Sunday, October 25, 2009

Near Miss At USC Makes The Rest Of The Season Very Interesting

It wasn't a pretty game for the most part, but OSU was one 3rd down stop away from having a shot to win the game at the end. With all the practice they have had this season in coming from behind, I'd like to think they had a better than average chance of scoring.

Everyone was saying that the Beavers would need to play a perfect game to win. I don't think that is case. The Beavs had 9 penalties, special teams mistakes, and an early turnover and still were in it until the end. Eliminate just one of those issues and I think the Beavers win.

No fumble in the first half? That changes the game.

No punt return for a touchdown? That changes the game.

Eliminate the penalties in the red zone and score a TD or two in the first half? That changes the game.

The interception that wasn't an interception because of a penalty? They scored after that. If we get that INT then the whole game changes. ( Anyone else notice the flag was thrown after the interception? Hmmm... Yea, I know, sour grapes. )

The offense is now looking really good. Take a look at the stats:

Canfield - 30/43, 329 yds, 3 tds, 0 ints
Jaquizz - 20 car, 113 yds, 1 td (in 3/4 of a game)
Halahuni - 9 rec, 127 yds
Adeniji - 5 rec, 81 yds, 1 td
James - 98 yds rec/rush

I think we can beat everyone on our schedule with that offense. Its more dynamic than earlier in the year and can clearly put up major points against one of the best defenses in the nation.

The defense is still a bit pedestrian. I love the secondary coming together and getting two huge interceptions. I think the linebackers are pretty good. But without any sacks, its just so hard to shut a team down. The defense is average right now. Average is OK, but if we had the same defense as last year we have a better record. Simple as that.

The defense is young/new and I've seen a lot of improvement already. But I'd like to see some more heading into the stretch.

Overall, its about encouraging as a loss can be. I have a feeling we can beat anyone remaining on our schedule. I don't know if we will, but I'm much more encouraged about the rest of the season. I'd really like to see us with only two Pac-10 losses heading into the Civil War.

* Cliff has some good video on his blog

* The Oregonian has a nice story from Paul Buker and a good photo slide show

* Some great quotes from Pete Carroll and Taylor Mays (the guy who facemasked James Rodgers in the end zone on a bush play)
"I really think they're such a good team," Carroll said. "[Oregon State coach] Mike [Riley] did a great job of adjusting. He was different in the first half than he was in the second half."

Mays, who described Oregon State as "the best offense" USC has faced this season...

* Buker has that quote in full:
USC safety Taylor Mays, who probably drew the ire of many OSU fans when he tore James Rodgers' helmet off after a Rodgers' score:

"We knew they were going to be good and explosive. We were aware and prepared for that. They spread us out and picked away. They found a weakness in our defense. It was frustrating. ... they are probably the most explosive offense we have played. ... with Quizz and James, it has to be the best offense we have played."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How The Beavers Can Break The 50 Year Streak Against USC

I hope someday that the Beavs are in a place where we are favored in every game we play in regardless of whether its at home or on the road. That's the place the Trojans are at. But sometimes the thrill of victory is just way sweeter when you beat someone you're not supposed to beat. That can make a season. So far we haven't had a win like that this year (although ASU was a nice win).

Can Oregon State break the 50 year streak and finally beat USC at the LA Coliseum? Hey, if Stanford can, we not the Beavs?

Here's why it could happen:

1. Like last year, the Trojans are coming off of a high emotion, non-conference road game in which they won.

2. USC could be looking ahead to the Oregon game a Autzen next week which right now looks like the tougher game.

3. Even though Matt Barkley has been stellar at QB so far, he is still a true freshman. All young QBs have a couple forgettable games. USC is starting to open up their passing game. Maybe Barkley is due for a 4 INT wake up call.

4. The Beavers are starting to gel and hit their stride. The young secondary, WRs, and O-Line is improving and given the added incentive of upsetting USC could play the best game of their season.

5. JaQuizz Rodgers.

6. James Rodgers.

7. Mike Riley and staff always seems to game plan well against the Trojans.

8. USC plays a Pro-style offense that the Beavers defense is well suited to defend as opposed to some version of the spread.

9. The Beavers have been playing good football on the road and have confidence playing on the road and in tough games.

Clearly, both lines need to play very well. Its going to be about taking control of the time of possession on offense and limiting the chances that USC gets to score. An no FGs. The Beavs have to score a TD every time they are close. And they need to win the turnover battle.

