Friday, August 29, 2008

Beavers Lose To Stanford, And Take a Gut Punch

That game was a tough loss for the Beavers. And it was tough for Beavers fans like me who just want a season where we start off strong for once. Bob DeCarolis wonders where the fans are at the games, but it tough to build excitement when you're written off after the first 5 games. It still could turn out to be a good start. Maybe this loss will inspire the guys to beat PSU. Maybe lightning will strike twice and USC will go down again (they have had their share of bad early Pac-10 losses).

As far as the Stanford game, that was an emotionally tough game for us fans. The game went something like this:

* Yes! The season has started!
* OK, starting slow, but we're OK so far.
* Nice 2 minute drive to tie it up at halftime! We've got this game now!
* Got the lead! But it feels a little hollow because we settled for a FG.
* Crap! Can anyone stop that guy? He's running over us!
* How can Stanford be opening up those huge holes?
* Uh, oh. It's Cincy, Boise St., and Louisville all over again. Ug.
* Wait a sec, we have a shot to win this thing...
* Hey, we're gonna tie this game!
* What happened! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! (Cries in beer)

It's games like these that make me think were not going to win another game. But after I slept on it, there are some positives.

The positives:

* Our 2 minute offense is really good.
* Lyle is not perfect, but he's actually a pretty good QB.
* Our running game could be pretty good at some point this season. I saw flashes
* Our O-line is OK. At least in pass protection. Lyle had a lot of time to throw.

The negatives:

* This isn't last year's defense yet.
* Turnovers and mistakes are the key to every game for the Beavers here on out
* RBs catching passes out of the backfield is sketchy

One question I had is, where was the Fly Sweep? Our bread and butter last year and we don't run it first play of the game? We need to make teams prove they can stop it.

Oh, and that #44 on Stanford should have been ejected. I have never seen a cheaper shot on the QB than that helmet to helmet job after a handoff. That guy goes to Stanford?! Harbaugh didn't even take him out of the game. Weak.

ESPN sure loved Stanford/Harbaugh. Does the S in ESPN stand for Stanford?

Penn St. next.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stanford Is a Must Win Game

Yes, we already have our first must win game. And its the first game of the season. Yikes!

Most Beaver fans have a fairly optimistic view going into this season. Good seasons are built on beating teams you expect to beat, pulling out a few good wins, and probably losing to most everyone better than you. Great seasons have a win or two over a great team.

Here's how I see the Beavers opponents stacking up:

Must Wins
Washington St.

Good Wins
Arizona St.

Great Wins
Penn St.

Must wins are the teams that every Beaver fan says "W" automatically in the pocket schedule game.

Good wins are ones where you think, hmm, this could be a tough win or a loss. Win a couple of those, and you're in a bowl game.

Great wins are the USC win in 2006. It's last year at Cal and Oregon. These are the ones people remember and turn good seasons into great ones.

Back to Stanford. We must win this game. It allows the guys to go into Penn St. fired up, relaxed, and ready to prove who they are. It takes the pressure off if we don't come away with a win at Penn St. And most importantly, its a Pac-10 road win.

I want this season to be a great season. And the way to make that happen is to be 3-0 to start the season. It all starts today.

Go Beavs!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Craig Robinson on the national stage

Check out that sweet orange tie!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

2008 Football - Pocket Schedule Game

Its time to start the old pocket schedule game. I ran a poll a few weeks back before fall camp had started and I found that people are very optimistic about this season. Of course, its easy to pick a number. Harder is predicting how the Beavers get there.

Here's a review what Beavers fans think the football team will do this year:

Wins - % of Votes
11 - 10%
10 - 15%
9 - 32%
8 - 27%
7 - 7%
6 - 2%
5 - <1%
4 - 2%
3 - 5%
About 10% think we will have a losing season. However, 25% of fans think we're headed for a BCS game. I voted 9 wins. So yea, either we have a serious case of Orange Crush or we know a lot more than the pundits. Other than Sports Illustrated, it seems we are averaging about a 6th place finish in the Pac-10 among pre-season magazines/polls. Of course, we are always low in those just like we are always low in the recruiting rankings.

Lets look at the schedule:

2008 Schedule -

at Stanford
at Penn st
at Utah
at UW
at UA

At first glance, its clearly very tough. I wish the Stanford game was at home, because that's a tough one to start with. We cannot look past them towards PSU. That said, I'm calling the game at Stanford a win. We have to have that one to get off on the right foot.

W - at Stanford

Penn State is tough. I think we have a shot, but we haven't actually won a huge game out of conference early in the season. Will this be the year we finally start off strong? This could be our Michigan. It would be HUGE! That said, even though I think we can win, I'm putting this down as an L.

L - at Penn st

Hawaii has a new coach and lost some good seniors. W.

W - Hawaii

USC should have Sanchez back. I'm not sure I believe in Sanchez, but the rest of their team is so good. If we are going to beat them, this might be the year. But I have to be realistic and call an L here. But how huge would this game be if we're 3-0 going into it? Reser would be ROCKIN! If god is a Beaver fan, he will make this happen.


