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This week's Keys To The Game for the OSU-Cal matchup.
1 – Pick up the Blitz: Cal's defense has done their part, when they've been successful, by using a dial-a-blitz game plan. But aside from the UW game in Seattle, OSU has been adept at picking up the blitz and Ryan Katz has used his feet to make defenses pay for not being disciplined in their leverage and contain. This is a big, big factor in the game this weekend.
2 - Gamble A Little, Dock. OSU's defense is going to give up some yards and Kevin Riley has the physical tools but he's been erratic and made bad decisions his entire career at Cal. The opportunities to go get a pick are going to be there. The Beavs need to capitalize on them, and James Dockery has a penchant for making the pick.
3 – Chicks Dig The Long Ball. When OSU has been at their best this year, Katz was dialed in on the deep ball. Early strikes set the tone, force the defense out of the box, and get Jacquizz Rodgers some room to breathe. The Ryan Katz-to-Markus Wheaton connection was oh so close last week, and would have opened up the game. Big plays break the backs of defenses, get the blitz pulled back and the box less clogged.
Reviewing the Keys to the UW game (Do we HAVE to? Sigh)
1 – Keep Jake Locker Bottled Up. Locker had 12 rushes for 60 yards. This in spite of having very few designed running plays called for Mel Kiper's favorite fair-haired boy. Locker did get sacked twice, but too frequently he was able to move around and make plays on the run. To be fair, aside from the initial burst of points from the Huskies, he was fairly well contained for the rest of regulation. Still not good. Grade: D
2 – Run the Dang Ball. Quizz carried the ball 32 times, rushed for 140 yards and 3 scores and also had 4 receptions to boot, most of which were really extended running plays. However, Quizz had fewer carries in the fourth when the game was there for the taking, and there were two OT periods in that mix, and therefore more carries total, and that takes some of the shine off of it – as does the fact no other RB on the Beavs carried the ball. Grade: B-
3 – Win the turnover battle. Three turnovers apiece – call it a draw. A painful, soul-rending draw.. but this key is a pass/fail item and as Ricky Bobby would say, if you aren't winning, you're losing. It doesn't deserve an F grade, but three interceptions certainly doesn't get you a C. Grade: D
Get well, James Rodgers.
Comments? Questions? Your worthy attempt to break into the next mailbag article? Send your emails to: Orangeattack@beaverfootball.com
BF.C KEYS TO THE GAME: California
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