STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford has lost four of its last five games but closes the regular season with three favorable matchups – beginning with Saturday’s game against visiting Oregon State. Coming off back-to-back losses to the Washington schools, the Cardinal will face the Beavers without top receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside, who exited last week’s 27-23 loss to Washington with an injury in the second quarter.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Stanford -24
Quarterback K.J. Costello threw for 347 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to the Huskies, but the junior also had three passes intercepted and will need to adjust without Arcega-Whiteside, who leads the Pac-12 with 11 touchdowns. “JJ’s an All-American,” coach David Shaw told reporters. “He’s one of the best, if not the best, receiver in America. When a guy like that’s not on the field, you miss him.” Standout running back Bryce Love battled through a sore ankle and had 71 yards on 18 carries last week and could receive a heavier workload against Oregon State, which has allowed a league-worst 22 rushing touchdowns. The Beavers followed a 41-34 overtime win over Colorado with another encouraging showing against USC last week before losing 38-21.
ABOUT OREGON STATE (2-7, 1-5 Pac-12)
Quarterback Jake Luton went 31-for-45 for 301 yards and a TD and Isaiah Hodgins had 129 yards receiving to help the Beavers recover from an early 21-0 deficit to USC. Beavers freshman Jermar Jefferson entered the game as the Pac-12’s leading rusher but was limited to 58 yards on 18 carries. Safety Jalen Moore has a team-high 78 tackles to lead the defense, which is allowing 44.8 points per game and was throttled for 332 rushing yards in last week’s loss.
ABOUT STANFORD (5-4, 3-3)
Sophomore Connor Wedington has missed seven games this season due to injury but will move into the starting lineup in place of Arcega-Whiteside alongside Trenton Irwin (46 receptions) and tight end Kaden Smith (44). Stanford’s injury woes have extended to special teams, where backup kicker Collin Riccitelli will take over for Jet Toner on Saturday. Senior linebacker Bobby Okereke had 11 tackles in last week’s loss to Washington, but the defense allowed Huskies star Myles Gaskin to rush for a season-high 148 yards and a score.
1. Stanford has won eight straight meetings against Oregon State and owns a 56-25-3 lead in the series.
2. Luton is the first Oregon State quarterback since 2014 to throw for more than 300 yards in consecutive games.
3. Stanford has lost four regular-season games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2008-09.
PREDICTION: Stanford 31, Oregon State 17
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