The Oregon State Beavers will look to improve on their 2019 season, one that ended with a 5-7 record, which was their best campaign since 2014.
Oregon State took a large leap forward in head coach Jonathan Smith's sophomore season, going from one conference win to four and coming a yard short of a bowl game.
Going into 2020, the Beavers expect to make a bowl game for the first time since 2013 so let's preview their schedule.
at Oklahoma State (Thursday, September 3rd, 2020)
The Beavers open their season on national television Thursday night in Stillwater, Oklahoma against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys traveled to Corvallis to begin last season and left victorious 52-36 in Reser Stadium. This time it'll be Oregon State starting a new quarterback whether it be Nebraska transfer Tristan Gebbia who started the Civil War, or JUCO transfer Chance Nolan making his Beavers debut. Regardless of who it is, they'll face a tough road challenge in a hostile environment.
The Cowboys will also return running back Chuba Hubbard, the nation's leading rusher who ran for 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns this past season. Against Oregon State alone, he had 221 yards and three touchdowns. The Beavers will need to contain him if they have any hopes of starting 1-0.
vs Colorado State (September 12th, 2020)
After opening the season in Stillwater, the Beavers return to Corvallis for their home opener against Colorado State. This is the second game of a home-and-home series announced in 2016 of which the first game occurred in Fort Collins in 2017: a 58-27 Rams victory. This will be the first road game for new Rams Coach Steve Addazio who got hired this past offseason to replace Mike Bobo after being fired at Boston College.
vs Portland State (September 19th, 2020)
The Beavers close out their non-conference slate against the Portland State Vikings. This is a paid win and if this game is close at all it does not bode well for conference play. Beaver fans probably remember Oregon State's 2016 match up with the Vikings where PSU missed a game-winning field goal as time expired in what was Oregon State's only win of the season. This game should be a tad different than that.
vs Washington State (September 26, 2020)
The Beavers will look to avenge their 54-53 loss that left them a yard away from their first bowl game since 2013. Additionally, Oregon State is on a six-game losing streak to the Cougars. However, following Mike Leach's departure to Mississippi State the Cougars will be transitioning to the run-and-shoot offense ran by new head coach Nick Rolovich. His last stop, Hawai'i, defeated the Beavers last season.
at Arizona State (October 3rd, 2020)
Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards has his team trending in the right direction. Arizona State just signed seven of the top thirty recruits in California, more than the entire Pac-12 South combined. Given that three top-rated California recruits last season started for the Sun Devils, expect some of this newly ingested talent to make an impact immediately. Among the returning starters is sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels who impressed as a freshman, especially in their upset win over Oregon. Daniels finished his freshman season with 2,943 yards and 17 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
at Washington (October 10th, 2020)
Oregon State will get their first look at head coach Jimmy Lake and the new-look Washington Huskies up in Seattle. The Huskies will replace their starting quarterback, running back, three offensive linemen and offensive coordinator. If the Beavers win, they'll end an eight-game losing streak to Washington and win in Seattle for the first time since 2008. Last season, the Beavers' offense got shut-out and they'll need a better performance to leave Husky Stadium victorious.
vs California (October 24, 2020)
The Beavers defeated Cal 21-17 last season in Berkeley but the Golden Bears were without starting quarterback Chase Garbers who went undefeated in seven games that he started and finished. Head coach Justin Wilcox always has defensively sound units that will test Jonathan Smith's offense.
at Stanford (Friday, October 30th, 2020)
Expect the Cardinal to look different than last season as 14 players have entered the transfer portal, including starting quarterback KJ Costello. David Shaw always had Stanford as a threat to win the conference but last season was a rare misstep finishing 4-8. If the Beavers can win this game, they'll snap a ten-game losing streak to the Cardinal and win for the first time at The Farm since 2006. Also, the last time the schools played on a day other than Saturday the 2017 Cardinal escaped Reser Stadium with a 15-14 victory.
vs UCLA (November 7th, 2020)
Chip Kelly returns to Corvallis for the first time since 2012 as the Bruins' head coach. Despite getting the victory over UCLA last season in Los Angeles, Beaver fans are anxious to get a victory over Chip Kelly in Reser Stadium. Kelly's sophomore season at UCLA was an up-and-down 4-8 season, and he needs to turn it around to stay off the hot seat in Los Angeles. The Bruins have also had seven players enter the transfer portal.
at Utah (November 14th, 2020)
The Beavers will get to truly test their progress when they travel to play Utah: a team that destroyed them 52-7 last season in Corvallis. The Pac-12 South champion Utes physically dominated the Beavers in all facets of the game, and this game will test if Oregon State's strength and conditioning program is paying off. The Beavers have not defeated the Utes since 2013.
vs Arizona (November 21st, 2020)
Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and the Wildcats will travel to Corvallis looking for revenge from a 56-38 defeat in Tucson last season. This could be a make-it-or-break-it season for Sumlin who has underperformed as Wildcats head coach despite inheriting Khalil Tate.
vs Oregon (November 28th, 2020)
The Beavers will end their season against heated rival Oregon in the Civil War. The Beavers defeated the Ducks in 2016 in what would be Mark Helfrich's last game as Ducks head coach, but since then Oregon has won each matchup. However, last season the Beavers had the ball with two minutes remaining down just seven points despite starting a backup quarterback.