Friday, September 26, 2008

OSU 27, USC 21: Our #1 is Better Than Your #1

(AP Photo/Steve Slocum)
#1 Jaquizz Rodgers (and the entire O-Line and blocking scheme) > #1 USC.

What a night, what a game. This was nearly total domination in the first half. This was taking their best shot and coming back and winning anyways. This is a HOME WINING STREAK against USC!

This one feels different than 06. I can't tell if I'm more in shock or find it less hard to believe. The hype was so huge about USC that I figured lightning couldn't strike twice. Plus, we started so slow in the season. But I'll be damned, we're hitting our stride early this year. The Utah game is big next week.

Can I get a "I heart Quizz Rodgers" shirt up in here?! Dude never went down on the first hit. He made nothing plays into 5 yard gains, OK plays into 10 yard gains, and frustrated the USC 'D' all game. This wasn't trickery, this was up the gut, in your face, I'm better than you game plan. I LOVED IT. Our best play was up the gut. Everyone was blocking lights out. James Rodgers was sealing awesome for the cut-back, I saw Sammie level Ellison on one play, and even Quizz was pass blocking great.

If we win next week, win all our games in October, then we could be setup for a magical stretch run in November with the best teams at home and when we are at our best. Maybe a 2000 type run?! Damn, I sound like a Duck fan.

Woooo Hooooo! Where's the Tylenol!

Go Beavs!

Quote of the game:

"I am just beside myself," Trojans coach Pete Carroll said. "They didn't hide what they were doing, they just did it and we couldn't stop it."

Here's some great post-game stuff:

USC postgame - Cliff Kirkpatrick Blog

Quizz Show: Jaquizz Rodgers and Oregon State's Domination of USC Analyzed - FanDome

Oregon State highlights vs. USC (9.25.08)
- YouTube

Beavers' new Quizz show stumps and thumps USC
- John Canzano

Thursday Night Lights - Bob Welch

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

USC Game - Not A Sell-Out?!

This is hard for me to fathom:

Beavers fans ready for big-game atmosphere - Gazette-Times

There are still about 4,000 general admission tickets left to purchase for the game. They are the $75 variety. All the club seats are sold out.

So the students line up around the block to pick up tickets, but Beaver Nation has left 4000 gen admin tickets on the table? For USC? The #1 team in the nation?

I guess there are more pessimists in Beaver Nation than I thought. Who cares if we lose big. We're expected to as evidenced by the 25 point spread. But would you want to miss beating a #1 for the second time ever? Or how about having a home winning streak against SC?

Come on people. Get your butts in the stands and watch this game!

Go Beavs!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sometimes Bye Weeks Are Great For Fans Too

The Beavers had a nice weekend to relax, heal, and prepare for USC this week. That can only be good when coming off of an easy win last weekend. Hopefully the coaches see something in the film they can exploit. And hopefully our defense has become experienced and confident enough to take a shot at the best team in the conference.

Sometimes bye weeks are good for the fans too. We get to do some errands, yard work, and watch the other teams around the league/nation. This week I watched the most Oregon football I've seen since Civil War last year. My only complaint about the UO vs BSU game is that the Broncos let the Ducks back into it. BSU was in total control at the end of the 3rd quarter. Although that new freshman did look pretty good in the pocket. Of course, the way Duck QBs go down it only a matter of time.

After watching OSU lose to Boise St. twice on the road over the last few years (then having to hear Duck fans talk about it) that game made the bye week a little better. Hell, a lot better. I'm still smiling. Just remember Duckies, we never lost to the Broncos at home.

Go Beavs!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Weekend Recap...Defense - check...Forced Turnovers - check...Blow Out - check

I went to the game last weekend and despite it being the hottest football game in recent memory, it was a pretty good game to get Beaver Nation's hopes up for USC.

When I walked into that stadium I wanted to see a few things from the Beavs. Better defense, force defensive turnovers, better special teams, and domination.

Three out of four isn't bad. Id say other than the first drive, our defense was great. The interceptions were huge because we're gonna need those in the next two games. And by dominating a lesser team (like we should have done vs. Stanford) we got back some confidence and maybe a touch of swagger that we sorely need against USC. The special teams were a mixed bag. Great return phase. Not so great on the kicking side of things.

