21.Oct.2013 Stanford Q & A

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From Hank at gomightycard.com. I’ll be answering his questions later in the week.

Are there any key injuries? What’s the status of Montgomery?

There are some definite injury concerns. Wide receiver Devon Cajuste, who has developed into a solid possession receiver, injured his knee in the second half on Saturday. When he left the game there was concern that it might something serious, but he returned to the sidelines without a brace, and Coach Shaw said afterwards that the injury was much less serious than they had feared. We won’t know the true extent of the injury until he gets an MRI early this week, but it’s my guess that he won’t play this week, regardless of what those tests show. This will be a blow, but the Stanford receiving corps is actually showing some depth recently. Junior Ty Montgomery (who should be healthy) has been enjoying a breakout season, both as a receiver and as one of the most dangerous kick returners in the country, and sophomore Kodi Whitfield demonstrated his talent on Saturday with what was probably the best catch in the history of Stanford football. Seriously. There are other injury issues on defense. Starting defensive end Henry Anderson has missed several games and isn’t due back for at least another week, and the defensive line ranks have gotten thin enough that the coaching staff converted their starting tight end, Luke Kaumatule, back to defensive end for last week’s game. He’s a big kid, but last week he was used exclusively in passing situations, which means he could get a lot of playing time this week. Cornerback Alex Carter, one of the better all-around corners in the conference, was battling hamstring issues last week, and he was on the sidelines towards the end of the game. If he can’t go this weekend, it will definitely be a blow as the Cardinal attempts to stop Oregon State’s high octane passing attack.

How does this team compare to last years?

The expectation heading into this season was that this year’s team would be even better than last year’s Rose Bowl champions, but I don’t think we have a definitive answer just yet. Like many young teams, the 2013 Cardinal has been inconsistent. The defense was supposed to be one of the best unit’s in the nation, but they haven’t been as statistically dominant as expected, and the offense has struggled at times. The losses on offense of running back Stepfan Taylor and tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo have been huge, and their absences have likely contributed to what many perceive to be a delay in the development of quarterback Kevin Hogan. The loss to Utah was surprising, but the good news is that all the goals this team set during the summer are still in play if they continue to win.

What are Hogan’s strengths and weaknesses?

Kevin Hogan’s main strength is probably his mobility, but he can also be an effective, if inconsistent, passer. He struggled mightily against Washington and Utah, but he bounced back to have a nice game in last weekend’s win over UCLA. A month ago many Stanford fans believed that Hogan was the Pac-12’s second best quarterback behind Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, but now it appears that he’s closer to the middle, behind people like Keith Price, Brett Hundley, Connor Halliday, and your own Sean Mannion. Right now his greatest weakness appears to be his decision-making skills. He sometimes struggles getting to his second read, and even when he’s running the ball — a strength, remember — he sometimes hits the wrong hole or makes the wrong choice on the read option. If the Beavers can apply pressure with just four pass rushers, he’ll likely have a difficult time finding his receivers, but if they have to start bringing five or six guys, Hogan will make them pay.

Will the defense be able to pressure Mannion? (This is huge, as Mannion has had time all year, and we know what he’s done..)

The defense will have to be able to pressure Mannion. The Cardinal will rarely rush more than four defenders — and sometimes they’ll only send three — but because they don’t always send the same four guys from the same four spots, they’ve been able to pressure quarterbacks consistently. Watch for defensive end Trent Murphy, one of the most athletic linemen in the country, coming off the edge, as well as Ben Gardner. You’ll also see lots of linebackers Shayne Skov and James Vaughters, both of whom relish causing havoc in the opponents’ backfield.

How do Stanford Fans like Shaw? To me he has been living off the players and mentality Harbaugh instilled. Now that he has his own guys and identity, what’s the verdict?

If Jim Harbaugh was the perfect coach to turn Stanford around (and he was), then David Shaw is the perfect coach to keep things going in the right direction. I disagree with your assertion that he’s succeeding with Harbaugh’s players and identity. Three recruiting classes have enrolled at Stanford under Shaw’s watch, and those groups have yielded starters Kevin Hogan, Ty Montgomery, James Vaughters, Andrus Peat, Alex Carter, and Devon Cajuste. As far as the identity of the team is concerned, I think the general mood surrounding the team is completely different. When Harbaugh left, most analysts predicted that without his fiery attitude, the team would recede into mediocrity. Instead, Shaw’s quiet confidence has permeated the program and instilled in everyone the solid belief that they belong amongst the elite teams in college football. I think that most Stanford fans recognize this, but there have been some fairly vocal critics. Most of those critics are concerned about Shaw’s play calling, and they’ll complain about how me managed the closing moments of the 2013 Sugar Bowl. More recently, there are those who blame Shaw for the Utah loss, and indeed it’s difficult to understand why he didn’t run the ball with his team trailing by six with 3rd and 2 from the six-yard line. But as I said, aside from these quibbles, most fans are firmly in Shaw’s corner.

Do you see any game-changing matchup problems, either way?

