03.Nov.2010 Discussion: Oregon State @ UCLA

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The schedule started with a fury, and now we're in the lull of Washington, California, UCLA, and Washington State.

This is a critical juncture of the season. If the Beavers are to have any chance at a Rose Bowl berth, they need to use these games to their advantage, focusing on improving their weaknesses and refining their strengths.

For example, the second half of the Washington game saw the defense make strides, only to wear down in overtime. The positive is that they found their inner will; the negative is they eventually tired. The lesson is that they're going to need to be a lot more conditioned to run with Oregon. Hence, conditioning needs to become a priority. Along the same lines, developing depth should become a priority. A deeper Beaver team means a fresher Beaver team, and one that likely would have beaten Washington. This is why it's so important to get players in the game when there is a blowout. Now is it clear why I was so furious at Riley last week for keeping the starters in? It was a missed opportunity. Sure, you could say leaving the starters in conditioned them more, but that is something that needs to happen in practice, not games. Another point worth mentioning: UCLA runs the pistol with some elements of the read option. They're not very good at it right now, which presents the defense an opportunity to see that offense once again, stop it, and build confidence.

On offense, long, sustained drives needs to become the norm. Throwing bombs versus Oregon, even if the Beavers convert them, will be doing the Ducks a favor. Riley likes to wax poetic about the identity of his squads. Well, we're seven weeks into this thing and now know what the Beavers are. They are not winning with talent, so they better start out-executing. If Oregon State wants an identity that will work this season, it's ball control on offense and a non-stop motor on defense. Both require mental toughness and discipline, the traits of all great underdogs.

And finally, Ryan Katz needs to grow up, starting this weekend. It's finally clear what the team needs him to do, so the period of no criticism is now over–at least from this blogger. Any quarterback can throw bombs. I'm sure we've all done it on the school yard…it's the natural inclination to tell your pal to run a fly route and then you throw it as far as you can, but it's not smart, efficient, or disciplined football. The passing game is a strength of this team. Refining it would entail check downs, converting 3rd downs, scrambling when the opportunity is there, and essentially taking what the defense gives. To feel confident about the final quarter of the season, the Beavs must use these glorified scrimmages against UCLA and WSU to define, refine, and develop the small semblance of an identity they've managed to build. What I want to see is a maximum effort, executing machine.

So yes, I am expecting a win, but the measure of victory will be in the details.

34-17, Beavers

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  • ena says:
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    UCLA may run a few “read options” but they also want to protect Brehaut so it really isn’t much of an option it is going to the RB. The thing that kind of makes me mad is Riley said they were going twice as fast in practice. If you can go twice as fast to me that means you weren’t going fast enough to begin with, I have a hard time believing UofO could possibly go twice as fast. But maybe I am missing something, maybe there is more time to focus on the details if you slow it down a little. I dunno. I think it is smart to begin Oregon prep, the coaches shouldn’t call it Oregon prep but doing things like lining up quicker on D and just making things more crisp is in a way Oregon prep but also stuff that will make us a better football team.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I think Riley playing the speed game in practice is a product of him seeing how that innovation works for Kelly. I wonder if Kelly bringing it to the D-1 game has anything to do with Tony Dungee’s kid coming to UO. Anyone think they ever had a discussion about Indy running the speed game with great success for so many years?

      Does 40 plays a day make us ready in five weeks for the team that does 100+ a day all season? That will be the question.

      Which mad scientist will eventually win out–the one who developed the process, or the one who adopts and adapts it? For this year, my money would be on the developer. But the Ducks are still the experiment. Can they maintain that pace all day every day for a whole season? Is it physically possible to ask your personnel to live on the edge of peak conditioning for that long? There’s a certain amount of maintenance required for high precision machines.

      Say the UO is a Lamborghini Gallardo. That would make us a Mercedes E Class with California emissions. When something breaks on us, we can go on fairly easily becuase there are plenty of service shops and readily available parts. But we get smoked off the line by the Gallardo and can be outrun for quite a while.

      But if they keep the pedal to the floor they have problems of their own. The tank empties much more quickly when running at top speeds. The tires deteriorate at an alarming rate. They have a couple parts cars and a good mechanic. But we all know that the original car was tuned to run with parts unique to that machine. Once a car burns out one part, problems seem to go viral.

      You can have the faster, prettier car. But if you don’t have tires or gas at the end of the race it doesn’t matter.

      To answer your question, yes. We always could have gone faster and harder during this season. That’s what we’ve been saying all along. Chip Kelly has brought the innovation of conditioning within the speed game to D-1 football. We can run our normal pace during the game. But it’s essential that we keep up with the Joneses in practice. Still, I want to see it in the games.

      Can you imagine our vertical attack supplemented by the zone runs while in a hurry-up? If we line up for first down, the smart defense will have personnel to stop Quizz first on the field. So a quick dump to the TE for four yards and no huddle already has the defense challenged in terms of personnel.

      I’m rather excited to see if this conditioning aids us in games leading up to the CW as well as the CW itself.

    • angry angry says:
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      “the coaches shouldn’t call it Oregon prep ”

      Exactly.

