Beavers host Huskies for a shot at a winning season

Beavers host Huskies for a shot at a winning season
Oregon State tight end Caleb Smith (10) runs against Arizona State defensive back Damarious Randall (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State and Washington are a lot alike: Both hit a stride earlier this season but then ran into misfortune.

The two 6-4 teams meet on Saturday night, both jockeying for position behind Oregon and Stanford in the tough Pac-12 North.

"I made that comparison to our team. I said, 'This is a good football team that's been kind of like us,'" Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "They were doing great and then they hit a lot of tough games with Oregon, Stanford and UCLA. They had kind of a murderer's row in there. And they played well. They had a chance to bear Stanford just like we did."

The Beavers (6-4, 4-3) got off to a disastrous start, losing at home to Eastern Washington in the season opener. Then they reeled off six straight wins, before falling back with losses to Stanford, USC and Arizona State.

After the Huskies it only gets harder, with the Beavers facing No. 5 Oregon at Autzen Stadium in the annual Civil War.

Washington (6-4, 3-4) won its first four games and popped up to No. 15 in the AP Top 25, but the Huskies slumped with consecutive losses to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State. They're coming off a fourth conference loss to UCLA last weekend.

Against the Beavers, Washington may be without quarterback Keith Price, who injured his right (throwing) shoulder in the second quarter of the Huskies' 41-31 loss to the Bruins.

Coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters after practice Thursday that Price's condition had "vastly improved," but the Huskies continued to prepare redshirt freshman Cyler Miles for his first college start.

Riley said he expects both teams to challenge the adversity they've faced.

"You can lose it and not play well and get worse or you can continue to try to grow and correct those things that caused those losses and play better," Riley said. "Play your best game. That's what it will take."