Corvallis, OR. — It’s the next step in Oregon State’s progression: beating a quality opponent at home. In year two of the Jonathan Smith era, the Beavers have played exceptional on the road, but at home, not so much.
However, this is a different OSU team than a month ago. The defense, despite some tackling woes and penalties against Arizona, is better. And the return of Jermar Jefferson and Trevon Bradford are big additions to the offense.
Oregon State has four games remaining and, with a 4-4 record, a growing possibility of the program’s first bowl berth since 2013. Bradford wants to use this year as a redshirt season, after missing the first seven games with a foot injury.
“His intention is to play in three,” said head coach Jonathan Smith. “We’re going week by week. There are a few factors. Who we’re playing, the offensive plan, depth at receiver … We’ll be making the final call at the end of (each) week.”
There’s a lot at stake for OSU during this last stretch in November. With four games left in the regular season, the Beavers need two more wins in order to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2013.
"I did enjoy seeing the faces of the guys celebrating with the awesome Beavers that came down to Arizona,” Smith said. “But your mind never really stops thinking about what's next, the approach, a short week and how we are going to handle it. I mean you look at their last two games, [Washington] was toe-to-toe with the best two teams in this league. We know exactly what is coming in here: a big time challenge."
Kickoff is set for Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Reser Stadium.