31.Aug.2010 Analysis: Oregon State vs TCU (@ Arlington )

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The first game day of 2010 is finally here, and I think we can all agree on one thing: this is an exciting opener.

Sure, the easy win vs Eastern Washington or whomever was on the schedule prior to TCU would have been a great tune up given the uncertainty surrounding key positions, but this game will challenge the team, harden them for Pac-10 play, and have the added bonus of a nice pay day on the national stage. It's win-win for the Beavers, even if it is clear they are going to lose.

The problem with this game, for the Beavers, is their weaknesses play to TCU's strengths.

For example, TCU is not a great offensive team, but they are efficient. What they do well is run the ball and throw the short pass, specifically screens. Can Paea help there? Certainly. But do you believe TCU isn't aware of him? Therefore, Paea will be relegated to nothing more than a cog. I foresee sweeps and pitches, rather than plunges or dives, aimed to avoid Paea and spring the (TCU) RB into the weak linebacking corp of the Beavers' defense. On 3rd and long, expect screens and draws to counter attack the Beavers tendency to arm-tackle and over pursue. TCU also has solid wide receivers who will move the chains at key times. And finally, Dalton, while not a great QB, is a heady player who will not be phased by pressure, and he'll break the Beavers' back at least once on a 3rd down scramble. The Horned Frogs poise at QB is the glaring advantage.

As for the Beavers, on paper, they should be able to move the ball, but does it translate to the game? That's the million dollar question. We know James Rodgers will get a lot of all purpose yards, but does he get them at the right time? A 50 yard punt return in the 4th quarter when the Beavers are down 20 doesn't do much. Therefore, the Beavers need to execute critical downs. Watch  early in the game for:

1. Yards gained on first down, specifically runs by Quizz.

2. 3rd down conversions near the 50 yard line (i.e the different between converting this play and punting is a win versus a loss).

3. Turnovers inside the 50.

4. Settling for FGs early in the game.

These four things are good indicators of how the game will play out, and you'll know in the first quarter.

For the Beavers, the weakness on offense is clearly the quarterback, so expect TCU to blitz and confuse Katz, who has likely never seen a 4-2-5 defense. I expect at least three interceptions from the Beaver QB. Also consider the 4-2-5 defense substitutes a CB for a LB, adding more speed to the edge, which could nullify James Rodgers running fly sweeps. The weakness of this defense is that the safeties and corners are active in the box, so it's possible to get behind them (i.e. play action), but for those things to work the offense has to establish the run. Quiz may have a hard time doing that with Tank Carder manning the middle. From all accounts, the guy is a beast. Advantage: TCU.

So as I said, for me this game is a matchup mismatch. Beaver fans who are optimistic yap that OSU has an all world running back and defensive tackle, both of whom are better talents than anyone TCU puts on the field. True enough, but scheme, matchups, and confidence win or lose games, and TCU has both the coaching advantage and the psychological advantage.

Prediction: My stance is this: I'm not going to emotionally invest in an early season Beaver game versus a DI opponent until they prove they can win this type of game. Right now, this stage is too big for the Beavers. They have tried and tried, with the list of failures growing large: LSU, Fresno State, Louisville, Boise State, Cincinnati, Penn State, Cincinnati, and likely add TCU and Boise State to that list. Since Riley's return, his best early-season OOC road win versus a DI opponent was against UNLV last season. Also noteworthy is that the Beavers are 1-8 all time versus Texas schools when playing in Texas. The one win, versus Baylor, came in 1996. And now I am supposed to believe Mike has suddenly figured it all out? I might be cynical, but I am not dumb.

TCU 45, OSU 17

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  • ObjCritic says:
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    ouch. 45-17? that’s harsh, but typical of Riley’s pre-season pratgalls. After reading Buker’s article today in OregonLive about TCU:

    “CU has won 10 games six times in the last eight years

    – The Frogs are 26-3 in their last 29 games

    – Last year’s team posted the school’s first 12-win season in history

    – TCU had a 14-game win streak snapped in the Fiesta Bowl by Boise State

    – TCU has 7 pre-season All-Americans, 10 players on watch lists for national awards, and coach Gary Patterson was named National Coach of the Year in 2009.

    – TCU has won its last seven season openers. …

    – Since 2006, TCU’s defense has allowed (in order) 12.3, 18.7, 10.9 and 12.8 points PER GAME. Rushing yards allowed since 2006, 60.8, 103.5, 47.1 and 80.2. Wow. … and total defense since 2006, 234.9, 323.6, 217.8, and 239.7. TCU led the country in total defense in 2008 and 2009.”

    I began to appreciate how daunting this game is going to be for Riley. OSU was unable to spring Quizz against the better and faster team defenses last year, and I don’t think they help their cause in that regard by playing McAndrews – who will essentially be a rookie in this game’s context – over Philipps. I can’t believe Philipps has missed enough time to be so far “behind” the rest of the O-line that his TALENT and experience are overshadowed by McAndrews play in spring/fall camps. I think this will be a key mistake reslting in 1) false starts and therefore field position and down and distance and 2) QB hurries.

    I agree OSU’s D doesn’t match up well here at all – don’t forget TCU’s stable of runners – but I think OSU’s Langsdorf is going to call a diverse enough game to keep it closer than your prediction.

    TCU by 17.

    • angry angry says:
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      The McAndrews thing makes no sense unless Phillipp is too injured to start. Phillip has a year of experience and is a better talent. McAndrews is essentially a rookie with less talent. Unless they have a lot of trick plays that needed repetition in practice? That’s all I can think of. Flea-flicker on the first play would make a lot of sense, actually. You know TCU is looking for a handoff to Quizz.

