At the start of the season, neither Sean Canfield or Lyle Moevao had distinguished himself as Oregon State's starting quarterback.
So for the first few games, the Beavers experimented, using Canfield first, then bringing in Moevao for a look. Canfield struggled, but won the job.
Now, with Canfield sidelined by injury, it's a good thing Moevao got some experience.
Moevao will start when Oregon State (5-4, 3-3 Pac-10 Conference) hosts Washington (3-6, 1-5) on Saturday night.
"I'm glad he has gotten the work that he has gotten through the year. We all know that it was a quarterback competition that carried on quite a ways," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "But we have good feelings about him, our goal was to develop two guys who we thought were both semi-starters, and could both play in a game, so this is his opportunity to show what he can do in a starting role."
Canfield, a sophomore, strained his shoulder in Oregon State's 24-3 loss at USC last weekend.
Moevao, also a sophomore, has played in five games, completing 27 of 51 passes for 280 yards. He has thrown four interceptions but has yet to throw a touchdown.
The Beavers will have some adjustment to do. At 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, Moevao is unlike the 6-4, left-handed Canfield, who said Tuesday that he couldn't yet lift his throwing arm.
But Oregon State will see the return of tailback Yvenson Bernard, the Pac-10's third-leading rusher, who sat out the game against the Trojans with a shoulder injury.
The senior tailback has rushed for 814 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
"If he's not the best, he is definitely in the top two or three best all-around players I have ever been around," Oregon State center Kyle DeVan said. "He is the heart and soul of this team."
Washington snapped a six-game losing streak with a 27-9 win at Stanford last weekend.
Louis Rankin put together the fourth-best running day in Washington history, rushing for 255 yards on 36 carries and a touchdown. He was named Pac-10 co-offensive player of the week, sharing the honor with Oregon's Dennis Dixon.
Washington quarterback Jake Locker had 151 yards passing and another 97 yards rushing. He broke the school record for single-season rushing yards by a quarterback, and is on pace to rush for 1,000 yards.
Rankin needs 207 yards in the final four games to reach 1,000. Locker needs 209 yards. Washington has never had two 1,000-yard rushers in one season and hasn't had one back reach that mark since 1996.
But it could be the defenses that make the biggest difference Saturday. Oregon State is ranked second in the Pac-10 (behind USC), and 10th in the nation, in total defense.
And Washington's defense finally emerged against Stanford. After giving up 661 total yards to Oregon and another 535 to Arizona, the Huskies limited the Cardinal to just 253 yards.
"There is nothing like success," Washington coach Tyrone Willingham said. "Having our defense go out and do something very positive gives them that added feeling, spirit, that's essential to go out and play what we think will be one of the better backs in the conference."
The Beavers have won three consecutive games, all in Seattle, over Washington. The Huskies won the last game of the series, in Corvallis, 38-17, in 2003.
Oregon State won't have starting QB against Washington