for this game

Oregon St.-Washington St. Preview

Nov 18, 2009 - 3:02 AM By KATE HEDLIN STATS Writer

No. 19 Oregon State (7-3) at Washington State (1-9), 5:00 p.m. EDT

With a win in its last game, Oregon State not only moved into the AP Top 25 poll for the first time this season, but gave itself a chance to capture the Pac-10 title.

The 20th-ranked Beavers look to win their fourth straight game when they visit Washington State on Saturday.

Oregon State (7-3, 5-2) split its first four games and seemed on pace for a middle-of-the-pack finish in conference, but it's gone on to win five of its next six, highlighted by a 31-14 victory over then-No. 23 California on Nov. 7. The Beavers followed that with another big performance in a 48-21 victory over Washington last Saturday.

"Personally, we feel like we can do anything we want," wide receiver Damola Adeniji said. "We just show up, hit 'em in the mouth and get the win."

Oregon State has outscored its last three opponents 105-54 while averaging more than 400 yards of offense. Quarterback Sean Canfield has led the surge by passing for 832 yards and six touchdowns - including a career-high four against Washington - over the winning streak

Jacquizz Rodgers, meanwhile, rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns versus the Huskies. Rodgers is third in the conference with 1,148 yards rushing and second with 17 touchdowns.

The Beavers are third in the conference and have already beaten second-place Arizona. They'll close the season at first-place Oregon on Dec. 3, with the game possibly deciding the Pac-10 champion and representative in the Rose Bowl.

"Within the players it does cross our minds and we talk about it," Rodgers said of possibly playing in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 1. "We are just handling what is currently in front of us right now, and we are going to remain focused on Washington State next weekend."

While Rodgers and Oregon State figure to take advantage of a porous Washington State defense that has allowed 40 or more points in each of its last four games, the Beavers' defense also looks to continue turning things around.

After giving up 42 points in a loss to Southern California on Oct. 24 in which the Trojans finished with 227 rushing yards among a total of 429, the Beavers have allowed a total of 211 yards rushing in the last three wins while holding the last two opponents to fewer than 300 total yards.

"Every player on that side of the ball just plays so hard on every play and it's very evident," Canfield said of the defense.

Oregon State could be in line for another big day defensively. Washington State (1-9, 0-7) has been held below 20 points in their last seven games and hasn't managed over 185 yards of total offense in the last two contests.

The Cougars are coming off a 43-7 loss to UCLA last Saturday in which they had only seven first downs and 181 yards of offense.

Washington State trailed 29-0 before Kevin Lopina connected with Jeffrey Solomon on a 46-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter. Lopina came in after Marshall Lobbestael, starting in place of Jeff Tuel (knee), was intercepted on his first three drives.

Tuel, who has thrown six touchdowns and five interceptions this season, is questionable. It's uncertain whether Lobbestael or Lopina would start in his place if needed.

The Cougars rank in the bottom of the Football Subdivision in most categories. They began this week averaging the second-fewest points (13.4) and second-fewest yards (262.8). Defensively, they're giving the fourth-most points (39.0) and the most yardage (511.6).

"We are playing a tremendous amount of young, young, young guys, and they make mistakes," coach Paul Wulff said. "The tough times we live today, we gain from down the road because they play, they learn and they grow up."

Washington State has lost the last two and four of five against Oregon State, getting blown out in the last two by a combined score of 118-30. Rodgers rushed for 168 yards and one touchdown in last season's meeting.