29.Nov.2013 Civil War Pre Game Thread
Here is my Q&A (his questions/my answers) with Rusty Ryan.
1. What has been the biggest struggles behind the running game this year?
The biggest struggle has been consistency on the line. Guys were hurt early in the year, and they never gelled. Also, Riley has abandoned the run game early in games, and in some games he never tried to establish it. Riley believes in team “identity” (he uses this term all the time). It’s clear he thinks this team’s identity is the passing game, to the extent he doesn’t even try to run.
The greatest strength has been the WR corps. Cooks and Mullaney are both future pros. Caleb Smith is an intriguing tight end, and also a pro prospect if he can stay healthy. The weakness has been the defensive front. The Beavers cannot stop the run at all.
3. If you could fix one problem with the program what would it be, and why?
That’s a tough question. There are many problems, and it’s hard to know the core of them. I would probably change out the athletic director, because the defeatist, woe-is-me attitude around Oregon State starts at the top. Bob DeCarolis is constantly crying poverty and implying this is the best OSU can do. I don’t think that’s a healthy mentality from the guy at the top.
4. Are there common traits of Beaver wins? Does it come down to third-down conversions, not turning the ball over, or running well?
The only common trait has been weak opponents. The Beavers won 6 straight versus bad teams. As the teams improved, the Beavers wilted. Stanford was the defining game this year, and the magnitude of each loss has snowballed since then.
5. What would have to go right for Oregon State to win Friday?
In short, everything. But specifically, I think Oregon will have to turn the ball over 3+ times and the Beavers will have to have long, sustained drives to win the game. My hunch is the Beavers will try to pass and get into a shoot out. That would be a dire strategy. The Ducks are not as physical this year, so I think going into the game with an attitude that they’re going to be the more physical team, and then surprising them with the run game is the only hope. I wouldn’t rule out trick plays if the situation dictates one. My prediction is 52-27 Ducks.