On to a bye week, then USC. And boy do they look good. Our only hope is that they come in overconfident and we get 3-4 early breaks and we capitalize on them. If we can keep it close and build momentum for Utah, that is the key. We need to take down Utah like we did Cal last year. That could be the lynchpin if this season. Especially since many teams are looking vulnerable in the Pac-10 (and some downright bad). Man, I wish we could play Stanford again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Penn St. Rolls Beavers

Well, I was afraid that this would happen. The Beavers go back east again and play the part. It doesn't matter if its an up and coming team like Boise St, Fresno St, or Cincinnati (maybe Utah?) or an established power like LSU or Penn St. The Beavers have only played competitively in maybe 2 games on the road against decent out of conference teams in the last decade.

I'm beginning to think this early season slow start thing is a self-fulfilling prophesy. If people (press, fans) are always asking about how you're going to start fast and why do you start slow, then you start to believe it. And it becomes a wall for the players and maybe worse, the coaches.

Conservative game planning may not be the way to break the cycle. Perhaps we need to shake things up a bit. Throw the ball down field. Have a drive where all you do is fly sweep and run sweep. Go for it on 4th down. Fake punt. Blitz like crazy.

Or maybe the anwser is to just schedule weaker. Only get teams you can go home at home. Kansas went to a BCS game with a weak schedule. We went in 2001 with a weak OOC schedule. When you play all 9 other Pac-10 teams, do we really need to schedule another BCS opponent? Why not get Minnesota or Vandy to play us?

No matter what the Beavers come home this weekend. Let's make sure they get this win because we need some momentum to pull off our game 5 upset that we always seem to do. Be loud and ready to cheer on a win. Its early. The good thing about our self-fulfilling prophesy is that every also tells us we finish strong. The players and coaches believe it and they can do it with the schedule that we have.

Time to start the strong finish. Go Beavs!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Game Preview from a Zombie

Zombie Nation came back with his own thoughts on the game. Check them out in full here:

Preview, Game 2: No. 19 Penn State vs. Oregon State - Zombie Nation

Why PSU will win -- The rushing game: If Stanford can rip off 210 yards against Oregon State, then Penn State shouldn’t have too much trouble. But this week, PSU has to be ready for a team that’s no Coastal Carolina. OSU has won at least nine games two years in a row, and won its last two bowl games. But OSU did lose to Stanford. Penn State will need to keep the ball as long as possible this week, with the suspensions on defense. Special Teams: It’s supposed to rain, a lot. If so, this one can come right down to the special teams play. I’m guessing Kevin Kelly will hit one of two this week, but the return games and punting will be stellar. Even if AJ Wallace doesn’t play (I think he will), Penn State should enjoy great field position on a soggy field.

Why OSU will win -- Turnovers: Get Penn State out of its groove early, and this one could go Oregon State’s way in a hurry. And now with the PSU suspensions, OSU will be looking for every way to take advantage. With slippery conditions possible, look for the OSU defenders to constantly rip for the ball. I’m not sure OSU can go toe-to-toe with PSU if it turns into a shootout, but the Beavers would love for it to come to that. The Passing Game: Oregon State was reduced to chucking the ball around once behind at Stanford. This week, Mike Riley already said the key will be balance. But I really think the balance for OSU will come from the passing game. Get the PSU secondary nice and soft, then send a few runs right at the depleted PSU defensive line. It’s a tough task, even if the PSU defense will be watered down, but not entirely impossible.

What will happen: I just don’t see PSU losing this game. But OSU will scare the hell out of PSU fans. Once PSU pulls away from a tight game, ESPN will talk more about the recent off-the-field issues, instead of the game itself. Daryll Clark will look great again, but the running game will be even better. The defense will be surprisingly stout, but not by PSU standards. The PSU wideouts will shine.

Prediction: No. 19 Penn State, 38 - Oregon State, 24

Problems at PSU...Does this help the Beavers?

Penn St. has just announced that 4 players will not be playing the Beavers this weekend. Included in the list is starting defensive end and All-America candidate Maurice Evans. In addition, a starting defensive tackle, Abe Koroma, will miss the game. A backup TE and CB were also suspended.

