Pac-10 Week 8 Notes and Observations: Oregon State Beavers

By Dave Consolazio, October 28, 2009 9:41 am

Oregon State Beavers 4-3 Overall (2-2 Conference)

This Week’s Score: USC 42 – Oregon State 36

Next Week’s Opponent: UCLA

While it’s always disappointing to come out of a hard fought game with a loss, the Beavers have a lot to be happy about, especially on offense. Oregon State proved once again this week that they can compete with anyone, and they should have a lot of say in how the conference ends up shaping up down the stretch.

482 yards and 36 points is a heck of an output against one of the nation’s best defenses; especially on their home turf. Sean Canfield had another fantastic day, going 30/43 for 329 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He spread the ball out to eight different receivers, including the day’s biggest surprise, TE Joe Halahuni who had a career day with nine catches and 127 yards. Damola Adeniji had another nice day with 81 yards and a touchdown on 5 receptions, and James Rodgers caught a TD pass as well.

Jacquizz Rodgers knew he’d be game-planned for a lot more than he was last time around, but it didn’t seem to bother him; he rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries for a TD and caught for another one. ‘Quizz continues to quietly keep his name in the dark horse Heisman candidate conversation; in a year where they seemingly can’t give the trophy away, a few more big performances could earn some support in Rodgers’ corner.

The defensive side of the ball was not so exciting. Is it time to push the panic button yet? Oregon State’s defensive unit is usually its strength, but that just hasn’t been the case this season. The Beavers haven’t given up less than 375 total yards in a game since UNLV (and have given up over 400 in three of the five), and haven’t given up less than 200 passing yards in any game at all this season.

After the great success USC had running the ball (227 yards), you have to wonder how much of the Beavers’ success against the run this year has simply been due to the fact that opponents have moved the ball so easily through the air. I’d be willing to give the defense a pass due to the overwhelming talent this USC team possesses, but it has been a problem all year; and the unit was another stop or two away from shocking the world for the third time in four years.

Oregon State possesses the offensive firepower to shootout with anyone remaining on their schedule, especially with Canfield playing so well and opening up the Rodgers brothers by finding other receivers. That said, the team might face a fate similar to this week’s in their matchups @Cal and @Oregon if the defense doesn’t step it up.

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