17.Oct.2009 USC @ Notre Dame & What it Means for The Beavers
Watching this USC game, I don’t see how we’re not 4-3 (2-2) at this time next week. I was really interested to see how Notre Dame matched up against USC because their team is very similar to OSU in several key facets:
1. No pass rush–Barkley has looked good, mainly because ND can’t get near him. He has Tom Brady or Manning-like protection. ND has good athletes, at least in terms of recruits, on their DL…so if they can’t disrupt the QB I don’t see how our line sniffs pressure. What do we have, 4 sacks all season?
2. Bad secondary–ND secondary isn’t very good. Neither is ours. Pretty much the same talent level on both squads, and Damian Williams has torched these guys. The only Beaver capable of slowing him down is Hardin due to his size, speed, and physical stature, but our coaches refuse to play Hardin because he’s too shy/quiet in practice. Good stuff.
3. Good offense–ND has a good offense. They’re 35th in total offense and OSU is 39th. They do it more with the pass while the Beavers rely on the run and screen game. It seems you can move the ball on USC this year, but they’re getting good pressure on Claussen and tighten up at key moments. Canfield is nowhere near the QB Claussen is; therefore, if Sean receives similar pressure you can expect a reversion to the turnover machine of 2007. What Quiz did to them last year is moot due to all the changes on both teams’ lines.
I actually think ND is slightly better than we are because they can slow the run. For as long as I can remember we’ve had major issues–more so than most schools–with sub 4.40 running backs. McKnight, Best, Bush, Stewart, et al all seem to have field days versus the Beavs, hitting the edge early and often. Actually, when was the last time the Beavs bottled up a featured RB, sub 4.40 or not, for less than 50 yards against a team that runs a pro-style offense? I can’t think of one. Couple this with the lack of pass rush and the fact we don’t put our best players on the field (*cough* Hardin, *cough* bench Frahm, etc), and I forsee a long day of Tanqueray washing into the belly of Angry.