Led by sophomore quarterback Matt Moore, a transfer from UCLA, the Beavers passing attack ranks 7th in the NCAA. In a 30-27 win over Boise State last Saturday, Moore completed 27-38 passes for 279 yards and one touchdowns in a driving rainstorm that also produced hail.
Making just his third start for Mike Riley's team, Moore figures to challenge a Louisville secondary that gave up 278 yards and several big plays through the air against Kentucky.
"They're a very good football team," Petrino said of the Beavers. "They have a new quarterback that's completing close to 70-percent of his passes. He's only starting his third game at Oregon State but he looks very experienced and he's a good athlete that can run."
Oregon State quarterback Matt
Moore threw for nearly
300 yards last Saturday in
a 30-27 win over Boise State.
"He plays much bigger than (his size)," Petrino said. "He looks much more physical and stronger and we're going to have to do a really good job of containing him."
But containing Hass, much less shutting him down, might prove easier said than done, especially for a secondary that ranks 97th in the nation against the pass. Hass was nearly super-human against Boise State, catching 11 passes for 178 yards and one touchdown.
"I don't know if you can ever shut down a guy with that much talent and that much knowledge to play the game," Petrino said. "We need to be able to contain him and understand where he is on each snap, and recognize how they'll try to use him on third down."
Petrino also said his defense worked hard last week to correct some of the mistakes they made in the season-opener.
"We worked real hard at playing the ball in the air and tightening up our coverage," Petrino said. "One of the things we worked the most on was improving our communication defensively so we don't have errors out there on the field. We didn't communicate well enough against Kentucky to where everybody understood what the call and their responsibility was."
And while Petrino doesn't expect much of a ground assault from Oregon State, the Louisville coach says that's not because the Beavers lack talent at running back.
"Right now they're more of a passing team," he said. "They've been throwing the ball a lot and doing very well with it. They do have two very good running backs who are very quick, they just don't run the ball all that much."
Besides finding a way to slow Hass, and improve their coverage in the secondary, Petrino said it will be important for his defensive line to have another strong performance this weekend.
"We going to have to keep our defensive line fresh to rush this passer because they're going to continue to throw the ball," said Petrino. "They might throw it seven or eight times in a row. So we'll have to keep our guys fresh in there."
If the Cardinals defensive line can pressure Moore consistently, and find a way to contain Hass, U of L's fortunes against Oregon State would improve greatly.