebrated their opener this season with a monster win over Coastal Carolina 66-10. Coach Paterno acknowledged how tough it is for a team with obviously less talent to come into Beaver Stadium and play in front of all the fans. He credited Coastal for accepting such a tough task, and also mentioned that they have some very talented athletes.

Penn State played extremely well with minimal mistakes, but Paterno agreed they did make some stupid mistakes that need to be fixed before Saturdays game. In total, Penn State has 17 returners from last year, which makes them a well balanced football team on both sides of the ball. Derrick Williams will be a major weapon on offense as the Lions most dangerous receiver. He only had 2 catches last week but they were for 45 yards. He is looking forward to the challenge of Oregon States defensive backs.

Wilsons Pick: Ok, so Oregon State got beat up by Stanford, a team they probably thought they were going to steamroll. Count on them to be better prepared this week and to cover vs. Penn. State.. Luck to ya.