  • angry angry says:
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    For those interested, this article shows how sophisticated TCU’s defense is:

    http://www.shakinthesouthland.com/2009/09/inside-tcu-4-2-5-defense.html

    How antiquated does the “pro” offense/defense seem after reading that? Banker is going to be on the hot seat after Saturday…with fans at least.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Interesting read – love the way Patterson simplifies the game for his players, complicates it for the opponent. I thought Katz would struggle against a 4-2-5, but that is ridiculous.

      Watch the video against TT and it looks like TCU is playing 12 men on D – they’re everywhere. OSU’s offense doesn’t play as fast as TT’s either. Sometimes it pains me to watch how slow they are to get a play off.

      Banker seems like someone who doesn’t recognize his scheme is outdated and personnel under-talented. He’s a coaching bureaucrat, unwilling to change as the world changes around him. A 4-3 with man coverage – CB’s “on the island,” and not looking for the ball…

      • angry angry says:
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        Agree Banker is a dinosaur, and also agree TCU has defenders everywhere–it’s why I predicted a minimum of 3 interceptions for Mr. Katz.

        Have you seen the footage of these guys shutting down Spiller or the Adrian Peterson? It’s scary.

        I’m trying to think how to even attack it. The only weakness I see is over the top, but the only way you’re going to be successful there is to establish the run, which is impossible to do. I guess that’s why these guys are the top defense…it’s all scheme. Seems like this is the defensive equivalent of the spread.

        I’d start the game with either a couple draws or a flea-flicker–deception seems like one way to get yards. Unless the OSU line just mauls, but this group doesn’t seem to have that mentality in them.

        edit: or wildcat formation.
        edit: Katz ability to run is a wildcard, too. I heard Lyle could run, but every time he did he got zero yards and held the ball wide/fumbled so…hopefully Katz ability to run is more founded in reality.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    How does this team compare to the team that was whupped by BYU just a few short months ago. About the same? Stronger? Weaker?

    How many more ass kickings to the Beavs have to take before the AD forces Riley to dump Banker?

  • JackBeav says:
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    This is the one game TCU will be vulnerable. Their defense is in limbo with the losses of Hughes, Washington and the two corners.

    Deception might work, but their defense is undersized up front. Pushing them down the field with double TE’s will be the way to win this game on the offensive side. Something like this…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xqV4IEJX1I
    … dictates how the defense lines up.

    The 4-2-5 is just a glorified nickel zone. QB’s with no arm will die against it, so Katz may have a shot. There will be many soft spots in the defense, and more so while they get a feel for their team. Route running by the wideouts will be imperative, and the TE’s should find their spots.

    I’d love to see Quizz motion to the slot (or Katz to the flank) leaving an empty set. I can see them wasting a time-out on one of those shifts.

    That being said, our D-line will be the key. If they push the action way off tackle, our CB’s can tackle. If they contain, well, sorry to the contained. If they do all this and forget to tackle (like last year’s CW), they lose by default.

    I can’t imagine TCU scores 40+ on us even on a bad day. Mid 30’s? Yes. So 35-17 would be fair if we don’t come to play.

    We’re more capable of scoring 40+. But all the circumstances would point to 24 being a good day.

    All that said, I think both offenses will have a hard time getting in the end zone. I can easily see this game going 16-12 with one TD between the two teams. Remember that 2006 TTech (12-3) game was the home return game two years after TTech put 70 on the board. Patterson had viable tape with his own personnel and schemes against a pass happy (read: one dimensional) team.

    I really don’t know what to expect. I’m thinking it will be more like 17-10 going either way.

  • AfghanBeav AfghanBeav says:
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    Okay I have what some might think is a stupid question, or statement. Is it possible TCU’s Defense only looks scary on paper i.e best in the nation at this and that because they play in the MWC conference vs programs with weak offense? Just a thought please give me some insight.

    I mean you don’t think the Beav’s defense last year would have had similar numbers in the same conference?

    • angry angry says:
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      Last year they throttled BYU @ Provo and throttled Utah @ Fort Worth. They also “upset” Clemson @ Clemson. They were the only team to slow Boise State as well, holding them well below their point per game average.

      Oklahoma was their only bad loss in the past two years.

      Oh, and the last time they played a Pac-10 team in Texas? TCU 31, Stanford 14 in 2008. This was the same Stanford team that beat the Beavers by 8.

      I think TCU is legit, but I also think a lot of it is scheme rather than personnel.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    hmmm, given that TCU divides the field in half and can run separate coverages in each, does it help a young qb to frequently roll out, take what’s there on one side of the field, throw it away if nothing is there? Seems like less for him to digest visually and perhaps allow Katz to play quicker. That seems better than lost yardage or a turnover.

  • Quatre Quatre says:
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    31-17 TCU

  • UofDuck says:
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    Come on beavos, has Riley’s attitude of – not sure we will win – rubbed off on it’s fans too? You guys are better than that. I say Beavs 23 TCU 20. James Rogers is going to smoke-um in the flats. Mark my words brothers, mark my words.

    • angry says:
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      I just don’t see it.
      But I’ve been wrong on my last two opening day predictions (everyone needs a reference point to make an accurate prediction).

      And, I hope you are right. You can make good arguments as to why the Beavers should win this game, but I think they all require perfect scenarios. i.e. it’s much more probably Katz is going to mess up (and majorly mess up) than light it up, even though he could light it up, etc. I think that defensive scheme is going to confuse him (i.e. turnovers galore) and put enough speed on the field to stop the fly sweep–offer me a good counter argument to these points so I can sleep well on Friday.

