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Monday, July 21, 2014
Nonconference primer: Oregon State

By Kevin Gemmell

We continue with our series looking at each Pac-12 team's nonconference opponents in 2014.

OREGON STATE

Portland State, Saturday, Aug. 30
At Hawaii, Saturday, Sept. 6
San Diego State, Saturday, Sept. 20
Thoughts: We’d like to think Oregon State will jump out to a 3-0 start to the season. But we’ve been fooled before. The Beavers have dropped two games in the last three seasons to FCS foes -- Sacramento State in overtime in 2011 and the 49-46 shootout against Eastern Washington last year when the Beavers started the season ranked No. 25. So take the following analysis with a grain of salt: The Beavers absolutely should start the year 3-0. They have an elite quarterback, a running game they hope will blossom and experience on all three levels of the defense. Are they a perfect team? Absolutely not. They have holes like everyone else. But their holes shouldn’t matter against the likes of Portland State and Hawaii. San Diego State, however, is a surging Mountain West team. The Aztecs have gone to four straight bowl games (including 3 for 3 under Rocky Long) and pushed OSU to the brink last season. But the schedule works out that the Beavers have two games then a bye before wrapping the nonconference slate with SDSU at home. Then it’s off to USC to start league play on Sept. 27. The Beavers will be favorites in all three games so thinking 3-0 isn’t lofty. It’s expected.