Impossible? no. But, yes, they probably need to play a perfect game and hope the Trojans are just a little off of their game.

Man, I hope for a nice surprise at the end of the day today :)

Go Beavs!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's Up With The Pac-10?

After the Beavs disposed of the Cardinal last weekend with relative ease and UW pulling out a controversial win against Arizona, things are much more interesting in the Pac-10.

Team    Conf.  Pct.  Overall Pct.
Oregon 3-0 1.000 5-1 .833
Stanford 3-1 .750 4-2 .667
USC 2-1 .667 4-1 .800
Oregon State 2-1 .667 4-2 .667
Washington 2-1 .667 3-3 .500
Arizona State 1-1 .500 3-2 .600
Arizona 1-1 .500 3-2 .600
California 0-2 .000 3-2 .600
UCLA 0-2 .000 3-2 .600
Washington State 0-4 .000 1-5 .167

With the pre-season Cal and UCLA had, I challenge anyone to say they would have predicted this 1-9.

Since OSU has a bye this week, we get to sit back and see what happens.

Ted Miller of ESPN has blogged about the importance of this weekend in the Pac-10 - "Desperation and separation in Pac-10 games this weekend"

So what's up with Arizona? They looked great at times against OSU and UW, but let both back into the game at the end and could have been beaten by both (or won both). Are they a contender?

ASU is under the radar like OSU right now. Are they good or not? I don't know.

Can Oregon run the table? They look really strong right now. But who knows if Costa has to continue as the QB.

USC looks vulnerable, but they are clearly still very good. It feels like they might have one more loss in them though.

Stanford could pull it together, but I can't see them as a upper-tier bowl team right now.

Can UW be the surprise of the season? They are right now, but aren't they one Locker injury away from being Wazzu?

Cal and UCLA? I have no idea what they are right now.

OSU? I don't think the defense is as dominant as last season. However, as the season wears on, OSU gets better.

Wazzu? Fogettaboutit.

Basically, I know enough to know what I don't know. And all I know is that this is going to be a very interesting weekend for Pac-10 football.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Follow The Beavers On Twitter at #gobeavs

Are you a Beaver fan? Want to join the conversation on twitter? Just tweet with the hash tag #gobeavs and you will show up below. And you will let all of the other Beavs on Twitter know you support the team!

Beaver Flag On ESPN College Gameday

Someone brought a big OS flag to LSU for ESPN College GameDay this morning!

Thanks to @jackaninny for capturing the moment on ESPN this morning.

jackaninny Best shot I could get with phone - right over Folwer's shoulder #gobeavs

jackaninny Ok saw another angle and it is an Oregon State flag at Game Day - Go Beavers #gobeavs

Go Beavs! Beavers Eat Trees!

Monday, October 05, 2009

BIG Win in the Desert

Anytime you can break a 40 year streak in anything, its big. Seems like ASU has been our kryptonite forever, but that was a convincing win.

That's a formula we could use for many teams that are at or near our skill level. Jump on them early, convert in the red zone, force turnovers, win special teams, and stretch the field long from time. I wish there was more consistency from the running game, but I love the long runs.

Against Stanford we have to jump out fast and score touchdowns early. No field goals. If we score TDs those first two drives against Arizona, I think we win. The D against Stanford is gonna be big. Can we force some turnovers? I don't know, but if we aren't getting sacks then we need some turnovers.

Go Beavs!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Gameday! Can The Beavs Finally Break the 40 year Drought Against ASU in Phoenix?

Every game is big in college football, but this one is really big considering the opposition coming up. If the Beavs can pull this out, they should be setup nicely for a bowl game at 7-5. A loss means we may need another Cal or Civil War win to get to that level.

What I really want to see is continued improvement. I want the new starters to start making a bigger impact. Maybe more tight end involvement. Maybe a fly sweep from Wheaton or more big catches from Bishop.

Another thing that I think we really need are some game changers. Maybe a long pass for a TD. Or a few turnovers created by the defense. Or a pick 6 from a corner. Or a return for a TD. Something that is unexpected that is a game changer. We haven't had enough of those this year. Last year we had a ton. That's the biggest difference between this year and last year to me.

Go Beavs! Beat ASU!

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