      • UofDuck says:
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        This is going to sound like rambling, because it is – and I agree that the match-ups are not in OSU favors, but a mobile QB is a nightmare to account for. They run a system defense that is awesome, but systems, like machinery inherently break-down when wrenchs are thown in because systems rely heavily on each part doing the exact right thing. A mobile/accurate QB is a BIG WRENCH. And I think your offense gives TCU a quick and stiff jab. I saw BSU do that to them last year in the Fiesta and they looked off kilter the rest of the game – they lost their swagger. If your defense can weather the initial storm on a 3, or 6 and out. Your off and running. BSU gave you a game plan to confuse TCU. I know Moore is great, but BSU had no running game last year. I am confident if Katz can play solid, you win. I know that is a gamble, but I think it happens. Plus the brothers are going home and they will carry the team on their backs in their house. It is going to be your day in the sun beavs.

        • angry says:
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          We don’t know if Katz is a good runner yet. I heard Lyle was a good runner for a good year, but when he got in the game he was poor. What we do know is the TCU QB is a good runner and a good passer. Take the known quantity over potential. It’s easy to become infatuated with potential and what ifs because the unknown is more exciting.

          • UofDuck says:
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            Okay I give in. TCU by 21. I tried to rally the troops to no avail. Besides, I must have lost my head – I’m a serious Duck fan.

            I just think you guys have more chance than you are giving yourself credit for.

            Fanatics (aka Fans) don’t always think clearly – they just believe, hope, have some faith… and you guys don’t. I actually feel sorry for you. This is supposed to the big exciting week. Not a downer. Fight on Beavs, oh yah, that is Trojan talk. Win the Day, oh yah that is Duck talk. Well… do whatever it is you Beavers do and do it well!!!! Represent the Pac!

          • angry angry says:
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            Sorry for being a downer. It’s just how I see the game playing out.

            I’d love to be wrong, and I’ll have my Beaver shirt on and a bottle of gin at my side.

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            Yeah, your fan base has quite the opposite problem. Jerry Allen announced on the radio today that the Ducks were going to win the Rose Bowl. That guy is such a freaking homer, but he is typical of the delusional fan in Eugene.

            I hate the Ducks. If the Taliban had a college football team, I’d root for them before the U of O. I hate it even more that they are the best team in the PAC-10 right now. And they probably will win PAC10, and they might even with the Rose Bowl.

            Man I hate the Ducks. I hate their stadium. I hate their town. I hate their mascot. I hate their colors. But mostly I hate their fans.

            Ok…got that off my chest…phew. I’m ready for some football.

          • UofDuck says:
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            Let it out, let it all out.

          • angry angry says:
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            I thought the Taliban line was hilarious. I read it to my lady beav, and she laughed out loud.

          • AfghanBeav AfghanBeav says:
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            I really hate the Taliban too…

            But I agree 100% with what you said about the Ducks and their fans… I feel the same way.

          • UofDuck says:
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            Tried to offer a olive branch, but I guess it always comes back to jelousy turning to hate. Hate on beavers, hate on.

            Sincerely,
            Pac 10 Champs

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            You’re probably not the Duck Fan I’m talking about. I don’t mind a good-hearted debate or discussion about football…but 99% of duck fans are a-holes that won’t even acknowledge the relevance of the Beaver program on ANY level. Win one game, and Ducks are talking NC…before the first snap the “Voice of the Ducks” is predicting RB victories. Give me a break. I mean, Angry is an a-hole too, but at least he most of the people here are objective about the team…we’re just waiting of the first 5 or 10 plays from scrimmage before we start declaring ourselves the king of the Pac. (Sorry Angry…)

          • angry says:
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            I dislike some Beaver fans more than Duck fans. I like rational fans.

            Haven’t you guys heard “hate” is a strong word?

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            Haven’t you guys heard “hate” is a strong word?

            That’s why I used it. Maybe you missed the tone of my post? lol…

          • UofDuck says:
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            GreatWhite… Love must be blind, because if you think there is even an eye-lash’s distance between the obnoxiousness between Beaver fans and Duck fans, you my friend are blind. I’ve relocated to Boise and 3 different neighbors that attended both the BSU and O/OSU games at Reeser and Autzen came back universally claiming the Beaver fans were FAR AND AWAY more rude. I know that is a small sample, but don’t for one minute think the Beaver fans are any different, or of a different class. I know you won’t buy the sample, but it is true. And for every small tid-bit you can dig up about what a stupid Duck fan spouts off, even a school rep, I can do the same of yours. Believe me, I hear it all the time, Beaver fans this, and beaver fans that. At least I can see that both bases have idiots. I surprised you don’t have that ability. Actually, that alone is enough to prove my point I suppose.

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            Oh yeah, we both have our idiots, and plenty rude. I probably fit that bill myself time to time. In fact, beaver fans admittedly embarrass me. Like the rushing of the field EVERY TIME we won a game in 2000 when I was a student there..or the coining of the “wildbeaver” formation…or the fact that we don’t seem to know how to win (or lose) graciously.

            The difference I see (percieve?) in the fan bases is the sense of superiority that exudes from U of O supporters. I can’t even begin to count the times I’ve tried to interject comments about what was happening in Corvallis with the Beavs to a group of ardent duck fans…only to get the “are you kidding me” look, like the beavers don’t even belong in the same conversation.

            You seem like a reasonable chap. And if you hang around here, we’ll not doubt have some back and forth…which I welcome.

            Sorry if I hit a nerve. I’m just another obnxious fan I suppose. Cheers.

            By the way…I’m in N. Idaho…thinking about making the trip to Boise on 9/25…any tips for a good time over the weekend?

          • UofDuck says:
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            I’ll give you that we are a bit cocky lot. But most of us a pretty normal. I think both you and I will have to learn to spell obnoxious (sp?) correctly at some point. My spelling is an embarrasment to all Oregon Alum’s – or should be at least.