On most Saturdays the Cardinal will enjoy a distinct advantage with their offensive line, and I expect that to be true this weekend as well. The offensive line is one of the best in the nation. Left guard David Yankey earned All-Pac-12 honors last year and will again this year, and true sophomore Andrus Peat is just seven starts into his career, but he’s already become a rock at left tackle. Beyond the standard five-man line, you can also watch for a variety of special packages with reserve linemen entering the game with eligible numbers so that they can line up as tight ends or fullbacks. In short yardage situations you’re almost guaranteed to see six or seven linemen on the field, but there’s even one package that features eight linemen, a fullback, and a tailback. The beneficiary of all this, of course, is the running game. Running back Tyler Gaffney had career highs last week with 36 carries and 171 yards, and the Beavers should see a lot of him. Additionally, this line does a great job of keeping Kevin Hogan clean. When all of this works together, the end result is a distinct advantage in time of possession, which is probably the best way to stop a quarterback like Mannion. We’ll see.

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  • bone says:
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    Great Stuff!

  • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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    Thanks Angry. So does this mean you’re returning questions on a Stanford blog? I’d be curious what theyre asking about OSU.

    • angry angry says:
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      Yes, read the first sentence above, later it the week he’s sending me questions. I believe Wed or Thursday.

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    Good insight.
    Whitfield’s catch on Saturday was indeed the most amazing catch I’ve ever witnessed in football ever, as in, ever.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    Thanks to Angry and Hank!

  • ObjCritic says:
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    OSU’s offense seems to be getting to the point where TOP isn’t that important (btw Riley calls it one of the most overrated stats in the game); they can score quickly.

    I think for a team as fundamentally sound and strong as Stanford, the TO’s will become important to give OSU the additional possessions it needs. Can OSU’s secondary get some INTs if it’s D line can’t get real pressure?

    And, can OSU maximize its possessions – continue to score in the red zone, not turn the ball over? Can OSU attack Stanford D like Utah did? OSU has the personnel and packages to do it but will have to simply out-execute.

    All basic stuff I know, but again, against a team as sound as Stanford…..oh, and on kickoffs, kick it out of the back of the end zone and don’t allow returns. Big returns are confidence/morale boosters and Stanford’s return man has been on fire.

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    Oh, and we should ask if the refs are going to call any bullshit roughing the passer calls after their QB throws an interception that we run back, then they throw a TD on the next play, totally killing any chance of winning?

    • JD says:
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      I’m still mad about the penalty called against Poyer on the hit/fumble/TD!! The freaking WR lowered his head into Poyer and knocked himself out. That one play completely changed the game.

  • Numbers says:
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    Great stuff! Montgomery to me is the big play guy to be worried about. Stanford is supposed to have the old school run the ball advantage. However I am firmly on the anti shaw bus and I see a continuing down trend for Stanford with him at the helm. Didnt that first year of his 3 years of recruits included a lot of Harbaugh commits?

  • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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    Hogan’s mobility and decision making are what scares me most in this game. If the Beavs can make him a drop back passer, they’ll have a good chance to create some turnovers and keep Stanford’s offense off the field. I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    What worries me is how the Beavs reacted to Kline when he replaced Goff. Kline only had 4 run plays, but he averaged 7 yards per carry. That ability to run also opened up the passing game for him. He finished 11/16. Sure, the Beavs D was a little slower late in the game while Kline was fresh, but it just looked too easy for them to move the ball. Our best asset is having the offense on the field. If Hogan can run repeatedly for 5-7 yards on our D(he’s averaged 4+ this year), they’ll control time of possession and the game. I haven’t seen Hogan play much, so can’t comment on his running ability. Anybody else care to offer a critique? It looks like he doesn’t run much, but the fact that he has positive 4+ yards per carry on the year is enough to worry me.

    Keith Hogan Rushing ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
    7-Sep San Jose State 3 17.0 5.7 8 –
    14-Sep @Army 4 15.0 3.8 14 –
    21-Sep Arizona State 6 45.0 7.5 27 –
    28-Sep @Washington State 6 34.0 5.7 11 –
    5-Oct Washington 9 24.0 2.7 19 1.0
    12-Oct @Utah 7 6.0 0.9 5 –
    19-Oct UCLA 5 33.0 6.6 10 – Averages through 7 games 5.7 24.9 4.4 13.4 0.1

    • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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      ^^^Sorry, had a feeling I’d lose my formatting^^^

    • angry angry says:
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      From what I’ve seen he’s a Jake Plummer type. Elusive in the pocket and ability to get outside it, but only an average down field runner.

    • Dick Smoker says:
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      Who the fuck is Keith Hogan?

  • Ronix1080 Ronix1080 says:
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    Nice to see the Beavs getting a little more press. Yahoo has a little piece about Mannion up on their homepage scroll “QB a Heisman Darkhorse”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/ncaaf-dr-saturday/heisman-watch-week-8-teddy-bridgewater-tajh-boyd-074528818–ncaaf.html?vp=1

    Last week Riley got some love for the idea of Twitter Tuesday and now this. Definitely a change from the absolutely no press that we normally get.

  • Beavergopher Beavergopher says:
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    Angry, an excellent question would have been, “do you have the phone # for the In-N-Out burger in Palo Alto and do they take preorders?”

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    Trent Bray on JoeBeavShow today, two takeaways: 1) He really pushes the idea that competition for playing time is ALWAYS open…makes everyone better. 2) He is excited for this Stanford game and relishes the hard-nosed, run game we are likely to see.

    I think we will see some good LB play this week, particularly Johnson and “MrMagoo”.

    And yes, kick it out of the endzone and don’t allow Montgomery the chance for a big return.

