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Washington State vs. Oregon State 2012: Quarterbacks key as Cougars and Beavers face off

SB Nation's team blogs take a look at the keys to the game as Washington State tries to spring the upset on No. 14 Oregon State.

Christian Petersen - Getty Images

The Oregon State Beavers have surprised many this season on their way to a 3-0 start that included two wins over top 25 teams. This week, however, the No. 14 Beavers are the upset target as they go up against the 2-3 Washington State Cougars.

To prepare for Saturday afternoon's matchup in Corvallis, SB Nation's two team blogs, CougCenter for Washington State and Building The Dam for Oregon State, fielded three questions from each other.

Jeff Nusser from CougCenter discussed the quarterback situation for Washington State, their defensive woes and the running game in their new offense under first-year head coach Mike Leach. On the quarterback rotation between Connor Halliday and Jeff Tuel he said:

As practice started this week, Halliday continued to take the practice reps with the No. 1 offense, so there seems to be no doubt that Leach has settled on sticking with Halliday. And I think that's a testament to Halliday's growth, which was especially evident on Saturday – although he still threw an interception, there were far fewer of the blatantly bad decisions he's become sort of infamous for.

Building The Dam's Andy Wooldridge spoke about the growth of Beavers' quarterback Sean Mannion and the issues in the secondary for both teams. On Mannion's development he said:

As corny as it sounds, Mannion appears to have done exactly what you would want any player to do between his first and second seasons. He always had the arm strength, which is why he got the game to begin with. To his credit, he saw the same shortcomings in his game that everyone else did, reading the defense and making good decisions quickly, throwing accurately, and avoiding big mistakes, and spent the winter, spring, summer, and fall camp working on improving on them.

The game kicks off from Reser Stadium at 3 p.m. PT and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.