            Don’t mind some back and forth, as long as everyone can laugh at themselves (or school) a little. That is what I love about this blog. Angry gets it. The sports world is messed up and that is why, in part, I love it.

            Lived in Coeur d’ Alene for 10 years myself.

            Good luck with TCU this week and represent the Pac!

            To be honest, if the Beavs could just win 2 games this year, I would love it. TCU and BSU. Okay 3 games, UW. But that is as far as I can go for now.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Wow. While I agree with the premise that all fan bases have idiots in them, I think you’re a little off on this one.

            My wife (a Duck alum) forbids us ever taking our children to another game at Autzen because the last time we went I wore my Beavs gear, and people threw things at us and screamed obscenities to the point that we had to leave… in the middle of the second quarter. She was so upset that she hounded the UO athletic department until she got a refund for our tickets.

            That same year, we were comped some tickets at Reser and took the kids along for some fun. We sat near the opposition, and enjoyed letting the kids discover that they could yell at the top of their lungs with nobody telling them to be quiet. My wife was in her 1995 Rose Bowl sweatshirt, and the harshest words she received were when someone cussed (and apologized to the kids) at the OSU athletic department for not hiring Rich Brooks.

            Neither of these games was the CW, and I’ve had some really nice experiences with just my wife at Autzen while also wearing Beavs gear. But she will not let the kids go to another game at Autzen.

            And I have never heard any of my many Boise State friends say a bad word about OSU. We all tailgated in Boise in ’04, and, in Corvallis in ’05 and again in Boise in ’06… some dozen fans from each school. To a person, they are excited and happy to be playing us instead of UO.

            That’s because the last game we attended at Autzen was Sep. 20, 2008, when we had many friends from a school mentioned here in Eugene to spend the weekend and also attend the game. Half of them came home with us in disgust as well.

            So while idiots populate all fan bases, it seems to only carry over to Autzen on game day.

            The only sporting event I’ve ever attended that comes close to that fall day was a series at Candlestick between the Dodgers and Giants. There were fights in the stands, but at least the other fans were trying to break it all up. I never once had anything thrown at me for wearing my Dodgers cap and jersey, but there were some ripe words thrown my way.

            The silver lining is that my one year old daughter–who was pegged with a chunk of ice–will probably never be a Ducks fan. If I wasn’t holding her at the time, I would have probably taken out the dozen or so laughing fans between me and her assailant… who was high-fiving his teen-aged son.

            I have a long memory for that face and the faces of a couple of the fans who mocked my high volume protests. They better hope they never meet me on the street.

            Other than that, I agree 100% with your assessment.

          • UofDuck says:
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            Well, I could tell you a few stories of being spit on over the years at Reeser, or the time a few beaver students (about that age anyway) picked up some rocks and threw them at my grown daughter and I while we were walking toward Reeser. They thought that was really great too. Or the time after the game when someone threw a cup of beer at us from their car, but what is the point? It just turns into a back and forth war story thing. Most of your fans are good people, some not so much – by a long way. My brother in law and I went to the BSU and Oregon game at Autzen, rode the bus from the mall over and everyone was kind to him. Afterwards he said he was worried to wear Orange and Blue following the horror stories he has read on the blogs (by beaver and husky fans I’m sure) and his horrible experience at OSU, but was shocked how much fun he had at Autzen, so…. this was one of the guys I reference ealier, who was cornered by some drunk Beavers at Reeser a few years earlier.

            I think it is time to move on here. All I wanted to say initially was that I think the Beavers have a chance to win this week. Not sure how that earned so much Duck hate, but I guess that is the way it is.

            Which speaks volumes about our fan bases being not all that different.

            Sincerely,
            More evil than the Taliban (just kidding – that was funny if I do say so myself)

          • angry says:
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            Never been to Autzen, but I’ve dealt with mostly rude Beaver fans at Reser. People who yell when you stand up to cheer. People who give you a dirty look if you try to high-five them after a touchdown.

            It’s more rare that I met someone decent at a game. I’m an east-coaster by trade, and found the people in Oregon and California are bizarre, socially. On the east we’re way more outgoing and much less about state pride and wearing it as a badge of honor, and I lived in NYC for a while and still don’t care about that crap.

            By the way, why did that guy up there call me an a-hole? I’m nice, dammit.

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            Angry, I meant it in the most respectful and flattering manner!

            I R 1 2!

          • UofDuck says:
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            Now thats funny right there GW

  • beavfan4 says:
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    Think back to the stanford game last year. First play of the game luck fakes the handoff to gerhart, the entire defense bites, and owusu is runnin wide open down the center of the field. Luckily the pass falls harmlessly to the turf but if it was caught, owusu goes to the house and were lookin at a whole different ball game. Thats what the beavs need to do for the first play

  • angry says:
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    One component that could play a role in this game is pressure. I didn’t write up anything about it because TCU is experienced and at home, but it could be a factor. The Frogs have a lot more to lose and thus may be tight. The Beavers have nothing to lose but dignity.

    • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Good point. No matter what the coach says (which has been all the right things from what I’ve read), you can’t help but think that some of the guys have started to believe the hype. I think that’s what happened to the Ducks last year at BSU. The better team did not win that game.

      And I don’t think OSU will be the better team in Arlington. So the hope is:
      1) They prove me wrong, or
      2) TCU is tight/succumbs to the pressure of such lofty expectations.

  • G Joubert says:
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    If “a lot of it is scheme rather than personnel”, then that’s to the Beavs advantage since they’ve had all summer camp to study and prepare for it (as opposed to just one week in most all other games).