      • JackBeav says:
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        It’s not Oregon prep. It’s OSU prep. It will just happen to aid us in the CW. Call it imitation/flattery/whatever. But it’s one innovation developed and sticking in the NFL. How many 10-0 or 9-1 starts has Peyton Manning been able to run off at Indy?

        The question I’m asking is if that translates to a major bowl like Indy’s burnouts in the play-offs. I think it’s enough to get to the post-season and give yourself a chance year after year. Like Indy, you’re going to break through at least once… maybe more with luck on your side.

        So the Beavs need to make the CW a part of the post-season. But they need to do it for everyone, not just the CW. Make the speed game a habit, and the mind games associated with it are nullified.

        I think USC played their best game of the season against UO, and I think it was because they used the speed game as preparation. They have arguably more talent than does UO, but two weeks wasn’t enough to keep pace or make it a habit which allowed the coaches and players to adapt to the mind games as well.

        I think I saw a Tedford quote in the Trib about not going to the speed game because he has only one week of prep for UO, whereas USC had two weeks. I agree. You have to have more than two weeks with elite talent. So this should put the rest of the league on notice.

        If you want to win this league, you need to be conditioned to play the speed game from day one. UO has the advantage because Kelly was the one who put the league on notice. I think it’s a testament to Riley’s ability to be the first to recognize this (finally?). Will it negate or overcome Kelly’s advantage?

        The thing is, now that Riley is doing it, the rest of the league will need to do it as well.

        To paraphrase Buck Turgidson:
        Mr. President, we must not allow a speed game gap!

  • Beavker Beavker says:
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    We all would like a fresher Beavers Angry…anyway…

    I think the failure to make stops also wore them down. No team of Lance Armstrongs could hold up to the consistent failure on 3rd down by the Defense. Makes some actual stops, and they’d be surprised how much more juice would be left in that tank!

    Offensively, yes, they should be honing their skills, and should look like a well oiled machine. Time to play 4 Qtrs, or at least 3, on offsense. Play 3 solid Qtrs, and that offense creates a lead that should allow back ups some time. They need those guys. Granted there is a talent gap, but old Chipper down in Eugene has said he would play a back up more often, to give his starter a rest. A rested back up is better than a dead tired starter. I agree.

    • ean says:
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      No team of Lance Armstrong’s eh? I dunno those EPO’s are some pretty powerful stuff.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      At least some stops, long drives and no turnovers are what will beat the Ducks…. problem is you have to have near flawless execution which none of their opponents have come close to doing since Ohio State. Kind of explains why they are #1 right now.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Angry,

    You should have learned the lesson of not predicting too wide a margin a victory on the road. While we are capable of winning by two TDs it is more likely it will be within a TD or atleast 7-10 points. Thinking more has rarely happened for the Beavs on the road. I will be happy if we win by 3 or more points and satisfied on a basic level with any win. That said if we win by 10 or more I will be very satisfied.

  • Warren says:
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    31-10. Count on it.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I was glad Quizz said they finished poorly against cal – he’s the one asking for better performance.

    Also, did u catch the quote from the D abojt watching film on previous OSU D’s – “gave us a picture of what we need to do.” hmmm, like defining “identity?”

    • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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      Hey ObjCritic, you got a link?

      This could be trap game for OSU.
      1) Everyone is saying OSU is going to win no problem… kind of link the Texas game.
      2) Ucla is butt hurt right now and maybe instead of a defeated attitude they are pissed-off and want to make a point.
      3) Katz and Dockery could both be over worked up to win in front of their relatives / home.

      My hope is that it is a beat down on UCLA. My hope is that the O-line finishes blocks with killer instinct. My hope is that the team doesn’t get gassed and no one else gets injuried.

      I hope Katz and Dockery give the game of their life!

      • ObjCritic says:
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        Now typing on a keyboard instead of a damn samsung pda….should be fewer errors.

        I could go look up the paraphrased comments on Corvallis G-T and OregonLive sites, but I’m feelin’ kinda lazy right now. If you’re really skeptical, let me know and I’ll track them down later, but I’m not the type to make that stuff up.

        Regarding the latter quote, before the CAL game Banker reportedly had the D watch tape of previous beaver defenses that performed at a high level. The current players were challenged to use that as an example and strive for the same kind of performance. You would think that kind of teaching/motivational technique would be a regular function of the program -particularly given the implied meaning of this year’s entrance video.

        I think OSU should win this weekend, just because OSU is playing pretty well on the road (in the pac-10 anyway), the talent disparity isn’t what it used to be, and UCLA is so inconsistent.

        • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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          Nah, I believe you, I just wanted to read the articles. I can find them I’m sure.

          I think the lack of motivation is the coaches finally waking up to realization that they have been too easy going and are like holy crap, we need to get a fire under these guys or we aren’t even going to a stinkin bowl game. Coaches should have been showing film after the TCU game.

  • Quatre Quatre says:
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    45-17 Beavs

  • BeavBuff says:
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    unrelated to the above – but the new schedule is almost out. Looks like they avoided Colorado till 2013. Sad, would’ve been an easy win.

