19.Nov.2010 Recruiting & USC

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Landing a big time recruit, Darryl Jackson, seems to have reignited the fanbase. People have stepped off the ledge, and are now wondering if it will parlay into signing Devon Moreland as well. My opinion is it's highly possible.

In town for this weekend's games are WR Mike Thomas, CB Stefan McClure, and DE Rusty Fernando. All three are highly regarded prospects, so this is a big game for more reasons than one.

On the field, I expect an inspired effort. The Beavs tend to play better when there's no pressure on them. Fans for the most part have accepted they won't be going bowling, so the players should be relaxed but also little chippy from all the bad press. It should make for a good mindset within the team. Weather could play a role in this game as well, and the local boys will have that advantage coupled with the home-field crowd. And we know how well they've played USC (especially at home) over the last few years. Dare I predict an upset? Well, it wouldn't be a major one–USC is only a 3 point favorite in the game.

The key to the game will be the offensive line ("no duh, Angry"). Seriously, though, USC has mass on the defensive line that could, theoretically, make life hell for the Beavs. So the easy pick is USC in this game, but the Beavs have a handful of intangibles working for them, and that should keep it close. This has the feeling of a wacky game, with a late score deciding it one way or the other. It's good to know Vegas agrees.

Buckle up, Beavlettes–as much as we want to say we've written off the season and don't care, we'll all be pinned to our seats come kickoff.

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  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    To tag on Jackson, looks like he’s already in the directory. One hurdle down.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Final Price Drop!

    2 tickets USC vs OSU football on Nov.20th

    $100 for the pair. Single game tickets cost $65 each for USC but I am willing to take less. Section 225 and only 4 seats away from 224. Good seats with good view of the action. Call 503-936-9031 if interested. (Portland Metro Area)

  • JackBeav says:
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    I like the Jackson pick up not only because we get someone who can play and be molded by Cav to be a great one. I like him because he’s a Heyward recruit. Maybe it took Keith a couple years to get his… um… pond legs under him. It looks like that might have been the case with Locey and Seumalo as well. The first couple classes they recruited netted us this current team. But the last couple years have been phenomenal compared to Beavs classes of the past. And this one is looking really good when pieced together with the grey shirts.

    We start filling needs on the D-line and O-line with talent good enough to play early. That along with some of the kids already on the team should make the trenches look good in a couple years.

    We get a punter and a kicker who aren’t just walking on. And the skill positions are full of high level football players.

    Suddenly Addie and Robins look like good projects who might add depth rather than definite projects who will be the best we have come their senior years. I don’t mean to dismiss them or anyone else in this class, but there’s a huge difference between being expected to eventually develop into the best we got and taking the time to develop properly against highly skilled players who will teach and compete with you in practice.

    A huge part of the fallacy of our coaches being able to develop walk-ons is that those always held up for example had great players going against them in practice every day. Mike Hass had it easy when he stepped on the field because it had to be hell trying to beat the corners we had at the time. Can you imagine being Jonathan Smith and facing the defenses we had at that time?

    Who have our walk-on O-line played against? Linnenkohl is decent because he has Paea against him. But even he loses his luster when Paea is all that’s left.

    The only thing I expect from this Beavs team is effort. We all know that effort and execution trump talent every day. We knew we didn’t have great talent on the field, but we hoped for the other two. We knew we would get good effort but not execution early, because that’s what we get every year. What I’m complaining about–and I think others are too–is that we’ve had three games out of four with very little effort or execution. And the fourth was chock full of both. I just want one of them.

    What we’ve always complained about is that you need all three to consistently make the next level. Effort and execution can get you there every once in a while if you have them both all year long. But talent needs to replace execution early in the year when execution takes its sweet time getting here.

  • BeavBuff says:
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    How many stars was Jackson when he was first recruited by SMU?

  • MonkeyLuven MonkeyLuven says:
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    Interestingly enough, I believe that the “pressure” mindset you mentioned is absolutely correct. It has completely subsided and this game is almost like we’re starting anew.

    I’m not quite sure why this change in mentality has taken place, given I only have media interviews and speculation to go off of, but the biggest observation I’ve made from these sources comes from Ryan Katz. Tomorrow I predict an evolution.

    Being the centerpiece of our offense (yes, even when we had BOTH Rodgers), he was someone who I tried to watch every interview with. His demeanor changed again this week. For the best I finally believe.

    -Pre-season he displayed a great amount of optimistic emotion.
    -Non-con he expressed devotion and loyalty to improvement, but uncertainty in himself.
    -Regular season was/has been a roller-coaster. Everything from desire, to cockiness, to determination.

