BYU 24, OSU 13
BYU sticks with their "high risk, high reward" option at quarterback with Riley Nelson, and it works well for the Cougars in the end. The offense won't put up huge numbers, but they will control field position, helping out the defense. We will see more of Michael Alisa in the running game, but don't expect another 96-yard performance. OSU quarterback Sean Mannion will start strong but in the end will show his freshman colors.
BYU 28, OSU 24
I have now reached a new level of irrationality in my prediction. I now longer use any sort of analysis to make my predictions, just the warped belief that BYU has to play better than how they're playing (they just have to). I know a lot has been said about Oregon State's poor play so far this year, but if we're being honest, BYU hasn't been that much better. Nelson alternated between brilliant and "what the crap?" against San Jose State, leaving Cougar Nation a little bit schizophrenic with our positions in the Great QB Debate of 2011. And with the Beavers getting one more week to gameplan against Nelson than the Spartans had, things could get ugly. Fast.
BYU 34, OSU 24
I'm not convinced Riley Nelson is the better option at QB right now. He essentially had one good half against SJSU, which is what Heaps did against far better competition. However, certain players do seem to play better with Nelson in at QB. Nelson is more mature, and I can see him eliminating some of the mistakes from last week (probably won't toss the ball up as though he was playing a game of "500"). I think the defense will be solid, but the offense may put them in a bad position a couple times. Our run game continues to improve - especially Juice Quezada. BYU leaves Corvallis with a win, but the Cougars, once again, fail to impress.
BYU 27, OSU 21
It scares me that BYU opened as 1.5 point favorites and now are 3 point underdogs going into this game at Oregon St. As inconsistent as the BYU offense has been so far this season, Riley Nelson has provided a spark, and right now, the team is better with him at quarterback. Oregon St., on the other hand, despite getting a win at home against Arizona, has not looked good at any point this season. They are a young team, starting 7 freshman, and I find it hard to believe that the Beavers have any advantage in this game other than home field. I expect Riley Nelson and the offense to be as effective as they were against San Jose St. and limit the turnovers this time around. Remember that last Saturday night was the first game Riley had started in over a year. The defense will be solid and make plays like they have all year and give BYU the chance to win the game.
OSU 35, BYU 13
Fact #1: You may have heard that Bronco Mendenhall used to play and coach at Oregon State. He didn't win very often in either capacity while in Corvallis posting a 13-53 record.
Fact #2: BYU is 0-2 against teams from BCS conferences whose campus is located west of the Mississippi this year, losing by an average score of 35-13.
Expect both trends to continue: OSU 35, BYU 13.