    • angry angry says:
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      Do the Beavs have a “scheme”?

      Seems like “lineup in a standard D and see if you can tackle the opponent when he runs at you.”

      😉

      I was talking about TCU’s defensive scheme–it’s pretty smart.

      • G Joubert says:
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        I read it as you talking about TCU’s scheme. What I’m saying is that Banker, et al, have had plenty of time to study films, break down exactly what the things are TCU does, and then practice accordingly. In fact, I’m going assume they’ve done exactly that. Not saying the Beavs are gonna win. You’ve listed all their long string of pratfalls against big opponents on opening day on the road. In fact, I can’t remember the Beavers _ever_ beating a ranked opponent on opening day on the road. Not ever. But that said, this would be a HUGE victory if they can pull it off.

  • DaRobin says:
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    I really do hate the fact that the beavs have to go up against that 4-2-5 defense. Tank Carder is a beast and may give Quizz fits when running between the tackles, but there were also two VERY good LBs at USC in 2008 which Quizz absolutely picked apart.

    I think the loss of Hughes at TCU is being down-played a TON. You just don’t automatically replace an All-American like Hughes. He was the only effective end last year for TCU…a drop in a pass rush makes it more difficult for everyone on defense. Losing a beast like Washington at LB also probably won’t go unnoticed for TCU, not to mention they are replacing 2 corners too.

    I don’t buy the “TCU defense as a unit will probably be even better this season”…..although my mind may be horribly changed come Saturday night, but here’s hoping that my current opinion just becomes more reinforced.

    Need the O-line to step up and open up all kinds of holes for Quizz to weaver through, then play action over the top for some 6’s.

    Bias prediction: OSU 27 TCU 21

  • Alex says:
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    Regarding Katz and running…

    Did you see his debut at BYU? His 60 yd touchdown drive was the one and only bright spot in that game. But the thing that stood out most to me was a play where the O-line instantly collapsed and Katz had 3-4 guys in the backfield. He dodged one, juked another, then outran the rest up the middle and made it into the secondary. It was extremely impressive, something that I’ve never ever seen a beaver QB do as long as I’ve been watching. Not just fast but quick.

    That was my silver lining for the BYU game (which I deeply regret attending) and it’s definitely giving me hope for the coming season.

    • angry angry says:
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      You attended that game? Are you from Oregon?

      I didn’t see the play–I turned that game off after the second quarter and had Christmas with my family back east. I only see them a week per year so once the Beavs decided not to show up I had to tune out.

  • Alex says:
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    Fair enough…it was a miserable game in every respect. I’m never been so cold in my life. But Katz’s drive looked really good- far and away the best QB play we had for the whole game – with mobility and speed being the major highlights for me.

    And I live in Vancouver WA so essentially Oregon. I was thinking Vegas in December would be decent weather, but I was sadly mistaken.

    • angry angry says:
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      I saw Katz (live) in his first game vs Washington. I try to get up there for a game each year. I was very impressed.

      Then he seemed to regress (ints/forced passes) during the spring and early fall, curbing my enthusiasm.

      I think by the time Pac-10 play begins he’s going to be good, but these early games…growing pains. It always is for new QBs in this system.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Well, my Hamilton is hanging out there that we’ll cover 14. Might bet the m/l for OS too (game-time decision). Spread is getting bigger…everyone seems to be throwing cabbage at the toads.

    Of course TCU has the best D in the world (universe?). They play 8 shitty teams a year. Sure they look great on film. But they lost some talent, and not sure if they are in the “reload” tier of elite just yet. I’m thinking that at some point (or several) their aggressive play up front is going to result in some big plays through the air.

    I’ve said it on here before – watched Katz live, and the kid has it.

    First play – motion (fly-sweep-esque), play action to Quizz, elder Rodgers releases to the flat, turns on wheel up the sideline. In the numbers. In stride. Touchdown Beavers.

    F it. Beavers win. By 10. 34-24.

    Book it.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      I saw Katz play at WSU last year and was impressed with him as well, he moves very well. One of his benefits is he CAN get the long ball off with out having too step into much. Watch the highlight reel of the final scrimmage.

      Many seem to think the first play is a play action and a big pass, I’m not sure that should come off of a fly sweep fake. I may be overly concerned with that D, but plays that take longer to develop just don’t sound too appealing.

      I expect McAndrews to have rookie jitters and foresee some false starts and holding penalties.

      Rembember Swancutt’s relentless play at LSU? I think OSU needs the same thing from Paea and Miller, with Henry becoming a beneficiary of such relentlessness.

      I think I will be happy if Riley and company really play to win, and don’t hold back. No point in going that far and leaving anything – effort, adjustments, plays – in the locker room.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Swancutt was a monster – that’s what our D seems to miss of late, that angry, nastiness that he brought to the field on Saturdays.

        Not saying fake the Fly Sweep, just bring James in motion, they’ll snap as he clears the TE, and hits the flat full steam before turning up field for the wheel pattern TD.

        Yeah, that’s how it’ll happen…

        We need to be in attack mode from the opening bell – and I think we will. No reasons to have scheduled this game if the only goal was to “see who we are” and “harden us for league play.” We got to go for the throat!

        Man I can’t wait for kickoff!

  • ean says:
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    I think the Beavs buck the trend this year… of course it seems like I always call it wrong anyway. But I am going to pick OSU 31 TCU 27 just so I can make fun of Angry if I am right… lol.

  • angry angry says:
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    Anyone know which crew is officiating the game? Or more generally, what conference they’re from? We saw how the incompetent MWC refs hosed the Beavs in Salt Lake City two years ago.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    I think it is within 2 touchdowns because the Rodgers Bros. keep most games close. We can win this one if we get a break and play focused without penalties and don’t allow the deep ball.