    • BeavinTX says:
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      We may see the short chip kickoffs that Romaine has done at times this season. Kick it to the farthest back up man and concede the 25-30 yard line without much risk of it going farther downfield.

      • Beavergopher Beavergopher says:
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        What is Doctor’s status?

        • ObjCritic says:
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          Redshirt I hope….

          Imagine if Doctor, Mannion, Cooks, Chricton all came back next year.

        • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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          http://www.gazettetimes.com/sports/beavers-sports/football/osu-football-doctor-working-to-get-back-on-the-field/article_eaf3a088-3867-11e3-9cd5-0019bb2963f4.html

          Not sure how I feel about this one. Would be nice to have an extra speedy guy playing LB in the last couple games, but it would also be nice to have him play a full season next year. If Mannion and Cooks are leaving after this season, might as well maximize our talent now and let him play. Next year could get ugly.

          • BeavinTX says:
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            I’d rather he came back next year. Without having played basically the whole season, it’s going to take time to get back into shape, and he’s not going to come in full speed right away.

          • bone says:
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            I too would like to have doctor back, but I don’t know if it will happen. He has already graduated, and medical redshirts aren’t always a guarantee.

          • BeavinTX says:
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            He doesn’t have to medical redshirt, he still has a regular one left.

          • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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            From the article, it sounds like he wouldn’t need to use the medical hardship because he’s never had a redshirt year. The choice is up to him and the coaches if he plays or not.

          • krogercomplete says:
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            Folks were discussing this same issue on another site–the point others made was that his only option is the medical redshirt given he has already played this year. He COULD have used his regular redshirt this season, but he would have had to use it at the outset and sit out the entire season. Once he stepped on the field, he burned it. I don’t actually know how the rule works.

          • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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            good point, hadn’t thought of that.

          • Dwill03 Dwill03 says:
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            If he thinks he has a chance to get to the league he comes back next year. If he’s done with football and is ready to move on with his life, he comes back this year. Pretty simple decision once prioritized. Hope he’s back next year.

  • Jack says:
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    Poyer claimed off waivers by the Browns.

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      I didn’t know the Eagles released him.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      He could end up being the defensive version of Hass; not enough speed and physicality to quite break through, even with obvious skills.

  • whiskeysoakednapkins says:
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    Poyer’s gonna take the browns to the super bowl!

  • Mb says:
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    Man, I hope that Romaine can kick it to the end zone this week. The pop flies will one day come back to bite the Beavers. The good news, OSU has a reasonable chance of winning this week.

  • SalemBeav says:
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    Does anyone have any ideas to our rushing woes? I keep hearing it’s the line, but Storm hesitates every time before he hits the line, kind of the same way McCants used to. Storm looked really good at Texas, ( I think because it was his dream game at home ). I just don’t see the same intensity this year. I would like to see Brown get a try ( he did drop a ball, but no harm no foul ) to see if it is just the line.

    • Eric says:
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      The line isn’t great at run blocking but they do a decent job. There are holes plenty of the time but Ward and Woods don’t see it. IMHO I think they run to the spot where the hole is supposed to open according to the playbook but don’t have the vision to see where holes may open up or where to cut. I would like to see Chris Brown as well. I know it was garbage time at the Cal game but that 26 yard run was the longest by any running back at OSU this year! He seems to be shiftier than the other 2. My guess at why he doesn’t play in order of importance. 1. He doesn’t do well in the passing game. 2. He doesn’t block well on passing downs, 3. He has fumble problems (most important and illustrated in his first play in the Colorado game)

      • Jack says:
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        I think Brown’s handle is way overstated. It was his first touch, and he tried to do way too much while juking three defenders on the sideline. I’ll chalk that one up to being overly excited. The rest of his game must be what keeps him on the bench… the blocking primarily. But after that 26 yard run I think even Riley is starting to notice him. about 25 of those yards were after and during contact. He hits the off-tackle right on the blocker’s hip instead of wasting time bouncing outside. He takes the first hit and uses great balance to take it outside. Then he uses a great forearm that everyone saw coming to break the sideline open.

        His HS tape showed excellent balance when running between the tackles and into the second level. He has shown nothing but off-tackle so far this year. So maybe he sees those reads and uses them, or maybe he just isn’t comfortable taking the interior gaps yet. Riley mentioned him as a stand-out ST player and also said he’s close (and that Riley is excited for his near future) to getting on the field. I think the offensive touches have given him confidence in both himself and what the coaches are teaching him. And I think that translates to him carrying everything over to the details keeping him off the field as well as extra effort when he’s in on ST.

        He’s going to break one. And everyone will say it’s just garbage time or whatever. But he’s showing some good skills.

        I don’t think the run game is suffering because of line blocking. There has been some out of synch blocking due to all the different line combos used. But the play-calling has been heavily pass oriented, and run calls look like they’re expected by the defense… and welcomed as a break from the norm. But we’ve also run in short yardage situations pretty consistently. Woods and Ward both follow interior blocks for TDs and first downs with relative ease (based on results). And that has set up the play action nicely for second and short situations. If you’ve been watching the NFL, the tendency has been to go pass heavy with a RBBC which gains situational yardage. We’re a little lopsided even for that scheme. But we’re doing what the pros are doing with success. This is because we’re playing on the NCAA level where defenses are watered down in terms of talent, and good offensive players can expose what experts call “great” defenses. So it’s no mistake that Mannion, Cooks, Mullaney, Hamlett, Smith and our Oline are doing what they’re doing.

