22.Sep.2014 USC Week

People want a new thread, but I don’t have time right now so I will keep it short.

The Beavs played their most complete game of the year on Saturday, and based on what I have seen of USC (2 quarters), the Beavs should have at least be competitive on Saturday. If the Beavs were home I’d be thinking upset. On the road probably not. But big picture here is that USC isn’t that great. The big problem is that OSU’s front four likely won’t get any pressure on Kessler and he’ll pick on the secondary. Other than that, the matchup is pretty even. I’d like to see the Beavs blitz LBs for a change, especially on obvious passing downs. They’ll have to take calculated gambles like that to get pressure.

On offense, I think there will be some jitters for the young guys (conference play, ESPN, road game, etc) and expect a bad first quarter. After that it should get better. Beavs don’t have any clear advantages on offense so they’ll need to execute at a high level to stay in the game. The -12 line seems a bit high to me. I’d say -7 or -10 would be more in line with reality, but we’ll see.

It was nice to see Hunter Jarmon come up big. I had him targeted as the guy who needed to replace Cooks, and also had him as a 5-star prospect and 2nd best in the 2013 class. I heard Xavier Hawkins was activated to replace Bolden. That is a big downgrade as far as I’m concerned. I had Hawkins as a 2-star. Many people in TN (and Beaver fans) raved about him, so we’ll see on Saturday. I’d be thrilled to be wrong, but he looked like Malcolm Marable part II to me.

I’m thinking something like 27-20 USC but would not be surprised if the Beavs are in this game in the 4th quarter. This is more about USC being slightly overrated and having more pressure/more to lose than thinking the Beavs are a top 20 team. The Beavs right now are an average team (top 40) that is executing at a fairly low level (but improving week to week). I do like how each opponent the Beavs have played has been progressively better. That’ll help, though USC is quite a jump from SDSU. Mannion better protect the ball.

20.Sep.2014 San Diego State @ Oregon State

Game time is 7:30pm PST on Fox Sports 1.

Go Beavs.

15.Sep.2014 San Diego State @ Oregon State

I just finished watching these highlights of UNC/SDSU. The Aztecs are better than I thought. Some observations:

  • SDSU’s offensive line looked pretty good, especially running the ball.
  • Keahler is not a particularly mobile QB. He looks shifty in the sense he can buy time and avoid sacks, but he isn’t a true running threat. Beavs defense always plays well versus this type of QB. I expect some sacks and a good performance by the front four. Without the option threat, the line should be able to key in on the back (Donnel Pumphrey) and win penetration. LBs will need to clean up because Pumphrey is evasive enough to make his own holes.
  • Kaehler delivered some beautiful balls in-stride, but also threw some bad interceptions. He probably will not throw Nelson’s way. That leaves Larry Scott as a key player in this game. The SDSU WRs look solid.
  • The SDSU kicker hit from 50 yards. If this game comes down to the wire they probably have the advantage there.
  • SDSU has the coaching advantage in terms of time management and play calling (i.e. they called 39 pass plays and 35 run plays versus North Carolina). Riley is stubbornly forcing an aerial attack identity onto this club, and with the improved competition I feel this is the week it could come back to hurt Mannion. I expect he throws a couple interceptions and that number increases versus USC unless the Beavers can run a balanced offense statim. Mannion should have at least 4INTs so far, but he’s gotten away with them due to poor talent in the PSU and Hawaii secondaries.

Note that OSU’s pass/run ratio is 82:73. So almost 1:1. That is not bad, but ideally you’d want to see it reversed. What exacerbates it is that they pass in the wrong situations (e.g. inside the redzone, short yardage, etc). It makes it seem much worse.

Overall I was impressed with SDSU on film. They look to be about the same talent level as the Beavers. This makes sense since they’re in a recruiting hotbed and get a lot of the USC/UCLA leftovers. The weather calls for 91 degrees and sun on Saturday. That probably benefits SDSU. OSU’s advantages, based on what I’ve seen, would lie on the defensive front and Nelson shutting down half the field. That’s the key to winning this game and those players could suffocate SDSU’s offense. Now will that happen? No, because what I learned is that nothing ever comes easy for OSU. On offense, the Beavers must be more balanced or Sean Mannion will throw INTs this week.

I originally felt good about OSU dominating this game because they historically play well versus non-mobile QBs and have favorable matchups in this game. Watching the SDSU film curbed my enthusiasm, and Riley is a handicap (Probably a touchdown per game. So -4 thisĀ  week since we give +3 for home field advantage). I also worry about OSU looking ahead to the USC game now that it’s a prime time game on ESPN. Beavs on upset alert but have enough to overcome the Riley factor. With the Riley factor they eek out a 27-24 win, but it should be more like 34-24.

Is this “News” or Propaganda?

Click this link. (It is ESPN and work safe).
I find the words “again” and “dominates” to be propaganda.”Again” implies this happens ever year, which isn’t true (at least not until ESPN purchased the SEC). “Dominates” implies these teams actually play great football, to the point no other conference or team could compete with them.

They are attempting to condition me to accept the false notion that the SEC plays great football. That headline would be disproportionally influential to the average Joe Sixpack who checks in for his daily sports news. For the record: I did watch Georgia/South Carolina this weekend, and that was some of the worst defense and QB play I have watched since OSU/Sac State. Those are not good teams. Period.

ESPN/Disney is an embarrassment to sports. It is only good for fantasy football and baseball. If you want unbiased information about the real sports, you’ll have to increasingly turn to blogs and alternative media.

12.Sep.2014 Beaver Coaches’ Salaries

Posted here in Oregon Live.

My issues with it are Banker and Garrett making 505k and 320k, respectively. Why is Banker worth half a million? Can anyone explain how/why other than the fact he’s been there a while and is a Riley insider? And Garrett shows up in year 1 and makes more than every assistant but Baker? Why? Because he had NFL ties? Because he’s a Riley insider? Landsdorf’s salary for that same job was 280k, and that was after 9 years. Side note, but I find it interesting that Eli Manning is absolute garbage with Langsdorf coaching him. Sure, it could be his age or issues with personnel, etc. Brennen and Brasfield seem slightly underpaid and under appreciated, relative to the other coaches’ salaries.

Bruce Read makes a lot for a special teams coach and it’s probably not justified, but I’ll say this: kick coverage has been good under him. This is just from memory, but I don’t remember any return TDs against us under Read, and most kickoffs don’t get beyond the 25. Do you guys remember ever being disappointed over punt or kickoff coverage?

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