    Here is Colorado’s Sched –
    http://www.buffzone.com/football/ci_16525239

    • cloudy says:
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      i really really like the way the schedule sets up next year. all the games that look like they will be tough are spread out

  • CastorNation says:
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    What happened last year? We soundly beat UCLA and then let them back to where they almost pulled it off. I think you are right on, as to throwing the bomb. Ever since Rodgers got hurt the bomb has been a throw away play, that they can’t afford to lose.

    Can any of you explain to me ( not the most learned football fan ) why you would go up the middle, time after time when it won’t work? It just seems Quizz has better results around the ends. The league has figured out that stacking the box stops Quizz up the middle, so why wouldn’t you use that to your advantage?

    • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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      I asked the same question weeks ago. Do you think teams playing us might have heard that Quizz is a good runner and our O-line is kind of kay sir ra sir ra, what ever will be will be…

      Dump short passes to the man or let him run around the ends… he is starting to do that by himself.

      I just hope this year wakes up the coaches to instill the competitiveness early before next year so we can have a great entire season next year.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    @angry:

    “…the Beavs must use these glorified scrimmages against UCLA and WSU to define, refine, and develop the small semblance of an identity they’ve managed to build.”

    Whoa. An away game at UCLA is now a “glorified scrimmage?” I hope you are right, but I fear this is a classic “trap game”, just like the Huskies game a few weeks ago.

    Like the Huskies, the Bruins are wounded and desperate. I expect UCLA to come out strong on Saturday on their home field. If the Beavers come out soft (as we did against the Huskies) we could find ourselves in trouble quickly (again, as we did against the Huskies).

    I think that the Beavers this Saturday need to come out super-aggressive and physical. We need to smash UCLA in the mouth from the outset on offense and defense, and go up one or two touchdowns early (as we did against Cal). Do that, and UCLA is likely to wilt, as Cal did.

    At that point we will — with luck — find ourselves in a glorified scrimmage. And then the Beavers can work on execution (and also rest starters and get playing time for the backups whom we will need down the road, against USC, Stanford, and especially against Oregon).

    As you can tell, I’m nervous about this Saturday’s game (and surprised that you don’t seem to be…) I won’t feel less nervous until I see the Beavers come out strong on Saturday and take the lead. Fingers crossed that we can do that….

    Go Beavers!!

    • angry angry says:
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      The Bruins have zero QB play, and that’s the most important position on the field. They have some good athletes, but they are not a very good team.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Wait… are you asking if angry is too confident or optimistic? Because we all know that’s never the case.

      Right?

      Quatre has it correct. Beavs win 45-17 going away.

      The only thing UCLA has is a good secondary and an O-line many coaches covet. They are in the midst of still installing an offense in which they have little confidence. And the QB they’re playing can’t run that offense, so they’re going to throw it… and not well.

      Look for UCLA to get lucky on a couple long plays because of the size and skill they have at WR. But don’t expect much beyond that.

      And look for their O-line to make some early mistakes because they think they can contain Paea with one blocker.

      They can’t, and that will be apparent quickly. This game will be a microcosm of their season. They’ll have to abandon their gameplan and just scramble for what they can get.

    • Beavker Beavker says:
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      I’m waiting for Angry to predict the big lead will be inturrupted by an Earthquake or something, suspending the game until later in the year when Katz, Quiz, Wheaton, Bishop, and all 5 O-line happen to be injured, and UCLA has healed completely, thus coming back to win in the make up time…

    • Alex says:
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      I agree 100% silverstream….this seems like a trap game to me too. A team with a very good rushing attack…where we struggle big time vs the rush? A team that runs an option? A team desperate for a win, on their home turf? A team that, despite the bad record, has pulled together solid games against quality opponents?

      I penciled this one in as a scary game long ago. Probably more nervous about this one then USC @ home. I for one am glad Riley is not buying into the “glorified scrimmage” theory.

      GO BEAVS!

  • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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    Looks like today’s game will be a game of the walking wounded. Hope we can pile on points fast so maybe we can pull some guys for rest. UCLA is in worse shape then we are:

    Oregon State
    C Alex Linnenkohl, ankle, probable
    WR Jordan Bishop, shoulder, questionable
    TE Brady Camp, back, out
    LB Keith Pankey, illness, probable
    OG Grant Johnson, neck, probable
    DE Dominic Glover, knee, probable

    UCLA
    WR Nelson Rosario, ankle, probable
    LB Akeem Ayers, toe, shoulder, probable
    CB Sheldon Price, knee, questionable
    OL Brett Downey, ankle, doubtful
    SS Dalton Hillard, concussion, questionable
    LB Steve Sloan, hamstring, out
    WR Jerry Johnson, ankle, out
    WR Damien Thigpen, shoulder, out
    LB Patrick Larimore, shoulder, out

    • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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      30% chance of rain today starting around game time. There is a chance I’m going to feel like I’m sitting at Reeser today.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    The BEAVERS need to just get the win today. We can all moan and groan about the margin of victory after a win from the safety of the W-L Columns. Quizz is tied for the touchdown lead so it would be nice if he got 2 or 3 more today. Bishop, Wheaton and the Tank all need good games and the Defense has to prove itself on the road! GO BEAVS!!

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