    Angry,

    What is your thought on the awful division “lean” with the Mountain schools with the NW. I prefer zipper most than a tie between CA zipper and N/S with NoCal in the North. Otherwise the Mountain schools have a LONG way to travel for division games. Joe Schad is trying to get involved and help along the latest idea and I think he wants a chance for a best of the Pac-12 and Big 12 scenario where WSU and OSU could be most vulnerable. I also think the current idea will lead to deep rifts very much like the Big 12 between southern “haves” and the northern “have nots.” Even UW and UO are having problems getting their voices heard in this. I don’t put it past the CA schools and AZ schools wanting to get friendly with Texas and OU. Thoughts?

    • angry says:
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      I have a few thoughts on that:

      1. Larry Scott is dim. That he didn’t think of the Colorado exit fee, which now the Pac-10 is going to pay in order to save face, and the possibility that Utah and Colorado wouldn’t be able to join the same year shows how much he thought this through. He got played by Texas, had no idea was doing, and made it all about Larry Scott.

      2. As far as N/S split. I think it has good and bad. At first I was very much against it, but then I realized the Beavers aren’t winning many LA recruiting battles anyway, and the ones they do win are with guys who will likely still opt to play at OSU (i.e. those without local offers). Who was the last high profile recruit out of LA? David Ross? The Beavers are recruiting TX/Oklahoma more, and that new pipeline helps.

      Problem is Colorado and Utah recruit heavy in that area, so we’re going to lose battles there now. As you can see, recruiting is my one and only concern.

      The perks are that the new plan offered more money to the NW schools to compensate for their troubles. That would help even out recruiting disadvantages if true. Finally, the Beavs would have to beat Oregon and Utah (or Washington if you think they’re on the rise) to make the championship game. Bottom line, it is a weaker division and that is what the Beavs need right now. They will have doubters who said the north is week, and they’ll have every chance to prove their strength in the championship game.

      The bottom line: this was my biggest fear all along. When they talked of expansion my first writeup was on how WSU and OSU would be hurt the most. It’s still true. But there are some perks. I think the Beavers need to seriously consider writing in an exit strategy into anything they sign, because a move to a non-BCS conference needs to be an option if the recruiting thing turns out even worse than we expect.

      In fact, we might all want to write Bob D and make sure the have nots all do that. You’d think they’d do it on their own, but the fact Larry Scott overlooked the obvious makes you wonder.

      OSU has more power than they think. If they leave the Pac-12, there is no school out west of that caliber to replace them. They should let that be known and use it as leverage. I’d love to see the Beavers, like BYU, go independent. Just make sure to write something into these documents, Ed Ray and Bobby D.

      Those are my thoughts on it. I’m nervous, but with proper planning and strategy, I think they’ll either make it work or have other options.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Angry,

    Thanks for sharing but some counterpoints:

    If we had to have a N/S it would be WAY WAY better with the NoCal schools. I have traveled to Cal to watch a game before and loved it but will never go to Utah and only a remote chance I get out for a Boulder game in the next 20 years. Our division needs a big media market like the Bay Area to have a chance and to have solid recruiting in NoCal like we have relied heavily on (Sean Mannion a great example). The Bay trip is one we can easily enough make and get jazzed for. Utah is right next to Arizona and Col. is close to there too and traveled very well to ASU I have heard. I feel like the Pac-12 would be grooming the 6 “lesser” schools for potential MWC or WAC play if if UU/CU were paired with us. Looking at the highways on a map and you can see that a NoCal to the North and UU/CU to South is only logical N/S plan at all. The zipper keeps things united and all teams have the same basic access everywhere. I also like that we could play the Ducks twice. But USC and UCLA just want to keep the CA schools together even though 2 games a years is guaranteed and the other team could be played as often as 3 years of 4. This too them is all just about keeping all the power and leveraging it even further at everyone else’s expense. It is really a bad idea by Scott. NoCal to North we could tolerate with slight concessions of maybe a CCG in 49ers sometimes after it is built. But this current idea and it the most imbalanced and has 6 teams that don’t like it much at all. I think zipper is best but atleast with NoCal we get decent recruiting and I might even start going to the Cal or Stanford game every year just because college football is getting more exciting and that is a nice trip.

  • angry angry says:
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    I could see the Pac-12 north moving to the MWC and forming a super conference at some point. As you suggested, they’ll have solidarity from their California preclusion. Then the Pac-12 south reloads with the Big 12 south teams that they covet.

    If the Beavs become screwed by this just leave the other sports in conference and become a football independent, or move to a different conference all together. I wouldn’t have a problem with that given that the landscape continually rewards wins over strength of schedule. The Beavs would clean up in the WAC or MWC.

    Discussing anything except what they’ll be able to do after the N/S split seems moot, because everything suggests that’s how it’s going to go down. Once these ideas gain traction they rarely make turns. It’s as if they leaked that info just so the schools in the north had a while to become acclimated to it before making it official.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Let’s consider the source of these rumors first. I believe it’s Jon Wilner’s blog.

      He has a limited scope for sources, and he’s going to be reporting what he hears from those sources. Since the interests of those sources is to have the NoCal teams in the same division as the SoCal teams, that’s what is reported.

      Less cynical than that would be the idea that the NoCal schools just want to have a guaranteed annual date with the SoCal schools. If they were rational, they would want to be in a different division while also reaping the benefits of having that back and forth every year… necessarily diminishing the opportunities for the remaining four teams in their division.

