History shows that Stanford will find it hard to pick up their second win of the year. Two of the last three matchups at Reser Stadium have come down to the closing seconds. In 2017, Stanford sneaked out a 15-14 victory when Keller Chryst threw a touchdown with 20 seconds left. In 2013, the Cardinal defense held Oregon State out of the end zone with less than a minute left. In 2019, the Stanford and Oregon State game could once again come down to the final seconds.
Oregon State has struggled to stop anyone this year; allowing Oklahoma State’s offense to score 52 points, while the Hawaii offense gained 488 total yards the next week. Stanford will have a chance to jumpstart their offense against a weak Beavers defense.
This year, running the ball has worked better for the Cardinal. Cameron Scarlett has been solid as a lead back, averaging 4.6 yards per carry, and if not for trailing in games, the team would likely call his number more often. With KJ Costello nursing an ailing thumb, who knows how well he can throw the ball, so against Oregon State, expect Stanford to try to control the line and the clock early. Stanford should have no trouble finding success on the ground; otherwise, the team might be in trouble.
Oregon State can score points. They scored six touchdowns (more than Stanford has scored all season) versus Cal Poly, but USD also scorched Cal Poly for 52 points, so that is not saying much. The Cardinal defense will be better than any other defense Oregon State has seen this year. If Stanford could hold Oregon to just 21 points, they can certainly hold the Beavers to less.
In particular, senior linebacker Casey Toohill stepped up versus the Ducks, giving the Cardinal much-needed leadership. On the year, he has 28 tackles, six for loss, and four sacks. He and the rest of the front seven should win the battle at the line.
Ultimately, Paulson Adebo might decide this game. Oregon State has done an excellent job passing the ball, but their quarterback Jake Luton has a clear favorite: Isaiah Hodgins. He has 23 receptions this year, and the next Oregon State receiver only has 9. If Adebo takes Hodgins out of the game, the Beavers will struggle.
Stanford should win this game. If they cannot come back to the Farm victorious, they certainly will not be able to make a bowl game. Yes, they have injuries, but they are still undoubtedly the better team. I predict Stanford wins 24-17.