    Mostly what I saw throughout his time though has been hesitancy. He’s unsure of his answers. Holds his breath. Shifts his eyes. Swallows nervously after every response and seems apprehensive for the next question. It’s truly the lack of confidence we’ve all said it was.

    But this week, Katz displayed a new demeanor. Humility. Poise. Attentiveness. He seems almost relinquished of the fact that he is not what others say he is, but who he wants to be. He appears to understand his limitations and better grasp his true role as leader of the team. He answered questions calmly and with certainty in his responses. Above all else, he believes the words that are coming out of his mouth.

    This is the biggest psychological progression I have observed from him since he won the starting job in May. I anticipate great strides in the future based on what I’ve seen from his past. If we’re lucky, his true moxie will shine through tomorrow and allow Beaver Nation to rejoice and “Believe” again in some portion of our season.

    My question is though, how much do our chances of a CW victory increase with a win tomorrow?

  • ean says:
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    This team is going to keep getting better. I mean losing the Rodger’s brothers will suck but it is a game of 11 on 11 and improving the other 9 positions will be huge. I just hope Ward and the Malcoms can replace some of what the Rodgers do but I don’t think anyone will be as tough and fast as James or as shifty as Quizz.

    • angry angry says:
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      A counter argument is that it will force all 11 guys to get involved. Seems everyone relies too much on these two players. Sometimes I feel like the Beavers are playing 2 vs 11.

      I think the RB situation will finally be interesting in a year or two. It’s been boring for a while, with only one back getting carries for a decade. We’ll see a stable of guys with different roles, which should keep everyone involved more and keep defenses on their toes. Then again, Riley will probably fall in love with one of them and give him 99% of carries–ugh.

      • ean says:
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        I am most worried about replacing James. None of the receivers can match his combination of toughness, speed and physicality. I wonder if Ward or one of the Malcoms gets switched to WR? James really is more of a RB that is really good at catching.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I think the “pressure” analysis is right on – Riley beats a #3 or #1 USC, or a #2 Cal, when he’s already lost enough games that in a sense, it has no effect on the quality of the post season destination. In this case, I don’t think the Beavs REALLY believe they’re going to a bowl game. I think most fans don’t thing they’re going to a bowl game. The pressure is off. Its when there is something at stake, the Beavs come up short.

    • angry angry says:
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      Doing well under pressure is about confidence. Under the radar recruits don’t receive adulation growing up, so in general their self-worth is lower than a player at an elite football school. I call it “USC Reject Syndrome”. And it results in poor confidence and performance under pressure.

      One way to change that is hire a sports psychologist who can make players feel better about themselves and/or drive home the concept of synergy (Boise State does this well. Even Oregon does it well). Another way would be to land better recruits, so a 2-star suddenly believes he is elite since he’s in the company of the elite.

      The Beavers do none of this. They’re very slow to adapt to things. The conservative, pastoral attitude shines through sometimes.

      • BeavGirl BeavGirl says:
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        hmm, sounds like i could use a sports psychologist too! perhaps a psychologist could help out with that damn 30 year slump mindset most of the older fans have. It’s time to set the bar higher, slumpies.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    I have an issue with Katz thinking we are 1 or 2 big plays away from winning games. Going for TOO MANY homerun balls has hurt the Beavs the last few weeks and this season except against UA.

    It is about STAYING ON THE FIELD. We need consistency in FIRST DOWNS if we are going to find any rythym. Katz thinking the way he does has meant a few more stalled drives a game as he overthrows long balls and we are forced to punt. As soon as he realizes it is all about completion % and first downs we will do WAY better. But as of now he still doesn’t get it.

    • ean says:
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      I agree, stay ahead in the chains.

      • Warren says:
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        Exactly. The reason our defense has been scrutinized so much is because they’re on the field a loooong time. I think they’ve done reasonably well considering the positions the offense puts them in.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I just hope we win tomorrow, hope is all I have at this point. What this team needs is courage! Riley needs to instill this attitude in our players. I was reading all the posts yo my five year old daughter and she asked me why the beavers keep losing. By the way she sits through entire games with me at home or at Reser. One thing I realized as I was explaining football to her was that she believes in me and what I teach her. I don feel like the player believe in thier leaders. I think that by winning this game with the changes sets a new tone and belief in our players for thier leaders. I predict if we win this game them we win out! Go Beavs! Without courage hope is just an idea that will never see the light of day.

  • angry angry says:
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    The Beavers have offered WR Larry Scott.
    Guess it can’t hurt to have the commissioner on your roster. 😉

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