At Utah. Tough call here. Typically this is when we start hitting cruise control on the season. But playing at Utah will be tough. Revenge factor. Hmmm. I say we pull it out and our defense wins it for us. W.

W - at Utah

WSU: new coach. W.


Washington will be tougher this year. But I think our D just knows how to play against the run. We will be swarming and the Beavs will win in Seattle once again.

W - at UW

Big game with ASU. Erickson returns again. They have a target on their back. We tend to play poorly vs. ASU, but I call a win. This will be our first in a few years and will set up a great stretch run.


Yea. We ALWAYS seem to lose bad at UCLA. So this will be a loss, but it will inspire us down the stretch for our traditional final run.

L - at UCLA

And during that run we will beat Cal again, Arizona away, and the Ducks for a 3rd consecutive time and on to a bowl game!

W - Cal
W - at UA
W - UO

To recap, here's the predictions:

W - at Stan
L - at Penn st
W - Hawaii
W - at Utah
W - at UW
L - at UCLA
W - Cal
W - at UA
W - UO

9-3, 7-2 Pac-10

Holiday Bowl anyone?

Go Beavs!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First Fall Practice...Punting, Shotgun, Quizz, Canfield and more!

I finally got out to see my first fall practice on Monday at Reser Stadium. It was a pretty laid back practice with a bonus of lots of special teams work.

Some notes:

Special Teams

There were three punters practicing and only two were really any good. #7 Hekker had some very good punts. And generally he was kicking them fairly consistently. Some didn't have a ton of hang time which could hurt, but enough did that I think we may be better off in the punting dept. this year. #18 Sehnem looked pretty good too, but his best punts just weren't as good as Hekker that day.

The punt blocking looked pretty good and Sammie was as quick as ever returning those punts. The punt rush seemed good as well, but they never got a block so it was hard to tell.

I think Kahut was kicking again, but it was pretty limited. Overall they did well, but they didn't practice anything very long (maybe 30-35 yards).


Moevao took most of the snaps on the live drills. They are clearly really concentrating on getting him ready for Stanford. He looked pretty good overall, but they may have been implementing some new plays because he was forcing the ball a lot on certain routes that seemed to be covered well (to me at least). But the few times someone was wide open, he seemed to hit them. So that's good. They worked on shotgun, which I don't remember seeing in the past. That should give our O Line some extra time on key passing downs.

Canfield did all of the drills that the other QBs did. He didn't get many reps and he threw nearly all short balls, but he never seemed in pain. Engstrom got a few reps too, but I don't remember anything spectacular. Katz had a good arm, but I saw almost nothing of him in the live drills.

The running backs all looked good. Quizz just looks so fast. Probably because he is fast. And strong. He will make an impact this year. I liked how McCants looked as well. Fast and strong. Francis looked OK, but I don't remember seeing him do much.

The WR and TEs looked good. Nothing spectacular, but everyone looked pretty sharp.


It was pretty non-contact so it was hard to evaluate the front 7. They definitely would have had a few sacks if they could have. The secondary looked really good. almost stifling at times. They and the LBs definitely swarmed to the ball very well on anything underneath. If our pass rush can be close to last year, teams will have a tough time against us. I didn't really get much of a sense for the rush defense because there were almost zero inside run plays, but the couple I saw looked like they had it stuffed.

Overall, I came away a little happier about the punting situation, the secondary, and maybe the running backs. Everything else was either hard to judge or I expected better.

Go Beavs!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Joe Beaver Show Back On The Air...and is Podcasting

I caught part of the first Joe Beaver Show of the 08-09 season today. And it sounds like they finally added something I've been asking about for the last 2-3 years. They have a podcast!

They mentioned it on the air and I found the link at Copy and paste this ( into iTunes in the Advanced menu, then "Subscribe to Podcast...".

Its like TiVo for radio. Pretty cool!

Monday, August 04, 2008

2008 Football is Underway

Beavers Fall Camp has started and things look promising. So far mostly good news has come to the camp with Simi Kuli probably here on Sept 1st.

Get out there and watch the 2008 Beavs if you get a chance!

2008 Fall Camp Schedule (subject to change)

Aug. 1-2 2 p.m. (shorts)
Aug. 3-4 2 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 5 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 6 8:30 a.m. (full gear) & 6:30 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 7 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 8 8:30 a.m. (full gear) & 6:30 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 9 2 p.m. (full gear/officials)
Aug. 10 No practice
Aug. 11 8:30 a.m. (full gear) & 6:30 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 12 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 13 8:30 a.m. (full gear) & 6:30 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 14 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 15 8:30 a.m. (full gear) & 6:30 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 16 2 p.m (full gear/officials)
Aug. 17 No practice
Aug. 18 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 19 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 20 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 21 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 22 2 p.m. (full gear)
Aug. 23 1:30 p.m. (full)
Aug. 24 No practice
Aug. 25 6:30 p.m. (shells)
Aug. 26 6:30 p.m. (shells)

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