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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Oregon State at WSU: First Look

When/Where: Saturday, 1 p.m.; Martin Stadium, Pullman

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Records: OSU (2-3, 0-2 Pac-12), WSU (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12)

Line: WSU by 8

Last time: Washington State defeated Oregon State 39-32 in Corvallis (2014)

What it means for WSU: The Cougars have improved immensely since the last time they played in Martin Stadium. Now they have a chance to show their home fans what kind of team they became over their first two Pac-12 games while stacking up consecutive conference wins for the first time since Nov. 2013.

What it means for OSU: The Beavers were never expected to win much in Gary Andersen’s first season as head coach, but OSU needs a couple victories to build on this offseason while he tries to establish a winning program’s culture. Pac-12 games haven’t been easy for the Beavers, who were hammered by Stanford and Arizona. But if the Beavers can pull the upset in Pullman and get some confidence heading into a winnable home game against Colorado, Andersen will be able to truthfully tell his players and recruits that what he’s doing in Corvallis is working.

Key matchup: OSU quarterback Seth Collins vs. WSU linebackers Kache Palacio and Ivan McLennan

The OSU offense is short on playmakers but it has a good athlete emerging in quarterback Seth Collins. The freshman QB has a myriad of ways in which he can hurt a defense and he currently ranks as the Pac-12’s ninth-leading rusher in addition to averaging 127.4 passing yards per game. The trick to containing Collins will be to not allow him enough time to find an opening in the defense for him to run through. In other words, the Cougars want him running backward, not forward. Rush linebackers Kache Palacio and Ivan McLennan have terrorized quarterbacks this season, combining for eight sacks. For WSU to win, the duo will need to keep Collins on his heels.