Stanford’s offense erupted for 41 points in last week’s upset of USC, but the 24th-ranked Cardinal could be without quarterback Kevin Hogan for Friday’s Pac-12 opener at Oregon State. Hogan, who made his first collegiate start against the Beavers in 2012, is listed as a game-time decision due to a sprained left ankle suffered in last week’s victory.
Hogan struggled in Stanford’s season-opening 16-6 loss at Northwestern but threw for a total of 620 yards and five touchdowns as the Cardinal offense returned to form in wins over UCF and USC. If Hogan isn’t cleared to face Oregon State, either freshman Keller Chryst or sophomore Ryan Burns will get the nod. Stanford has won the last five meetings against Oregon State while allowing an average of 12.4 points, but the Beavers are coming off an encouraging 35-21 win over San Jose State. Freshman quarterback Seth Collins and running back Storm Barrs-Woods each rushed for 100 yards against the Spartans but face a tougher challenge against Stanford, which recorded six sacks and held the Beavers to 12 yards rushing in last season’s 38-14 win.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1.
LINE HISTORY: Books opened the Cardinal as 15.5-point road faves, but that’s now at -16. The total opened at 44.5.
INJURY REPORT: Stanford – QB Kevin Hogan (Questionable, leg), LB Noor Davis (Questionable, leg), DE Nate Lohn (Questionable, undisclosed), DE Harrison Phillips (Out for season, knee). Oregon State – OL Gavin Andrews (Out for season, foot).
WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for a 32 percent chance of rain early, but that goes down to 18 percent as the game progresses. Wind will blow toward the SW corner of the field at around six miles per hour.
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “The Cardinal have bounced back from an embarrassing loss to Northwestern in Week 1, and after upsetting the Trojans they remain a contender in the PAC-12.” Covers Expert Jesse Schule.
ABOUT STANFORD (2-1 SU, 2-1 ATS, 1-2 O/U): If Hogan sits out, look for the Cardinal to rely heavily on running back Christian McCaffrey, who accounted for 249 yards against USC and leads the Pac-12 in all-purpose yards with an average of 195.3 per game. Tight end Austin Hooper continued his strong start this season with four catches for 79 yards and a score against the Trojans and figures to be a key part of the passing game regardless of who starts at quarterback. Linebacker Blake Martinez has a Pac-12-high 38 tackles to lead the Stanford defense, which has held opponents to 20 or fewer points in 33 of its last 44 games.
ABOUT OREGON STATE (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS, 1-2 O/U): Collins has proven to be a dangerous runner, but the Beavers would like to see improvement in the passing game after averaging 108 yards through the air in their first three games. The running game received a boost last week from a healthy Barrs-Woods, who was limited by a lingering knee injury against Michigan before rushing 17 times for 151 yards and one touchdown against San Jose State. The Beavers are inexperienced on defense, but linebackers Rommel Mageo and Manase Hungalu have played well early and helped shut out the Spartans in the second half last week.
* Cardinal are 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Under is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in Oregon State.
* Cardinal are 29-14-1 ATS in their last 44 conference games.
* Beavers are 1-6 ATS in their last seven conference games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Fifty-seven percent of Covers users are backing the Beavers.