      By sourcing stories to Wilner about ‘leaning’ toward NoCal schools being in a division with the SoCal and Az schools, they’ve shifted the conversation to their side. Now we all see getting the NoCal schools with the PacNW schools in one division as desirable. We might even give concessions to allow them to protect their annual SoCal ‘rivalries’ just to get them back to what we thought was contentious just a couple days ago.

      If Larry Scott wants to be as successful as the Big Twelven, he should model his policy after theirs. They released their divisional breakdown yesterday, and they don’t care about regional sensibilities. They care about making the most money and being the most respected. They protect each team’s primary rivalry, and they play eight games. Jim Delaney dismisses out of hand any criticism when anyone throws out the same canards the NoCal schools are currently whining about.

      And I tend to listen to the guy who has historically shown he knows what he’s doing.

      • OS_Beaver says:
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        Using the PAC-12 Division Generator:
        http://theorynine.com/blog/pac10creator

        The CA Zipper that I suggested a month ago and intuitively knew would be well balanced scored VERY HIGH! The left is one division and the right another and those on same line are a crossover game.

        OSU ASU
        UO UA
        WA Col
        WSU Utah
        CAL Stanford
        UCLA USC

        Scores an A+ in EVERY category and for the total grade!

        Competitiveness: 97 (A+)
        Rivalries: 100 (A+)
        Geography: 93 (A+)

        Total: 99 (A+)

        Just looking at these divisions it seems the most like what the Big Ten did. I could definitely be happy in this scenario and think those divisions look awesome just looking at them. This is now my prefered scenario which I recommend to the Pac-10 with the 2nd highest score reported so far. The only one that scores higher swaps Utah with UCLA. It also scores well ahead of the current “lean”. The nice thing about mine though is that you could call it west/east or north/south since the majority of each division is made up of either the NW schools or the SE MountainZona schools. Then you just add 2 CA schools to each division. I also think Cal would prefer my CA Zipper instead of being the only CA school in the other.

        • angry says:
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          I disagree on competitiveness. USC would have a cakewalk every year. Their major opposition is all in the other division.

          It’s also highly confusing. UCLA in the same conference as the NW schools? That is going to be very hard to follow for even fans of the conference, never mind those outside of it.

          It’s pretty good, but I like other versions of the zipper more.

        • JackBeav says:
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          Sans the straight zipper, I think the Cali zipper would work best. But I think the NW schools with Stanford and USC instead of Cal and UCLA would be better.

          The Cali schools will still want two protected match-ups with the other Cali schools. It has nothing to do with rivalry and everything to do with revenue/recruiting. It’s the same reason they split away from tradition in 1978. The true tradition was the PacNW and NoCal schools together. But that went out the window when the Az schools came on board.

          The evolution of the league should be something that benefits the league as a whole, not one or two schools. But all schools will be digging for their own benefit.

          When I think tradition, I think of NU versus OU. These guys would beat up on each other on an annual basis on national TV, and they played each other in a bowl to determine the NC.

          I barely remember OU versus UT while growing up. Until the Big XII came into existence, the big game was NU/OU. Now the Border War is all that, and NU/OU is gone… it was long ago. And I lived in the Midwest growing up… and attended a SWC school for a couple years.

          So even a primary rivalry used as an argument is a canard. It makes sense if the schools are in the same conference, but people forget for one reason or another over time.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I wish we had played USC last night…plenty of chinks in that armor. Except for Barkley – he’ll destroy mediocre secondaries.

    • angry says:
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      I was thinking the same thing.
      Maybe 5th in the pac-10 was generous?
      Also, Kiffin is such a dolt, but I think he gets off on people saying that, so maybe we should say he’s a fantastic guy.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        I was wondering if Banker helped Ed Odgeron with his defensive schemes this fall…I thought we were the only BCS team that doesn’t turn to make a play on the ball in the secondary. Those guys looked lost.

        Unfortunately, they’ll probably get that corrected by the time we play them.

  • Beavker says:
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    Anyone catch the game on CBS Sports last night? Grand Valley State vs. West Texas A&M?

    Yeah, I know…but I noticed our almost Super Beav Simi Kuli (sp?) was playing for WT.

    Didn’t watch enough to get a feel, but on the few plays I saw…meh.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Mark May and Robert Smith pick the Beavs to win. Lou Holtz goes with TCU.

    I’ve watched enough ESPN the last couple days to wonder… where the hell is Mike Riley? I’ve seen about a half dozen phone interviews with Gary Patterson just spewing platitude after platitutde… but no MR.

    It’s too bad USC wins while playing so poorly and like a bunch of pricks. It didn’t hurt that UH got jobbed on the non-TD call late in the first half… or that Captain Morgan and others were getting away with a bunch of cheap shots.

    I expect them to close up that sieve of a defense in the next couple weeks. If not, I will really like watching USC games this year.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    According to Larry Scott today:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/pac10/post/_/id/12468/qa-pac-10-commissioner-larry-scott

    There is no longer a “lean” and it is back to working together on the best model for the conference like the Big Ten did. To me it is seeming like he has more interest in perhaps a NorCal to the North or perhaps the CA Zipper even more like I now prefer. He desrcibed the zipper as dividing the CA schools and probably adding them to the NW and MountainZona zones. That tells me he has a probable preference for that over the full zipper. I truly think if you use that Pac-12 Division Generator you see how well balanced a Cal and UCLA with the NW is. Both divisions look really good and this would be closest to following the Big Ten’s example. A majority of teams are in an opposite region and then there is some overlap to further strengthen the bond instead of dividing and causing rifts. Also the colors with one division of schools have a more moist/forest feel and the SE MountainZona schools with Stanford and USC have a more earth/clay/desert feel. If you were truly trying to build a strong, lasting foundation with balance in all areas while still preserving a good chunk or rivalries this is probably the best you can do. I really think this should be THE model.

