Stanford will be a little shorthanded when they travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers. Head Coach David Shaw announced that the Cardinal would be without wide receiver Devon Cajuste and kicker Jordan Williamson due to injuries. Cajuste is recovering from a bruised knee he suffered in their win against UCLA. This is the second game Williamson will miss due to a leg injury.
Cajuste is the second leading receiver on the team with 21 catches for 377 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan Pratt, a 28 year old former minor league baseball player will get his first start in Cajuste’s place. Conrad Ukroprina will get his second start as the Cardinal kicker. They are hopeful to have Cajuste back for Oregon next Thursday.
These losses might seem minor, but this is an extremely dangerous game for Stanford. Not only is Stanford coming off a big win and could be in for a letdown, but Corvallis has been the site of more than a few trap games and big upsets over the past decade.
Not only that, but the Beavers gave Stanford a scare last year in Palo Alto, but the Cardinal was able to escape with a 27-23 victory. There are a few matchups that could work in Oregon State’s favor. Stanford has a dominant run defense, but the Beavers do not really pretend they can run the ball and boast an impressive passing attack with quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receiver Brandin Cooks. Stanford is hoping to avoid getting in a shootout but Kevin Hogan is no slouch and the Beavers’ defensive coordinator referred to Stanford wide receiver Ty Montgomery as “Brandin Cooks on steroids”.
After getting tripped up by Utah, Stanford still has the potential to make a national championship run, but they have to win out the rest of the year. The Beavers have been largely forgotten after being beaten by Eastern Washington the first game of the season, but they have not lost since and if they can get a win here, they are back in the conversation as one of the best teams in the PAC-12 in a big way. The Beavers will have their chance to make a statement against Stanford on ESPN in front of a national audience this Saturday night.