  • Alex says:
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    I am having a hard time believing it’s the O-line. The only lineman that we lost was Kelly, and I have a hard time believing that he would make that much of a difference.

    Storm is looking very tentative. This year, I like Ward a lot better (limitations notwithstanding). He’s not that fast but he runs hard and attacks any openings. Brown has looked great in limited time.

    Storm has looked very good catching passes out of the backfield. I almost wonder if we’d be better served using him as a 3rd down back or hybrid player who lines up in the slot at times.

    • bone says:
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      A kind of surprising stat that I found is that ward and woods rushing stats are almost identical.

      • oneoldbeav says:
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        I have always favored Ward over Woods; he initially impressed me with the way he moved the pile last year. This year he seems less tentative than Woods but I haven’t noticed either one of them moving the pile so much. How ’bout those longest rushes: Woods 9/Ward 14, who’d have thunk that a combined 128 carries wouldn’t produce even one gain over 20 yds!

        Tyler Anderson apparently has a bruised sternum, if he is healthy I’d like to see him get some carries vs Stanford. True commitment to trying the run game would be shown if Riley went with two back sets more often. Against Stanford two back or more two TE sets may be needed to protect Mannion.

        Wishful thinking, I know, but wouldn’t it be ironic to see the inside run game come alive vs Stanford?
        The pass will always be this groups “identity” but, why can’t it be used to set up the run? Still wondering what new stuff Riley inserted during the bye week.

        • Eric says:
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          Longest run of the year so far was Chris Brown last weekend at Cal. He had a 26 yarder in garbage time. I would say it was against Cal’s second unit but they are so beat up I don’t think they really have much of a second unit

  • Numbers says:
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    I’m so excited for this upcoming game. I think we get to learn our identity this week. Saturday can’t get here fast enough.

  • Bill says:
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    It’s going to be a good game this Saturday. Stanford is good but beatable. I rewatched the UCLA/Stanford game and saw a solid game by Stanford. They don’t make a lot of mistakes on either side of the ball.

    My observations of Stanford’s Defense,

    1. Run D – UCLA ran the ball effective early on but went away from it later. I believe the offense will be able to get some running game going. Fun Fact – Woods had 94 yards last year at Stanford. Draw plays should have some success. Around 80 yards by Woods and Ward should be considered successful.
    2. Pass D – Stanford mostly rushes 3 or 4. Hardly ever 5. They come a lot on stunts and zone blitzes. Many times there was a free rusher, and they were only bringing 4. I doubt we will see Brown as Woods and Ward are much better in picking up free blitzers. UCLA’s RBs did a terrible job on pass protection. Luckily for UCLA Hundley was able to escape on his own.

    Stanfords offense –

    1. Passing – The stanford blogger is right, Hogan tends to go with his first read. Sometimes will force it. He is very much a threat to take off. Doesn’t have breakaway speed but is able to get the first down. Dline will need to stay disciplined and not let Hogan escape. Tends to throw to the middle of the field. Takes very few vertical shots. Many short digs and out routes. In short, he just gets it done.
    2. Run – Stanford loves the 8 line man formation. Probably avg 300 across. If it’s 3rd and short, Stanford will convert in their ogre formation. Gaffney is a north south runner. If he gets a head of speed, he will do damage. Not a guy who bounces it outside on a broken play. They had 37min in time of possession vs UCLA.

    What will it take to win?

    1. Keep Mannion upright. Communication by the oline will be huge. UCLA’s line struggled all game figuring out Stanford’s pass rush and picking up the blitzer. Maybe roll the pocket a little more.
    2. Field position – Do not give Stanford a short field. Without a vertical passing game, it takes them a lot of plays to move down the field.
    3. Get to 3rd and long. With that oline vs the beavs dline in short yardage, Stanford will win most of the time.
    4. More wrinkles on offense.

    So in the end, it’s going to take a great game to beat Stanford. In a grind it out, beat you up type of game, Stanford will break the Beav’s will at some point. A shootout is where the Beav’s best shot is. Score early and make Hogan win the game through the passing game. If Stanford gets out in front, they will salt the game away with their run game and keep the ball from Mannion.

    Hard to say which way this game will go but I think it will be close. The defensive effort needed to beat Stanford is something we haven’t seen this year. Not predicting a score but hoping to see the team rise up to the occasion and get an upset.

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      I agree with just about everything you’ve said, Bill, especially the part about keeping Mannion upright.

      In fact, the only way I see Stanford breaking the will of the Beavs is if Mannion is forced to leave the game. Homecoming after the road games and having a couple nail biters behind them make me believe that focus and will are gonna be there this week.

      Couple other thoughts: UCLA going away from the rush….sounds so like Riley, and Mannion rolling out more sounds good…he has begun to show a little of that lately.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      “UCLA’s line struggled all game figuring out Stanford’s pass rush and picking up the blitzer.”

      How does OSU’s line rate in this regard? Isaac seems pretty smart, and I assume he will be calling out assignments? Maybe a key to this game is the ability to keep him at center and not have to move him out to cover for an injured guard or tackle.

      Also hope Riley doesn’t call too many plays that take forever to set up, would like to see some quick hitters.

