The Arizona Wildcats begin Pac-12 play next weekend against the worst team in the conference, at least based on preseason predictions.
Based on results from the first few weeks of the 2018 season, though, Oregon State is far from the Pac-12’s bottom dweller. In fact, if not for a missed field goal as time expired on Saturday, the Beavers (1-2) would have a better record than Arizona.
Oregon State lost 37-35 at Nevada, its 21st consecutive road defeat and 13th in a row to an FBS school. OSU’s last win against a non-FCS opponent came against Oregon in the 2016 finale, a week after it beat Arizona 42-17 in Corvallis.
The Beavers (1-2) trailed 30-7 midway through the second quarter before their offense caught fire behind alternating quarterbacks—Jake Luton and Conor Blount combined for 459 yards on 35-of-56 passing—who both kept throwing to the same two guys. Isaiah Hodgins had 14 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns while Timmy Hernandez had 11 catches for 116 yards.
Jermar Jefferson added 106 yards and two scores for OSU, which through three games is averaging 38 points (but allowing 46.3, including 77 at Ohio State in Week 1).
Oregon State is gaining 6.73 yards per play, way up from 5.18 last season. At Arizona last November it managed 5.29 yards per play against a Wildcat defense that yielded 6.03 per snap.
Arizona is 23-15-1 all-time against Oregon State but the Beavers have taken 13 of the last 17 meetings including three of four at home. Arizona’s last win at Corvallis came in 2009.