Corvallis, OR. -- Friday night will be the battle of state schools. Oregon State will host Oklahoma State to open the 2019 college football season.
The Beavers have lost their last three season openers. However, head coach Jonathan Smith has motivated his team to embrace the challenge of playing a power five opponent so early in the year.
"I think there is an added piece to playing a respected program like we are doing. I'm into challenges and we got one week one,” said Smith. “I think our guys are the same way. They want to play against a good opponent. It's going to be a great test for them because Oklahoma State is explosive throwing the ball and they got some playmakers that can make things happen back there.”
The Beavers will be without a couple couple key playmakers for game one, including senior wide receiver Trevon Bradford and senior linebacker Andrzej Hughes Murray.
“Murray had a foot injury last week. So you won’t see him out here. It’s not quite a season ending injury but it is a lengthy one,” said Smith. “As for Bradford he won’t be ready to go [against Oklahoma State] because he’s been dealing with that foot.”
The Beavers have studied film on Oklahoma State for weeks. But first game matchups always pose a level of difficulty because of player personnel changes that transpire from year to year.
“I think any time it’s a first game you don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like. You have to prepare based off of what [the Cowboys] looked like last year,” said Smith. “But we aren’t making any large changes to what we are doing on defense.”
The Beavers and Cowboys will kickoff Friday at 7:35 p.m. at Reser Stadium.