      I see no answer for Cooks; he’s just that good, that focused and works so hard. As much as I like the Mannion-to-Cooks combo, I think its great that Mannion is throwing to so many people and taking advantage of the attention Cooks gets.

      I agree with another post above, seems like we won’t see much, if any, of Chris Brown this game; Woods and Ward will be in to block. I think if Hamlett can play its “huge.” [announcer cliche term] If Hamlett can’t go at H-Back, who gets his reps?

      I think there will be an inspired effort on D, and I think OSU’s secondary picks Hogan twice.

      Really one of the more interesting games in the last several years to me. Feels to me like the biggest game since the 09 CW.

      • Bill says:
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        Stanford attacked the B gap a lot. Sometimes on delayed blitzes from the LB. The center and guard would double team the NT and the DE would get up the field, leaving a huge hole for the LB to run though. UCLA’s RB tended to release when he saw the LB staying back and it left Hundley exposed. Only reason Hundley wasn’t sacked was because of his mobility. Can’t say that Mannion will be able to get out of the way.

        I’d say the oline has done a tremendous job so far with the number of passes attempted. I think if Isaac can handle the stanford NT on his own, it will help a lot. Stanford did a great job mixing up where the blitzer was coming from. Had Hundley on his heels most of the game.

        Also I forgot, obviously don’t give Montgomery a chance in kick/punt returns. Get touchbacks every time.

        One other issue I did see that vs Cal was the long snapping. The punt snap was noticeable slower and seemed to float a bit.

        • Beavblazer Beavblazer says:
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          That missed field goal was partially due to a bad snap too. Its too bad our bearded long snapper is no longer able to get out there.

        • Beavergopher Beavergopher says:
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          Another key…….don’t have the QB soap dish the ball while running for a 1st down late in the game LOL. We should have won last year. TOP will be key to keep our undersized D line from getting worn out.

          • oneoldbeav says:
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            Someone said Riley looks on TOP as less important than many other measures, don’t know if I’d heard that before.

            TOP will be interesting this week, I agree limiting the time the Beavs D is on the field will be important. I’m always impressed with the ucks d spending so much time on the field, that why I sometimes harp on conditioning and discipline in the execution of player substitution moves.

            Three ways to tip the TOP in the Beavs favor: TO’s, run game, and short/screen passes (which also have the advantage of helping reduce pressure on Mannion). Any others to watch for?

            Riley’s “field position” mentality may be helpful this week, I like our chances if Stanford is forced into a throwing game.

  • Timber2002 says:
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    He seemed to get kind of testy when you said that Shaw is still riding Harbaugh’s coattails.

    • Numbers says:
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      And he immediately dismissed the playing time Montgomery missed when he got banged up a little.

  • Jack says:
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    Some interesting tape from tweet film Tuesday:

    Ray Ellis Jr., DT, Absecon, NJ
    http://www.hudl.com/athlete/938167/

    Griffin Jossfolk, OLB, Weston, Fla
    http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/933106/highlights/86618376

    • Jack says:
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      Sorry… Ray Ellis III

      Also a 2015 WR from Fla who I imagine will be recruited pretty heavily:
      Ahmmon Richards, Wellington, Fla
      http://www.hudl.com/athlete/o/1693604/highlights/61172376

    • BeavinTX says:
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      Ellis has offers from Buffalo and UMass (as well as some FCS schools).

      • Jack says:
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        He looks low and strong. If he’s a true 6’1-2″ and #275, he could be a good project with a RS year.

        The Jossfolk kid looks a little slow, but he makes up for it with good angles and tackling ability. He also looks like he’s one of the defensive leaders on a team that played for the Fla 8A championship last year.

  • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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    OSU Offense vs Stanford Defense: Stanford’s D-line is far from full strength. Details provided in a web posting last week (but still relevant): http://www.cappingthegame.com/forum/showthread.php?94243-Silky-s-Week-8-Diamonds/page2 In contrast, the OSU O-line is relatively healthy. OSU still won’t be able to run the ball effectively against Stanford. But I think OSU should be able to protect Mannion adequately, using a combination of the O-line, frequent max-protect schemes (Cooks and Mullaney running routes, with two tight ends and/or an H-back or RB held in for pass protection), along with the occasional screen or draw to keep Stanford’s D-line from all-out-rush mode. As another poster noted, a key will be Isaac’s ability to handle his man without help. I think Isaac will succeed, and that the Beavs will move the ball against Stanford through the air.

    OSU Defense vs Stanford Offense: I too watched portions of the Stanford vs UCLA game, and was very impressed with the Stanford O-line (especially Stanford’s OG’s and their pull-and-kick-out blocks, which are brutal). It’s no secret that Stanford will try to run over and through OSU, especially on first down. Key for OSU will be holding Stanford to 3 yards or less on first downs, and then — if we get to 3d and long — containing Hogan in the pocket, preventing him from running up the middle, and making him throw the ball downfield. On both counts, OSU’s linebackers will probably be the key. We will need big-time, tough-guy performances from DJ Alexander, Jabral Johnson, and Rommel Mageo to fill gaps and stop the run on first downs. We will also need DJ and JJ to help contain Hogan from scrambling up the middle on third downs.

