Published October 18, 2012
Utah (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12 ) at No. 8 Oregon State ( 5-0, 3-0 Pac-12), 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Oregon State by 10 ½.
Series Record: Oregon State leads 9-6-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Oregon State is vying for its first 6-0 start since 1907 when it was known as Oregon Agricultural College. The Beavers' No. 8 ranking is the team's highest since they finished 11-1 in 2000 and defeated Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Utah is hoping to avoid a 0-4 start in Pac-12 play. Last season the Utes lost their first four conference games before winning their next four — touched off by a 27-8 victory over Oregon State.
Oregon State's passing attack against Utah's defense. The Beavers rank second in the Pac-12 in passing offense, averaging 338 yards a game. The Beavers replaced injured starter Sean Mannion with Cody Vaz and didn't seem to miss a beat last weekend with 332 passing yards against BYU. Utah ranks third in the Pac-12 in total defense, allowing 351 yards per game, while ranking fourth in pass defense, allowing 226.5 yards a game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Utah: QB Travis Wilson. The freshman got the start last weekend in Utah's 21-14 loss to UCLA, throwing for 220 yards and an interception. Utes coach Kyle Wittingham said this week he plans to stay with Wilson over senior Jon Hayes.
Oregon State: Vaz, the junior, made his first start since high school last weekend in Oregon State's 42-24 victory over BYU, completing 20 of 32 passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns to earn Pac-12 player of the week honors.
FACTS & FIGURES
Saturday is homecoming for the Beavers, who play five of their final seven games at home, if you count the rescheduled opener against Nicholls State on Dec. 1. The game, originally set for Sept. 1, was postponed because of concerns about Hurricane Isaac. It won't be made up if Oregon State plays in the Pac-12 championship, scheduled for Nov. 30. ... Utah leads the nation with 13 forced fumbles and three fumbles returned for a touchdown. The last time the Utes returned three fumbles for TDs was the 2003 season. ... Oregon State CB Jordan Poyer leads the nation with an average of one interception per game. Oregon State has 10 total interceptions this season, including seven in the last two games. ... Utah expects to see the return of OL Vyncent Jones, who missed the last two games with a knee injury. He is listed as the backup center on the Utes' depth chart.