Penn State suspends three players, dismisses another - Philadelphia Daily News

Although no charges have been filed and Lt. Bill Moerschbacher, a Penn State campus police spokesman, said the investigation is ongoing, coach Joe Paterno suspended starting defensive end and All-America candidate Maurice Evans, starting defensive tackle Abe Koroma and backup tight end Andrew Quarless for the 19th-ranked Nittany Lions' game tomorrow against Oregon State in Beaver Stadium.

The fourth player living in the apartment, cornerback A.J. Wallace, was absolved of blame by Paterno, at least for now.

The suspensions of three key players overshadowed the announcement that reserve cornerback Willie Harriott, a redshirt junior cornerback and special-teams player from New Haven, Conn., had been dismissed from the team for an undisclosed reason. Harriott had not been in Paterno's good graces since he was cited for underage drinking in August 2007.

So does all this help the Beavers? I think the answer is clearly yes. Anytime you lose an All-American candidate, it has an effect. My guess is that Penn State is pretty deep at many positions so they should have someone serviceable in there. To lose half your D-line which is considered a could be good for the Beavs. More time for the Lyle and perhaps more running room.

Go Beavs!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Oregon State at Penn St.: Why the Beavers Will Win (Or Lose)

With a relaxing Labor Day weekend to recover from the gut wrenching loss to Stanford, its time to forget the past and look to the future. The future makes me nervous. Penn St. was dominant over Coastal Carolina and its a long trip out to Happy Valley. Can we pull off an LSU type game, but with a win? Or will we continue our east coast blowout streak?

Zombie Nation asked a couple of questions, and here are my answers.

Three reasons OSU will win...

1. Oregon State's run defense. Last season the Beavers run defense allow 899 yards for the entire season. There were a lot of graduations, but the current starters all rotated in heavily last year and are pretty experienced. In addition, senior safety Al Afalava is back for the Penn St. game and he is a big hitter who helps out a ton in the run game.

Oregon State has seen a lot of spread in Oregon, a little in Washington, and Utah over the last couple of years. We know how to defend it and have defended it pretty well. Our defensive speed is good. So the Spread HD can be contained.

If Oregon State can hold Penn St. to around 100-150 yards, then they should be winning the game.

2. Coach Riley and the players thrive on these big games. The Beavers gave LSU all they could handle and should have won the game. Riley has yet to lose a bowl game. They beat #2 Cal away last year and USC the year before to snap their big winning streak. I think the players will be pumped and ready to show the nation their stuff. If they get out to an early lead, then they can win.

3. Forcing turnovers. Last year Oregon State had 24 interceptions and 4 for TDs. They have the secondary back and guys who are ball hawks. After forcing no turnovers against Stanford, turnovers will be a point of emphasis and guys will be stripping and looking for the INT. If OSU has a +2 turnover margin or better, they will beat the Nittany Lions.

Three reasons OSU will lose...

1. Turnovers. In all of the Beavers big losses the last few years, turnovers are the culprit. Interceptions, fumbles, and crazy touchbacks. Cincy killed us on takeaways. Louisville and Boise St. all picked us off at will. If we lose the turnover battle, we lose the game. If we give up 5+ turnovers, then it will get ugly.

2. Its game 2. The Beavers haven't had a great start to the season since 2002. It's kind of a Beaver thing to start slow and finish strong. The Stanford loss might mean its another slow start for the Beavs. We lost some great players last year and we are young. Those young guys have to learn on the job and it takes a few games to get going.

3. The running game. After not being able to establish the run against Stanford (granted we had to pass a ton because we were behind), and with the yards PSU put up last week. It could be a slow death. If Penn St. establishes running dominance early and the Beavers can't run, then it will take a career performance from Lyle Moevao to win. He had 400 yards last week, but he would need zero interceptions and some help from the defense to make that happen. If the Beavers can't run either inside or outside on the fly sweep, they will lose the game.


Its hard to predict a win on this game. I think our early season woes and young LBs and RBs make it tough to call. They say teams improve most from game 1 to game 2 and we will need it. We did have a much tougher game last week than PSU and the Beavers will be ready to go. Not to mention I still have the bad taste from last week in my mouth.

I'll call a 38-21 Penn St. win. I hope I'm wrong and the game is much closer than that.

Prove me wrong Beavs!

Go Beavers!

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