    It will also help if Devon Cajuste (perhaps Stanford’s best possession receiver, and a favorite 3d down target of Hogan) is unable to play this Saturday, because of a knee injury that Cajuste sustained last Saturday against UCLA. Stanford may be more inclined to sit Cajuste this week, in the hope that Cajuste will be healthy for Stanford’s upcoming game against the Ducks. If so, that would work out well for the Beavs.

    Special Teams: With the wind, TR should be able to kick the ball out of the end zone, to avoid kickoff returns by Ty Montgomery. Against the wind, TR should kick grounders, to make Stanford’s up-men field the ball, and to avoid long returns. It would be a mistake to give Ty Montgomery even one chance for a long return against us. He’s that good.

    If OSU does all this — especially limiting Stanford’s running attack on first downs, while providing adequate protection for Mannion — I think OSU pulls the upset this Saturday. Otherwise not.

    One other point. If OSU does win this Saturday, seems to me that Rose Bowl hopes suddenly become realistic (far from a sure thing, but quite possible). If the Beavs can take down Stanford this Saturday, the Beavs should be able to beat USC at home the following Friday night. Then OSU gets a bye week to rest, get healthy, and prepare for ASU away. Then OSU gets the Huskies at home. If OSU wins those three games, and if Oregon also wins out, then OSU likely goes to the Rose Bowl regardless of the result in the Civil War. Even if OSU loses the Civil War to an undefeated Oregon team, Oregon would go to the BCS national title game, while OSU — at 10-2 overall and 8-1 in league play — would likely go to the Rose Bowl. Lots of ifs. But not crazy.

    Go Beavs!

    • Numbers says:
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      These what ifs and strategy feels like what a lot of us were probably silently thinking prior to Wisconsin last year. However last year, we were unable to speak such a blasphemy that we might win. So that’s a nice upward trend.

  • HopefulBeav says:
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    Is it baseball season yet?

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/college/recruiting-roundup-notebook-notes-from-around-the-country/

    • JD says:
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      This top 5 recruiting ranking can’t be correct, it is impossible to recruit to Corvallis!

      • Jack says:
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        That’s the top 5 class from last year that actually enrolled for this fall. That only includes players on campus now. It doesn’t include Fox-Rolfe, who will be here for winter term.

      • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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        I blame BDC.

  • angry angry says:
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    I just finished answering Hank’s questions. Check his blog later tonight for that.

  • Jack says:
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    It couldn’t happen to a bigger loser.

    The gift that keeps on giving…
    http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2013/10/22/pac-12-reprimands-fines-ducks-coach/

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      Leach kept passing cause that’s his offense and he is trying to develop his players both with regard to their physical AND mental make up. By not taking notice of Aliotti’s remarks Leach shows surprising (for him) restraint.

      As for the “apology”, a written statement by the organization never seems as genuine as a public statement by the offender. Though not unique to the ucks, it does fit their image!

      • Jack says:
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        There was never ever never ever a question of Aliotti’s stupidity. His words were so egregious to sport it’s ridiculous. That moron deserved to not be paid for one week of pretending to be a coach. $5k is lenient in my book. Combined with his talk last week of Pac refs not knowing how to call PI calls, he should be relieved of his duties for immense stupidity.

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    For those who’ve retained an open mind regarding the mental state and approach to the game by Dylan Wynn, you owe it to yourself to spend 12 minutes listening to his conversation today with Parker. Begins at 1:00.

    http://hypothetical.net/beaver/assets/JoeBeaverShow_2013-10-22.mp3

    • Beavergopher Beavergopher says:
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      I always liked him and now even more. Sounds like a great kid. Loved the “evil empire” crack!

      • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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        I like his on-field intensity and his sense of humor.

    • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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      Mike Parker sounds ridiculous talking about the showmanship of catching the ball with one hand, specifically talking about the catch in the Stanford game.

      • Jack says:
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        Would he rather see the player not try for the ball? There was no way he was going to get his left hand up for that grab. What is his specific complaint?

      • Beavergopher Beavergopher says:
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        Look on the bright side, he wasn’t chowing down on a napkin.

    • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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      That was a great interview. Well spoken kid, not a lot of “um’s” and “uh’s” in his responses. Came across very well.

  • angry angry says:
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    UCLA -22 vs Oregon? Seems way too high.

    • JD says:
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      I believe last week was the first time this season that the Ducks didn’t cover. Their lines have also typically grow throughout the week as more money comes in on them to cover.

    • Bill says:
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      Must not be seeing a lot of action on UCLA.

    • homefry homefry says:
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      just got back from Vegas–thank you Beavs for a profitable two weeks!

      Oregon favored by 22, Stanford down to 3.5 this weekend.

      • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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        Darn – should have taken them at 5.5…got ’em for $50 at +4.

  • Timber2002 says:
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    Just listened to Brock Huard on the radio. That prick will be calling the Beav game on ESPN2.

  • Timber2002 says:
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    Randy Cross on some CBS College Football show said that he is Grant Bays’ uncle. He said that Bays is a starter, so he must not watch too closely. Then he said he thinks Stanford will shut down the OSU offense, Mannion will get sacked a bunch and throw a bunch of picks.

    • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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      Eff Randy Cross and his nephew.

      Beavers with a statement win. 38-35.

  • Timber2002 says:
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    David Shaw said that Devon Cajuste has a bone bruise but will play this Saturday. He’ll wear a brace in the game.

    • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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      OK. That’s not where they’re going to hurt us.