    UW, WSU, UO, OSU, Cal, UCLA

    Col, Utah, UA, ASU, Stanford, USC

    • angry says:
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      Switch Stanford and UCLA. What is the point in them being the only rival not in the same division as their natural foe? It doesn’t make geographical sense, either.

      Is that to get into LA more often?

      • OS_Beaver says:
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        Yeah, what the Big Ten did was just have a little overlap with the Michigan schools and Wisconsin. I think it is very smart. UCLA not only evens out exposure in LA but also SoCal recruiting and TV better as well. UCLA and Cal are both part of the same public state system but the main thing is 2 CA schools in each division and I still think one NoCal, one SoCal will be best longterm. UCLA separated from USC also separates the strongest power politics and best eliminates any chance of defections or funny games. In truth it does makes sense, you start in the NW and go straight down the coast for one vertical division and the other division is horizontal. Its a smart system. That little overlap will really best link the conference for the long haul. Plus USC has a tough Utah in this divison and Stanford and Arizona aren’t pushovers either. If they wanted to split the public and private CA schools and we ended up with Stanford/UCLA that would be fine too but we have a nice rivalry with Cal lately and over the long haul Cal and USC separated makes a little more sense so Cal does not have to always go through USC. It also makes it so when we go to the Pac-12 basketball tournament in LA and any potential Rose Bowl CCG that it is fair for both sides and not a point of contention.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Well, I got in from elk scouting trip about an hour ago…got a big bull located for opening day (Monday).

    Cracked a beer. Got my soon-to-be-famous wings headed to the smoker.

    And the beavers are getting ready to shock the college football world.

    Life is good today.

    • angry angry says:
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      One of my favorite things about my time int he PNW was eating elk burgers (and smoked salmon). I’m not a hunter myself (conservation biologist, so it kind of goes against that), but I tend to be surrounded hunters in my profession. When I was living in North Dakota, everyone on my crew hunted; they wound up feeding me for seven months with food off the land. I think I tried every animal in the Midwest, and they were all delicious (walleye being my favorite). Anyway, what is the point of this? I guess I’m trying to say I’d love an elk burger right now,

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        You ever find yourself in Sandpoint Idaho, I’ll grill one up for you! If your timing is right, I’ll even grill you up some bacon-wrapped elk filet mignon…to die for.

        I am going crazy waiting for this kickoff!!! Off to the beer fridge….

        • angry angry says:
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          Where is that in relation to Boise? I did a road trip that took me through Idaho last fall. Loved Boise. Had a great burger at Bar Gernika, a great little basque pub.

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            We’re 8- 10 hours north of Boise…we’re about 40 miles from the Canadian border.

            I’m seriously debating making the trip down on the 25th…kind of rides on how we play today though. It’s fun to watch a victory in enemy territory…getting blown out? Not so much.

            Is there a login feature that you could add to this site? It’d be nice not to have to type in the name and email every time you want to comment.

          • angry angry says:
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            I think you just have to sign into your account. Try signing in here:

            http://angrybeavs.com/wp-admin/

          • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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            Hey, thanks…Anyone watching the Duck game? Don’t get it, but is NM that bad, or the Ducks looking that good?

      • JackBeav says:
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        Funny… I’ve got chili on the stove heating up. I made it from scratch with all my own chilis, tomatoes and an elk rump roast a couple days ago. It was good enough yesterday that I almost ate the balance of it yesterday. I have just enough left to make a bunch of chili dogs.

        So I have my chili dogs, vodka, Obsidian Stout and a game. I’ll be fat and stupid by tonight.

        Hopefully I’ll be fat, happy and stupid.

        Happy football day guys! Be safe and have fun.

  • angry angry says:
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    No problem. I will make a post next week letting people know that’s how you stay logged in. I didn’t realize it was an issue.

    The Duck game isn’t on here. What channel?

    • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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      Says OSN or Comcast sports net.

      • angry angry says:
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        I don’t get that channel.

        But to answer your question: I wouldn’t take much from that Duck game. New Mexico is bad.

        • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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          It’d be nice to be quatre today (fantasy league)…happens to have Barner – 4 td’s already. And he had Barkley. Not much change of knocking him off this week…glad I’m not head-to-head with him!

    • JackBeav says:
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      Not much to take away from the Duck game. My wife turned it off at halftime because she was bored. I think UNM has the honor of being the only BCS school who has been BCS forever (i.e. not a Sun Belt school or UC Davis or some such team) that has never been ranked in the top 25… ever.

      Time for kick-off. Later.

  • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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    Half hour out. I am way more excited than I thought I would be for a daunting pre-season game.

    F the ducks, by the way. Just have to keep throwing that out there. >:-)

  • angry angry says:
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    This game has a BCS feel to it.

  • angry angry says:
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    Some good and some bad here. Hardin had awful coverage. The D had the perfect formation to defend the first TCU TD but were really slow to react to the run. Looks like a lot of nerves out there right now. Beavs looking okay, but need to loosen up and play faster on D.

  • angry angry says:
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    Paea looks to have lost weight.

  • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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    Ryan settled down after a rough first series…although 6″ off on the series before the Hekker punt would have put us in scoring position.

    I hate Hekker (The player, not the person for you a-holes that want to come back and tell me how wrong it is to talk about 20 yr old kids like that). So he gave us the fake punt/pass…why do you have to line drive a punt to a returner that’s full speed ahead when he catches it? That game should be 14-14 at the half if we pin them deep.

    CAN WE PLEASE GET A PUNTER ON THIS F’ING TEAM, PLEASE?

    • angry angry says:
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      20 year olds are men not kids.

      I posted a halftime update, let’s take the convo there.

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