Can new starting quarterback Kevin Hogan deliver the Stanford Cardinal a signature win?
Talk about this weekend's matchup with Oregon State. What concerns you most about the Beavers, and what do you think the keys to the game will be?
Hank Waddles, Go Mighty Card: I don't worry too much about the Oregon State offense. They've been having quarterback issues recently, so that kind of plays right into Stanford's hands. Their running attack has been fairly anemic thus far, so we can probably expect another negative rushing total, but I think their passing attack will be a good test for our secondary. Defensively, however, the Beavers are a huge step up (perhaps an entire flight of stairs) from the Buffaloes. Colorado was the perfect place to break in an inexperienced quarterback, but I'm definitely looking forward to watching Hogan play against a legitimate defense.
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree: Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton aren't exactly Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, but they've been pretty darn good for the Beavers this season and they'll provide another huge test for the Stanford secondary. The memory of Jeff Tuel's big day is still too fresh in my mind to not be at least a little concerned that Oregon State will have success throwing the ball. I think one of the keys to the game will be Stanford's ability to put pressure on Cody Vaz. The Beavers allowed six sacks to Arizona State, which bodes well for another #partyinthebackfield.
What's your score prediction for Stanford vs. Oregon State and why?
Hank Waddles, Go Mighty Card: I'm predicting victory for the Cardinal. One of the big things I noticed about Saturday's game is that the entire offense seemed to be inspired by Hogan. The Colorado defense certainly had something to do with that, but the receivers looked to be running better routes, they didn't drop passes at important junctures, the offensive line blocked with authority, and the play calling seemed to indicate that even the coaching staff had more confidence. I truly feel that the offense will pick up where they left off in Boulder. As for the defense, the only times they've struggled have been when the offense was too inept to keep them off the field. With a more consistent effort on the offensive side of the ball, the defense will only get better. Stanford 31, Oregon State 13.
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree: Hank alludes to the question that every Stanford fan is dying to know: was last week's win a result of real improvement on offense, or is Colorado just that bad? I think the offense will continue to roll with Hogan under center, but I think the Beavers will be able to keep things close with some big plays from Wheaton and Cooks. Stanford 28, Oregon State 17.