      • BeavinTX says:
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        I think it’s a mistake to overlook the Stanford passing game. They have a height advantage over our cover guys, and Hogan is quietly having a good year. Should we be more worried about the fact that we’re weak up the middle on D and playing the best O-Line in the country? Yes. But they’re no slouches throwing the ball, either. They’re a top 10 team for a reason.

        • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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          I’m not saying they don’t have the ability to hurt teams deep, and I don’t think anyone will overlook that aspect of the game…I’m just saying that our secondary against their receivers is a better matchup than what we have up front against the run. We will not stop Stanford’s run game. There O-Line is good. Really good. And Gafney will gain somewhere north of 150 yards.

    • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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      Update from Stanford Daily re injuries to Devon Cajuste and others: http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/10/22/inexperienced-wide-receivers-stepping-up-injuries-improving-for-card/

      “There is a chance Devon Cajuste will play this week,” detailed head coach David Shaw. “No ligament damage, MRI was pretty clean, X-rays pretty clean. It’s probably a little more than a hard-to-deal-with bone bruise, but he’s feeling better, actually ran a little bit yesterday…If he can’t go, he should be ready for Oregon.”

      “Shaw said that he would wait to see if Williamson [Stanford’s 1st-string placekicker] could practice effectively Wednesday and Thursday before making a decision on whether he would play this Saturday. Even if Williamson can’t play at Oregon State, he should be ready for Oregon, according to Shaw.”

      “Henry Anderson [Stanford’s best DE] may be back for Oregon, most definitely after Oregon,” Shaw continued. “He’s coming along really well and there’s a chance he could suit up against Oregon.”

      Sounds like Stanford’s upcoming game against Oregon is very much on Shaw’s mind this week (and may lead to keeping Devon Cajuste and others from suiting up against OSU this Saturday). Good to hear….

  • ace0099 says:
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    Could someone explain why these people have this line of thinking?

    M. Agrippa ?@agrippausc 1h
    Frankly, I see absolutely no reason why #USC should send our players up to Oregon State, Pres. Ed Ray lobbied hard for USC sanctions.

    Nuck The FCAA ?@NuckTheFCAA 11m
    The Oregon State game would be the perfect one to forfeit. OSU was one of the schools that f*cked us during the #NCAA investigation.

    background: seems like USC is hobbled with lots of injuries right now and they are talking about forfeiting the game with us to sort of rest up and heal up

    • Numbers says:
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      Foreit Away!, pussies

      • Jack says:
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        ^this

        It will never never ever happen. But if it did I would buy a ticket to the forfeited game and insist that OSU keep the money. I would probably lobby for a four hour victory party at Reser in place of the game.

        Are we sure these aren’t Duck trolls playing on the USC boards/tweets? It falls in line with their sense of humor. The height of humor (and some say intelligence) is self-deprecation. Ducks think the deprecation of others in the name of a third party is funny. That takes them to twice removed from funny/intelligent almost all the time.

    • whiskeysoakednapkins says:
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      sure they are. Nice troll attempt ruhtard

      • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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        I actually read the chain of tweets…boy there’s some pissed off Trojans out there following the Miami “sanctions.” And they should be.

      • ace0099 says:
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        not trolling, I was taken aback on them dragging OSU into their mess.

        • whiskeysoakednapkins says:
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          if you or anyone else thin they are going to boycott and forfeit a game, I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in

  • mb says:
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    Stanford does not have the best O-Line in the country. That is an often repeated myth. The real secret is that they now depend on fulltime bocking tightends and depend on a bruiser of a running back, because Gaffney often takes his first hit in the backfield. Just the same, they are pretty good up front and have lots of big bodies to play. Hogan can run and throw from the pocket. But his throwing motion is quite funky and he can be distracted/disrupted. All of their receivers are capable but can also disappear. Beaver corners will do just fine if a rush can be generated and if safeties do not become the primary tacklers on run plays. Beavers cannot afford stupid penalties this week.

  • NorCalBeaver NorCalBeaver says:
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    Dylan Wynn comes across very mature and well spoken. Unlike Mannion “ya know” “um” every few words. That has talks of going pro….Wynn is a badass as well as Mannion but I just don’t buy into the hype of him leaving early. I see Mannion staying and really letting the game slow down for him. Next year he will just pick apart the defenses.

    I also have a question about the rose bowl talks earlier in this thread. Based on our new PAC 12 champ set up. Even if we win out to the civil war…then the north is decided by who wins the civil war…and say the ducks beat us and to PAC 12 champion game and win. Then go to a BCS game (national championship) instead. Doesn’t that mean that the rose bowl goes to the runner up to the pac12 championship game…which would be the south loser…? I’m sorry that’s a little butchered up but I think under the new league set up the only way for the BEAVS to the rose bowl is to win out.

    Cal/Beav game was a great time. Who says you can’t have a bitchin tailgater in Berkeley?! I have some great pics of memorial stadium being empty except a ton of orange at the end of the game. Also a little strange was cals band playing the BEAVS fight song as the players came over to the fan section….I hope our band never does that shit…
    OC

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      If the Pac12 champ goes to the natty then the Rose Bowl is not under obligation to select the next place finisher, they just select someone from the pool of available automatic qualifiers and at-large teams. See here: http://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4819597
      Other bowls are the same. Just because the Alamo Bowl gets 2nd pick from the Pac12 doesn’t mean the have to select #2, they can pick anybody that is bowl eligible. On this note, most bowls will not select the same team twice if given the choice, just because they want to have different fan bases and TV viewers from year to year. The obvious exception is BYU being in the Vegas Bowl 497 consecutive years.

