Corvallis, OR. -- Oregon State football is on the brink of something special in year two of the Jonathan Smith era: bowl eligibility. The math is simple. The Beavers have two games left in the regular and only need one win to reach the postseason for the first time since 2013. Step one is beating the Washington State Cougars this week in Pullman.
Much like Oregon State, the Cougs have a 5-5 overall record entering this Saturday. Washington State is fresh off a dominant 49-22 victory over Stanford. In the postgame press conference, WSU running back Max Borghi guaranteed the Cougars will beat OSU. However, head coach Jonathan Smith will not use this as added motivation.
"We don't take [that stuff] ultra seriously,” said Smith. “I just don't think we need added motivation for this game. We really don't. And I’ve actually got a world of respect for him because he's a good player. But I don't think that's a huge factor in this thing. We won't deal a ton of mental energy with it.”
OSU will have to use a lot of mental energy on Wazzu’s pass-heavy offense, however. WSU quarterback Anthony Gordon threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns against the Cardinal. He owns the program’s record for TD passes (39) in one season, which puts him ahead of superstars Gardner Minshew II, Luke Falk, Jason Gesser and Ryan Leaf.
“They can score a bunch of points. We all know that,” said Smith. “It’s just so impressive to watch these guys on offense. From the efficiency to the accuracy, they keep doing similar stuff year after year. But they are so productive and it’s going to be a big challenge for us in a tough environment. I know our guys will prepare really well this week.”
Kickoff against Washington State will be Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.