Sam Fisher: Stanford 38, Oregon State 23
Stanford turned a corner against the Bruins. Had the Cardinal faltered on Saturday, this season could’ve gotten ugly. But based on what I saw Saturday, I can’t see Stanford falling to any team besides Oregon the rest of the regular season. Oregon State has a high-powered offense, but its strength — drop-back passing — plays right into Stanford’s #Partyinthebackfield plans. And on the other side of the ball, I’m not sure the Beavers could stop Palo Alto High School quarterback (and Stanford commit) Keller Chryst from putting up 30 points right now. Stanford comes out with a vengeance in front of a loud Oregon State Homecoming crowd, taking a big lead early and forcing the Beavers to settle for field goals in the red zone. The Card wins 38-23 and begins watching film of Oregon on the flight home.
George Chen: Stanford 35, Oregon State 24
Sean Mannion is a talented quarterback, but the amazing numbers that he’s put up so far this season has come mostly against cupcake teams. He’s good, but he’s not Marcus Mariota-good. Oregon State will be able to find the end zone a few times in front of a rowdy crowd in Corvallis, but I expect the Cardinal defense to hold its ground for most of the game. It’s been a while since Stanford a faced a true drop-back quarterback, so the front seven will relish the chance to pass rush without having to worry too much about the quarterback scrambling. I also think the Cardinal offense is finally hitting its stride by finding the right balance between running and passing. The Beavers will make it close early on, but Stanford will pull away in the third quarter to set up the highly anticipated Nov. 7 showdown against mighty Oregon.
Do-Hyoung Park: Stanford 41, Oregon State 21
Mannion is one of the elite quarterbacks in the country, and he has the talent around him to make a big splash in the Pac-12. However, OSU’s offense under the revamped Mannion is much too one-dimensional to gash Stanford’s defense. The Beavers are averaging 2.6 yards per rush this season and have passed the ball almost twice as much as they have run it. When Stanford’s defense isn’t kept off-balance by a diverse attack, it has playmakers who can pin their ears back and make big plays. Stanford beat another pass-happy team in Washington State by almost 40 points. Expect it to be closer in the more hostile environment of Corvallis, and don’t be surprised if the Beavers move the ball well, but Stanford should jump out to an early lead against a weak Beaver defense and cruise to the end.