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Cougars face Oregon State with retribution on the line

By Jim Moore

The Cougs face the Beavers this week, and I can't believe I'm not going to Martin Stadium for the game.

It's Dads' Weekend, and I've been to the last four Dads' Weekend games. But my daughter graduated in May, and she's running in a half-marathon in Seattle on Sunday. So it will be a Dads' Weekend of sorts – we'll be together; she'll be running, and I'll be watching.

As for the Beavers, I have nothing bad to say about them. I like their coach, like their stadium, like their chain-saw sound effect on third down, like Corvallis, like the golf course there.

I feel like we're kindred souls – Washington State and Oregon State, two underdogs who are always fighting for respect and looked down upon by Washington and Oregon.

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A Washington State loss to Oregon State back in 2008 still sticks in the Go 2 Guy's craw. (AP)
(By the way, I heard Drew Bledsoe with "Brock and Danny" on Wednesday, and he said he wishes there was a way that Washington and Oregon could both lose when they play each other on Saturday at Husky Stadium. And I was thinking: "Come on, Drew! When you're a Coug, you pull for anyone who's playing the Dawgs, and that includes the Ducks. With that ... Go Ducks.")

The only time I've ever been upset with a Beaver fan was in 2008 when I went to the game in Corvallis. We trailed 24-13 at halftime, and I remember thinking we might have a chance to win if a million different good things happened in the second half.

But the Beavers outscored us 42-0 in the second half to win 66-13. There was a lady a few rows behind me who started screaming for the Beavers to score 70 points. I turned around, stood up and told her to shut the hell up. Those were my exact words, I think. Or I might have substituted a stronger word for hell.

I do remember the Beavers throwing the ball after they had 66 points, and I hope the bad karma catches up to them Saturday night in the form of a piling-on performance by Connor Halliday and the Cougs.

Anyway, that night I took my then-4-year-old twins to dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn.

My wife and I have a running joke in which we keep score of how many times we've been mistaken for being the grandparents of our own kids. I'm ahead 15-4 or something like that. Why? I don't dye my hair.

This night in Corvallis was the worst. While we're sitting there in the lobby of the restaurant, a guy turned to my kids and said: "So you're having dinner with your grandpa tonight, huh?"

"That's not our grandpa, that's our dad!" Stevie said.

The guy looked at me, turned back to them and said: "Nahhh, there's no way that could be your dad!"

I'm sure I appeared every bit of my fiftysomething years, no doubt a drunken, disheveled mess of a man, looking like I always do after yet another Cougar defeat.

For some reason, I wasn't in a confrontational mood so I let it go, responding with a nod of the head and an awkward laugh when I really wanted to say: "Kiss my bleeping ass, pal!" Problem is, he probably would have kicked it instead of kissed it, and that would have made me feel worse.

This Saturday night, I'll be thinking about that guy and that female blowhard behind me at Reser Stadium five years ago. I hope they're both miserable after we hang a 60-spot on them.

I don't care if Sean Mannion's been a house afire this year; the Cougs picked him off three times last year and seem to have his number. That said, I have no idea how the Cougs are favored by 1.5 points in this game. The Beavers have won four in a row after losing their opener to Eastern Washington.

But we've won four of our last five. I'm still trying to figure out how good we are. Part of me thinks we have a shot at eight wins now – it's not out of the question to think that we could beat Oregon State, Arizona State and Utah at home and beat either Arizona or Washington on the road.

The other part of me knows we could lose all of those games, too. And the smartest part of me, which is also the smallest part of me, figures that we'll be somewhere in between, and that's fine as long as we finish 6-6 and make it to a bowl game.

Saturday night's game against the Beavs will get us one win from ending that 10-year bowl drought.

Prediction: Washington State 61, Oregon State 45.

Season record against the spread: 5-1.

Washington vs. Oregon

The Huskies appear to have the horses to keep up with the Ducks, though I'm hoping that won't be the case. Oregon has throttled Washington nine straight times, but I'm thinking No. 10 won't happen on Saturday.

That's right, I'm picking Coach Sark and the Dawgs. It will be an epic day for the Huskies. We'll have to endure all that talk about them being back, about re-taking Montlake, and we'll have to resist a strong urge to stick our index fingers down our throats.

Just remember, though, a Dawg win puts Sarkisian one step closer to getting the job at USC. And how much more fun would the Apple Cup be if the Dawgs are 10-1 when they lose to us?

Prediction: Washington 41, Oregon 38.

The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach Jim at jimmoorethego2guy@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.

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