Friday, May 09, 2008

Breaking Down: Oregon State

The Oregon St. Beavers will roll into Beaver stadium on September 6th (keep it classy, PSU! I am just going to leave the whole beaver-on-the-beaver thing alone). Oregon St. looks to build off of their 9-4 season in 2007 (sound familiar?). Similarly, PSU is tied with OSU in The Fulmer Cup!

One cannot sleep on the buck-toothed-mammals as they finished 3rd in the Pac-10 last year, which was one of the toughest conferences in the country. The Beavers will have to contend with not only a mercilessly long cross-country trip to face the lions but also face a rabid home crowd which will be over twice as large as the crowd the Beavers play to in Reser Stadium (Capacity 46,200). This is not to say that Oregon State will not be a challenge for the Lions, the Beavers return starters at key positions and know what it means to compete at the highest level of college football.

To get a Beaver's perspective on the Lions head on over to Building the Dam, a wonderful OSU blog. He is breaking down the match-up just like I am. Go and make friends with those crazy, dam building, buck-toothed, bastards!

The Beavers return Sean Canfield at QB who saw significant playing time in 2007 and could be ready for a big year in 2008. He accumulated over 1600 yards passing and completed over 57% of his passes in 2007. One also must consider that he only played in 10 games last year. The Beavers had a tough time protecting their QBs in 2007. 36 sacks is a lot of sacks, it isn't Notre Dame, but it isn't good! No wonder he missed a little time. Canfield's injury gave back-up QBLyle Moevao a chance to play and he made the most of it passing for over 800 yds. OSU fans can at least breathe a little easier knowing that if Canfield goes down they are deep at the QB position.

The Beavers could struggle in the passing game in early 2008 as they lose three of their top four WRs to graduation. The young guys will have to step up and play well right away for the Beavers to succeed. The bottom line is that the combination of a potentially shaky offensive line, a QB who can be knocked out of games, and inexperienced WR corps could spell trouble for Oregon State.

Oregon State loses their top back from 2007 (Yvenson Berndard) which leaves the Beavers in a bit of a pickle as their second leading rusher plays Wide Receiver (James Rodgers). However, Oregon St.'s offensive line, as we said is loaded with senior leadership but will need to improve to give presumptive starter, Ryan McCants, a chance to do some damage. Returning Starters are great as long as they are good players. It doesn't do a bit of good to return a four year starter who has been terrible every time. If the Line is going to pull it together '08 is the time.

Similarly, the rushing game will absolutely have to improve to keep defenses honest. If teams are able to rush the passer on every single down there is a good possibility that Canfield won't survive the season.

Don't fool yourself, the Beavers play some defense! They were a better defensive team than PSU last year. OSU was #8 and PSU was #11. That is some big time defense. OSU was extremely stingy on the ground giving up less than 1,000 yards but was a little looser through the air giving up over 3,000 yds. However, they have a great opportunity to improve on defense in 2008 as they return 8 upperclassmen. That is some senior leadership baby! Oh, and did I mention that they have three senior defensive lineman. Yeah. It could be tough to put up points on these stingy beavers!

This is going to be a great early season match up. I expect PSU to win the battle for the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. PSU is deep and talented on the defensive line and while they will line up against a senior o-line with something to prove. This is really all I have to support that claim.

However, PSU is really inexperienced at QB and RB and will struggle to move the ball consistently against the Beavers.

In the end, this game will be decided by one or two big plays and neither team will crack 20 points. Turnovers, as always, will be huge.

At the end of the day, home-field advantage will be the difference in this game as PSU takes a very tough early game at home.
PSU: 17
OSU: 14



Noghri_ViR said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Noghri_ViR said...

I think you got the prediction wrong. It should be more like

OSU 17
PSU 14.

GO BEAVS!!!!!!

PS I'm so looking foward to traveling out there to the game. I've been waiting for this ever since they announced it.

JB said...

Glad to have you!

IMO, Happy Valley is the gold standard of the college football experience.