Time for Beavs to start fast

IF OREGON STATE was ever going to be jacked up for a game, this is it. The seniors got together this week, and players and coaches have answered questions until they're blue in the face and about everything from motivation to execution. They're tired of it. And the best way to ensure they don't have to answer more of those types of questions is to come out onto the field keyed up and flying high.

But if Ryan Katz and the Beaver offense have the ball to start the game, it might be nice to see them start off with something like a misdirection quarterback keeper rather than Katz winging it deep.

When players are too keyed up on offense to open a game, that tends to result in three and outs.

Overthrows, missed assignments and blocks that occur because players are trying to demolish their opposition, these are the things that tend to happen on O when players are too tightly wound to start the game.

A strong case can be made that if Oregon State wins the toss, they might want to defer. See what their defense, one that should unquestionably be bouncing right out of the gate, can do.

And if Mike Riley really wants to get crazy, he might try an onside kick to start the game. Hear me out.

Yes, it is high risk. But the Trojans probably won't be expecting it and if it works, it could be a huge tone setter in the same way the opening play from scrimmage (WSU late hit) worked against Oregon State last week. And if the Beavers should wind up kicking off to start the second half, no matter what the score is at the start of the third quarter, an onsides kick to start the second half could be just the tonic the Beavs need.

Regardless of how the opening sequences play out, Beaver Nation shouldn't have to wait long to see if OSU is in the right place mentally.

If the Beavers are in the right frame of mind, it will show up clearly, very clearly, on the very first few plays. Beavers should be flying around the field, and the hitting should be intense whether OSU is on offense or defense.

All of the early energy will fade eventually but it should be replaced by execution and a still heightened form of physical play – if Oregon State has gotten their swerve back.

It's been overshadowed but DT Stephen Paea has 12 career sacks and needs just one more to break into the top-10 in OSU career list. Paea also has seven forced fumbles in his career, and one more means he takes over first place all time in that category at Oregon State. But LB Dwight Roberson will be trying to beat him to it. He and Paea are tied with three other Beavers on the all-time program list with seven.

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