Week 8 Game Matchup: Oregon State Beavers VS. USC Trojans

By Dave Consolazio and Sam Saig, October 21, 2009 6:13 pm

Oregon State Beavers (4-2) vs. USC Trojans (5-1)
Saturday, October 24, 5:00 PM PST
Las Vegas Favorite: USC -21.0
*AllPac10 Game of the Week*

Sam’s Take (31 – 14):

Might USC overlook this game against Oregon State given the fact that it’s sandwiched between the dramatic win in South Bend and the potential Halloween showdown in Eugene next week?

I wouldn’t count on it.

The Trojans are well aware of what the Beavers can do, especially when #1 has the ball. Obviously, Jacquizz Rodgers had his coming out party on national television last season when he ripped through a star-studded ‘SC defense. The question is, can he do it again? So far this season ‘Quizz has been spectacular, ranking second in Pac-10 with 697 rushing yards and second nationally with 13 TDs. He will certainly have to be at his best this Saturday, as the ‘SC defense ranks fourth nationally against the run. QB Sean Canfield must play mistake free, while continuing to involve receivers other than James Rodgers in the passing game (as he has done recently with Adeniji).

For USC, the gameplan should be rather simple in this one: throw the ball. While Oregon State has been very solid against the run (18th nationally), the Beavers have been atrocious against the pass (114th nationally). QB Matt Barkley has looked better every week, and I expect to see him attack OSU through the air early and often.

If the Trojans were traveling to Reser Stadium I would strongly consider picking the upset here, especially considering the bye week that Mike Riley had to prepare his team. But this series hasn’t been too exciting at the Coliseum (last OSU win was in 1960), and while I expect a competitive game, ‘SC should pull away in the fourth.

Prediction: USC 35 – Oregon State 20

Oregon State Player to Keep an Eye On: The Whole O-Line - In last season’s meeting with USC, the OSU o-line was tremendous all night. The unit must play at a similar level again Saturday in order to give ‘Quizz a chance to hit a few big plays.

USC Player to Keep an Eye On: LB Chris Galippo - Galippo has been solid as a rock all season, and he will be a key to keeping ‘Quizz in check.

Dave’s Take (35 – 10):

Man, I owe Beavers fans an apology. Not that you guys care all that much I’m sure about how a random Pac-10 blogger picks for or against your team (especially when they keep making a fool out of him), but I have been downright brutal to Oregon State. In fact, I haven’t picked the Beavers since week one!

After two straight wins over solid opponents, I’m sold on Oregon State; I won’t be underrating them anymore. But with all of that in mind, I have to pick against them this week.

We all remember what happened the last time Jacquizz Rodgers faced the USC Trojans. Rodgers led the way to a stunning upset in 2008, the second time in three years that the Beavers upset USC. The Rodgers brothers are just as dangerous as they were the last time these teams met, and the way Sean Canfield is playing, the passing game could even be better.

I just don’t see USC letting this one get away, though. They’ve already had their gut-check this season in Washington, and there are plenty of players left on this team that still feel the burn from last season. The revenge factor aside, there is also simply the respect factor here; Oregon State has earned it against USC.

Matt Barkley and the offense appear to be clicking, and potentially having Ronald Johnson back up to game speed could help. Defensively, ‘Quizz won’t be an unknown true freshman this time around.

By the numbers, USC matches up well on both sides of the ball here; but this feels like the type of game that you need to throw the numbers out on. Oregon State went into Arizona State’s house and ran up a big lead early on their excellent defense, so I’m not going to assume USC’s defense is going to completely shut down the Beavers. I do feel, however, that they will do enough to pick up the win. (Or, OSU will burn both Sam and me for the third straight time.)

Prediction: USC 31 – Oregon State 17

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