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Glad you had fun in Berkeley. We’re looking at road tripping it to the bay area next year for a tailgate in Palo Alto.

  • SalemBeav says:
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    Last year UCLA was runner up in championship game, but got bowl behind Oregon and OSU

    • whiskeysoakednapkins says:
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      They also had 4 losses and were beaten by OSU prior to getting smoked by Baylor in the Holiday bowl for their 5th loss. The Rose Bowl could take another Pac-12 team if they aren’t obligated to take a non AQ that’s in the Top 18 I think and said Pac-12 team is also in the top 14 of the BCS. Or something close to that.

      Here’s the criteria. I was too lazy to read through all of it. The big question that remains is if the Beavs win out minus the civil war is that enough to put us in the Top 14 of the final BCS rankings?

      http://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4819597

      http://www.bcsfootball.org/news/story?id=4819597

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Top 10 OSU at CAL – even OSU’s video staff label Larry Scott “The Commish:”

    • Jack says:
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      That’s because he’s the Commish.

    • MonkeyLuven MonkeyLuven says:
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      I have to admit, our video productions have really turned it up a notch this season. We’re producing some high-quality videos every week. That’s gotta be worth something in marketing and recruiting??

      • ObjCritic says:
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        I agree. The quality of the work, and the quickness with which it is published on-line are marked improvements. There are still some head scratchers for me – the orange sparks at the beginning for example; the work sometimes just has the look of just applying some standard effect from a software suite.

        It also seems like the work misses out on opportunities to consistently apply “re-beaved” efforts that were supposed to unify the presentation of OSU athletics – font consistency throughout video? potential application of tartan? Did they really just develop it to use on goal post padding? How about opening the video with the “O!” “Esss!” “Uuuuuu!” chant? Closing with the fight song?

  • ObjCritic says:
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    CFN picking the beavs in an “upset” Saturday:

    http://cfn.scout.com/2/1338921.html

    “…Stanford has more overall balance, but Oregon State’s stars, spurred on by the home crowd, will lead the way to an upset. By the end of the weekend, Mannion and Cooks could be household names well outside of just the West Coast. ”

    A 6’6″ 260-pound OLB?!?

    “- At 6-6 and 261 pounds, Stanford OLB Trent Murphy is one of the few players who can readily affect the line of sight of the 6-5, 220-pound Mannion. Murphy has played at an All-American level this year, racking up team-highs with 10 stops for loss and seven sacks.”

    • mb says:
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      Trent Murphy has an injured wing. Remember, in a 3-4 set, at least one of the lbs is essentially a defensive end. In this case a very good one.

  • Timber2002 says:
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    Just read in Kerry Eggers column that Stanford receiver/tight end Devin Cajuste is NOT expected to play. This is a pretty big deal.

  • scotty says:
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    This is the game to see if we’re for real or not. Go Beavs! 😀

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    Tyler Anderson returned to practice today, per Lindsay. Also, she reports that John Braun is still out but coach Seumalo expects him to be ready to go on Saturday.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2013/10/oregon_state_football_debuts_t.html

  • OStateJake says:
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    OT but let’s just enjoy this little montage from our other favorite Beavers team

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      Great stuff, Jake.
      JRod really established a standard for his position last year, gonna be fun watching Espo fill those shoes ‘n other tools of ignorance!

  • GreatWhiteHunter says:
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    Nice work on the interview, Angry – it’s finally up over on gomightycard.com.

    Hank linked up this website too, and for some reason I’m feeling the need to start proofreading my posts a little more thoroughly knowing that the Cardinal may be crossing over to read the dialogue.

    Meh…fuck it. I’m civil engineer working in the construction industry. We don’t get graded on our linguistics or our writing prowess. And my handle is GreatWhiteHunter.

    • Numbers says:
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      Exactly how I feel. I’m numbers, not letters. I blame apple, ever since I switch to iPads and iPhones, my posts read like a fourth grade flunky.

    • WFO WFO says:
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      Way to live up to the stereotype greatwhitehillbilly ;).

  • HelloBeavers says:
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    Your interview answers reflect a very reasonable observer of Oregon State football. Why can’t you be that way on this site?

  • BeavinTX says:
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    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2013/10/oregon_state_football_debuts_t.html

    “Starting safety Ty Zimmerman and backup linebacker Jabral Johnson, both from Lawton, Okla., were discovered after an Oregon State fan told Riley about them.”

    If I’m reading this correctly, all we have to do to get the staff to recruit an under the radar kid we think looks good is spam their emails.

  • locusimperium says:
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    Angry, well said, my man. Agree with you on more points than not.

  • Jack says:
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    Hmmm… Riley using social media to talk to a certain recruit?
    https://twitter.com/Coach_Riley/status/393401665211994112

    Maybe this is why it’s “hard to recruit to Corvallis?” We all know SAs and their families hate being safe when attending school.
    http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2013/10/24/238882.htm

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    I seriously love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.
    Did you develop this web site yourself? Please
    reply back as I’m trying to create my own website and would love to know where you
    got this from or what the theme is called.
    Appreciate it!

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