Just one week away, it’s apt time to have the much anticipated Rodent Bowl pre-game thread.
Really this is an excuse to hear BeavGopher’s thoughts on the game. I know almost zero about Minnesota other than a few articles I read, saying they had a top 25 D last year but lost a handful of key players from the unit, good RB who is hurt and will likely miss this game, and that’s about all I know. The Beavers have an upgrade at QB, and the RB position should be much better this year. Those are the notable improvements.
The Beavs have some talent on D. Pritchard, Napolean (film), Willis, and Arnold stand out. The Landry brothers look really good on film, but haven’t heard much about them. Williams, Irvine, Ugwoegbu and other young guys stand out as interesting prospects. I expect growing pains with all these guys, but especially those younger players.
As for the game, this is what I think:
Lucas, Collins, and Nall are probably faster than any player on Minnesota. Big question for me is can Garrettson manage the game efficiently and get the playmakers the ball? If so, these guys are too fast…they will run by Minnesota (Big 10 is just always slow). Villamin has the size to dominate any CB in the Country. So, the combination of size and speed makes the offense intriguing here.
I’d pick the Beavs to win in a heartbeat if they had depth. But I can see them wearing down in the 2nd half. Minnesota game plan seems predictable: (a) on offense, try running all over the Beavs and (b) on defense box in/contain the Beav’s speed (c) use the home crowd to gang up on the young Beavers.
These teams are closer than people think, and barring a turnover barrage I don’t see what Vegas is thinking here. Watch for Seth Collins and the Beavers special teams return specialists to flip this game on its head. Speed kills.
Beavers 35, Minnesota 31
This guy put together some good data on recruiting, in general, but also specifically about the Beavs. Give it a read. If you have any specific questions, I believe the content creator will show up and answer anything. At the end is a link to the blog post. The links to the interactive map crashed my browser, so just a head’s up there, but I think it’s because it’s a large file and data set.
Hope you’re doing well. I’m a data and content manager here at Rukkus, we’re a secondary ticket marketplace for sports and concerts.
I took the time to put together an analysis of all 128 FBS rosters for the 2016 season using Google Maps to place each player (more than 13,000 in total) in their hometown and it created a very interesting visual of the college football landscape, especially when it comes to Oregon State, who has the 4th broadest recruiting reach in CFB.
You can check out a larger interactive version of the gif above here that allows for zooming and sorting by conference.
We hear about teams recruiting talent from local hot beds but I was curious to see what teams expand their radius of recruitment to find players further from campus. The results proved to be pretty eye opening:
- The average Pac 12 recruit comes from 836 miles away, almost double that of any other Power 5 conference
- The average distance from hometown to school is 128 miles for USF players, lowest in CFB
- The average distance from hometown to school is 1,881 miles for Hawaii players, highest in CFB (Stanford has the highest average of any mainland school at 1,243 miles)
- The average FBS player hails from 446 miles away from their school
- More than a third of all FBS players come from either Texas, Florida, or California and Vermont is the only state without an FBS homegrown player
I compiled a few more heat maps and charts that highlight popular recruitment regions and a breakdown of the states that players come from and can share high res images or embeds for those.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and I’d also be happy to send over some more specific data for another team or conference if you’re interested. Here is a link to the post and one to just the interactive map.
Per Gina, these are the starters:
Barring health setbacks, it’s pretty safe to pencil in linemen Baker Pritchard, Sumner Houston and Kalani Vakameilalo, linebackers Bright Ugwoegbu, Caleb Saulo, Manase Hungalu and Titus Failauga and defensive backs Treson Decoud, Brandon Arnold, Devin Chappell and Dwayne Williams as the starters (with Irvine as the extra DB in nickel packages).
If that’s the case, the defense will stink.
Houston, Saulo, and Hungalu are all awful.
Pritchard is probably the only guy who would get playing time with any other Pac-12 team. Ugwoegbu is fast and intriguing. He could break out and become viable. Secondary is weak, but with that front 7 they’ll appear even weaker than they are.
Interestingly, the guys I thought had the most ability Napolean and the Payne Brothers, aren’t mentioned. Keep an eye on those guys. They’ll jump the garbage above by season end, and we’ll all wonder why it took so long for the coaches to figure out.
Interesting bit is that I had Pierce as the #1 recruit in this class (ahead of Wallace and Thompson, unlike Rivals), and he appears to be the top freshman prospect at this point.
I’m optimistic about the odds of having a good ground game this year.
This is how I see it shaking out:
1a – Nall
1b – Pierce
2 a – Cook
2 b – Lucas (primarily at WR, but he’ll be back there some to give the pure speed threat).
So that’s a nice mix. Nall has speed and power. Pierce has speed, power, and some shiftiness, and Cook sounds like a solid all around back. I haven’t seen any Cook film, but at 6’1 and 233 he has size to be a goal line back. He used to play LB, so again, this cements the idea he could be a short yardage/goal line back to spell Nall.
I haven’t kept up with the movement/injuries on the line. Lauina is a dog and needs to be replaced, if he hasn’t already. I’m hoping Kearsley can get healthy and replace him, but so far no such talk. Blake Brandel is a young OL who I like a lot. I think he will replace Harlow. Give me some ideas who can replace Lauina as an upgrade? Are Clarkson and Delp healthy? I’d take a gamble on either over Lauina. He’s so bad.
Anyway, if the Beavs can assemble a decent line out of these guys, the run game could be surprisingly nice. With all the questions surrounding the QB situation, that will matter less if these guys produce up to their potential.
I’ve written about this extensively last year with regard to Seth Collins and gotten flack for it, and explanations that he’d grow into the position and become more accurate, which obviously I disagreed with. People also claimed I didn’t know what I was talking about since I wasn’t a coach, so here you go straight from a head coach.
Mike Leach on accuracy.
Nothing new to me, but maybe people will take the opinion more seriously since it’s coming from an authority.
There’s a reason I always check a new QB’s completion % first and note if it’s poor.