That yelling that you hear? It’s not from the fans at Husky Stadium, though they are being pretty loud. It’s from the fans in Corvallis screaming for Mike Riley to be fired. Which is a shame, because Riley is really the nicest coach in the conference, but boy did he screw this game up. If the Huskies win this game (and even if they don’t), everyone is going to point to Riley’s decision to replace senior quarterback Matt Moore with untested freshman Sean Canfield despite having the lead on the road against a good team. Riley spoke this week about trying to find time to get Canfield on the field, but that didn’t really seem like the right situation. Oregon State has lost any momentum it had and Washington has gone into the locker room with that momentum thanks to two Scott White interceptions.
Isaiah Stanback has looked both awful and outstanding. He’s just 6-for-13 but has 109 yards, though most came on two plays. He’s been much better on deep balls than simple passes. He also has scored two touchdowns rushing. I’d be surprised if we see Louis Rankin the rest of the game as Kenny James has 72 yards on eight carries and Rankin hasn’t done anything. There’s just too much dancing in Rankin’s game right now and Washington needs a back like James who will just run forward.
The Husky defense is still getting beat up front but they seem to be doing a bit better getting to Yvenson Bernard and Matt Moore. Bernard has 106 yards on 19 carries and three catches for 22 yards. But no one else on OSU is really doing anything.
The stats are pretty similar, with Washington with 179 yards and OSU with 188.
A big key will be how the Huskies start out the second half (as usual). Washington hasn’t started either the first or second halfs well all season and they need to pick up that momentum. They can’t let Bernard come out and take control of the game. If the Huskies open well, this game could turn into a blowout.