In the crosshairs: Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State has been the 2010 college football season’s biggest fader. Spotlighted early in games against top-10 opponents TCU and Boise State, the Beavers have gone from a team that could have factored greatly in the final BCS standings to one that is reeling in week 12 and still bowl ineligible.
The Beavers were my early pick to win the Pac 10 conference, and were still in the hunt a week ago, before an inexplicable loss to Washington State. But despite falling well below those early expectations, a program known for strong finishes hasn’t lost its confidence.
After the Wazoo game, OSU linebacker Keith Pankey was asked if the Beavers can win two of the next three. “This team can win three of the next three,” Pankey said evenly. “But what matters is beating the team we play next week.”—Portland Tribune
Oregon State by the numbers
|Category||Nat. Rank||Conf. Rank||Average|
|Pass efficiency defense||104||9||145.91|
Analysis: Much has been made of Oregon State losing one of its biggest playmakers to a season ending injury weeks ago. But looking at the Beavers, the struggles don’t stem from there. They’ve lacked an explosive player in the return game, but Markus Wheaton has stepped up nicely as a receiver in the absence of James Rodgers.
The difference in this Beavers team in comparison to those of the past is its inability to get opposing offenses off the field. Against Washington State a week ago, OSU surrendered scoring drives consisting of 12, 14, and 16 plays. Those drives consumed more than 21 minutes of game clock, which is two minutes longer than Oregon State possessions totaled for the entire game.
Jacquizz Rodgers has been the feature player for the Beavers attack. If he is to have any success, Mike Riley will have to follow the game plan of others, and look to exploit a young USC secondary to spread the defense and thin the box. But defensively there may be few answers for Matt Barkley and his supporting cast, which is now ranked as the nation’s 16th best unit in total offense.
All Time Series: USC leads 59-10-4
Streak: USC won 1
Last Meeting: 2009- USC 42, OSU 36 (Los Angeles)
Line: Line USC -4.5
- USC has lost its last two games in Corvallis, and is 2-8* in the state of Oregon since 1998.
- Jacquizz Rodgers has run for 299 yards on 57 carries against the Trojan defenses, an average of 5.2 yards per carry.
- 2002 was the last time Oregon State lost 3 straight games in a season, falling to USC, UCLA, and Arizona State in consecutive weeks.
*2005 victory vacated