September 29, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Oregon State Beavers head coach Mike Riley (right) celebrates with cornerback Jordan Poyer (14) after defeating the Arizona Wildcats 38-35 at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

Ducks Roundtable: How far will Oregon State go?

The in-state rivals have quickly become a Cinderella team in the Pac-12. Oregon State had to open up play against Wisconsin at home after Nicholls State was unable to make it to Corvallis in the opening week of the season.

We learned about the Beavers’ run defense early, holding the Badgers to just a touchdown late in the game. After defeating very successful running offenses in UCLA and Arizona, they sit at ninth in the nation in run defense. What’s stood out the most in Oregon State’s success and how far can they take it this season?

Ricky: The element of surprise. Every time I see the Beavers have won a game this year, I think of the 2008 game against #1 USC back when Mark Sanchez was still a Trojan. I feel like every game is a upset when OSU wins. I was very down on them entering the year, but now I think they will be a middle of the road Pac-12 team. Bowl game? Most likely. Pac-12 champs? Not likely. National champs? Get outta town.

Raymond: Oregon State is a tough team mentally.  They have the two most impressive road wins out of anyone in the Pac-12 beating UCLA and Arizona in close games that came down to the end.  It also doesn’t hurt that they are the fourth ranked passing team in the country averaging 362.7 yards a game.

Brian: If your reward was In-N-Out Burger, wouldn’t you play hard to win these games too? They may see a lot of success if they continue to stop the run and pass the ball well. Those are two areas that the Oregon Ducks don’t match up well in.

Mike: Without question the Beavers are getting the job done on defense, but Sean Mannion and the 4th ranked passing attack in the country have helped. The sky is the limit but their upcoming schedule is Wazzu, at BYU, Utah, at Washington, Arizona State, at Stanford, Cal and Oregon before the rescheduled Nicholls game. Hard to discount the work they’ve done but tough schedule still to come.

The Autzen Zoo staff includes lead editor Brian Spaen along with staff writers Joe Soriano, Mike Vamosi, Raymond Mencke, Jr., and Ricky Widmer.

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