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Fired Up Beavers: Oregon State Notes

Ted Miller on ESPN writes:

Sammie and the Rodgers brothers will exorcise Mike Riley's UCLA curse and make life easy for QB Sean Canfield: Riley is 0-5 vs. UCLA as Oregon State's coach and was also 0-4 while offensive coordinator at USC (1993-96). He's beaten every other Pac-10 team at least twice, including USC. But Halloween is over. November is when the Beavers surge. Of course, they're probably going to have to do it at UCLA with their backup quarterback Sean Canfield making his first start this season with Lyle Moevao nursing a strained shoulder (though Moevao appears to be rallying in his recovery). Canfield played well coming off the bench and leading the Beavers to a victory over Arizona State, and he showed admirable resiliency in the process by bouncing back from a pick-six interception at the beginning of the third quarter. But coming off the bench at home with little thinking time is a different animal than starting a game on the road with a week to think about how much rides on the Beavers winning: Their Rose Bowl hopes. That's why Canfield needs to know that he doesn't need to take chances. He needs to get the ball in the hands of his playmakers -- the Rodgers brothers, running back Jacquizz and scatback James, and receiver Sammie Stroughter -- and then sit back and let them figure out what to do.

Just how fired up are Oregon State's players about doing something about their head coach's winless against UCLA? Here is Adam Speer, Oregon State's senior OG:

“The team’s definitely aware of it,” Speer says. “We just can’t believe it. We’re going to get after them and try and change that.”

They are feeling pretty good. Right now I believe Oregon State is around 7 to 8 point favorites against us on our own home turf. The folks at the Sports Network posted this preview of the game predicting a 10 point win for the Beavers based on their observations of Beavers having advantages over Bruins on both sides of the ball. Can't really take issue with the impressive numbers Beavers have posted so far this season:

The Beavers have been extremely efficient on offense this season, turning the ball over just 11 times, while averaging 33.6 ppg and 425.5 total ypg. The unit has had success on the ground (165.6 ypg) and even more through the air (259.9 ypg) and has surrendered just nine sacks. Last weekend, OSU rolled up 370 total yards, including 261 passing, in a 27-25 win over Arizona State. Freshman Jacquizz Rodgers, the Pac-10's leading rusher, toted 30 times for 133 yards in the victory. He has enjoyed quite a rookie campaign with 945 yards and six scores on the ground and 231 more yards through the air on 24 catches. Quarterback Lyle Moevao, however, hurt his shoulder last weekend and had to give way to Sean Canfield, who stepped up and threw for 218 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Moevao, listed as day-to-day, is one of the top passers in the Pac-10, averaging 227.8 ypg. He has done a nice job spreading out the ball between the trio of Sammie Stroughter, Shane Morales and James Rodgers, whom have combined for 119 catches, 1,533 yards and 15 touchdowns. Each did their part last weekend, with James Rodgers posting eight catches for 102 yards and Stroughter logging six receptions for 70 yards and a score. Morales was limited to just three grabs for 31 yards, but he had a pair of touchdowns.

OSU has done a sound job on defense and that group is limiting opposing offenses to 23.9 ppg and just 302.5 total ypg. The defense has fared well versus the run (120.0 ypg) and pass (182.5 ypg) and has forced 14 turnovers and registered 20 sacks. Last weekend, the Beavers did another solid job on defense, as they held Arizona State to just 295 total yards. The unit also came up with five sacks, while preserving the victory with an interception on a game-tying two-point conversion attempt in the closing moments. Victor Butler had a big game in the win, as he posted eight tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Slade Norris added 1.5 sacks to go with three TFLs, and Greg Laybourn notched eight stops. On the season, Laybourn tops the roster with 70 tackles, while Butler and Norris have combined for 11 sacks and 22 TFLs.

I think what the Bruins have going for them is the way we have fought since that BYU game. As painful as our season has been due to our injury issues decimating our entire offense, we have hung in there in every game except for that second game of the season. I don't believe the Bruins are bad as our 3-5 record (just like lot of us didn't believe Bruins were not as good as their 10-2 record during 2005-06 season). If our guys come out with the same kind of focus, energy and grit it displayed in our last home game of this season, we are going to have a shot. Hopefully the coaches have our guys fired up, and ready to go.