Jim Harbaugh, Andrew Luck and the Stanford football team wrap up what has been an historic 2010 NCAA Football Regular Season when they face the Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Stadium Saturday afternoon at 4:30pm on Versus. The Cardinal can improve to 11-1 and solidify a top six or seven spot in the BCS standings with a victory over the 5-5 Beavers. A win would give Stanford it's first 11-win season in school history.
Stanford is coming off a decisive 48-14 victory over Cal in the Big Game, while Oregon State crushed USC 36-7 in Corvallis. While Stanford is simply looking to continue its run towards a potential BCS bowl, Oregon State is battling just to gain bowl eligibility. Considering they have to host No. 1 Oregon next week in the Civil War, it's safe to say time is running out for the Beavers bowl chances.
Stanford leads the overall series with Oregon State, but lost last year 38-28 and is 2-7 against OSU since 2000. The Cardinal will of course look to Andrew Luck to guide them through the air. However, the Stanford running game is what has truly impressed in 2010. After losing all-world running back Toby Gerhart after last season, Stanford has rebounded quite nicely thanks to their duo of sophomore Stepfan Taylor and and freshman Anthony Wilkerson. Taylor leads the team with 908 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, while Wilkerson has 380 yards at a 5.1 yards per carry clip. Their No. 3 running back, sophomore Tyler Gaffney, has 218 yards of his own at 4.4 per carry. Even if the Cardinal lose Andrew Luck after this season they have a strong foundation in the running game heading into 2011.
Oregon State has built their team around running back Jacquizz Rogers, who has 1,021 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns of his own. They get decent quarterbacking from Ryan Katz, but if they want to spring the upset on Stanford they'll have to establish the running game early and often. They've got the offense to hang with the big boys, but their defense will need to step things up on the road if they want to win this one and potentially ruin Stanford's historic season.