COMMENTARY: Langsdorf answers

CORVALLIS – Questions. Doubts. That's what Oregon State offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf faced all week – can your offense score or not? Can you move the ball? At all? Well, Saturday night in front of 44,969 at Reser Stadium against No. 20 USC, Langsdorf answered in a big way.

Establishing RB Jacquizz Rodgers was the priority early for Langsdorf -- Quizz got the ball four out of the first six plays. It was quite the difference to many OSU fans who thought Quizz hadn't received it enough the past two weeks.

What was the difference from last week's debacle against Washington State?

"I think it was just the attitude in practice. They say you practice how you play, and this week we had a great week of practice," said QB Ryan Katz.

If this game indicated how hard the Beavers had practiced then was Katz ever right, because at the half, OSU led 20-0 and it was very reminiscent of the 2008 game when OSU upset than No. 1 ranked USC at Reser.

OSU went into the half with 172 total yards and 76 on the ground. Quizz had 12 carries for 71 yards and five catches for 48 yards at the break.

"It takes a lot pressure off the defense when the offense is putting up points like that," said CB Jordan Poyer.

Coming into the second half with such a big lead made many ponder if USC could make their signature comeback attempt that they've been known for in the past..

But Langsdorf and the offense were having none of it -- unlike the last two weeks, the offensive line was opening holes for Quizz and giving Katz plenty of time in the pocket.

BY THE END of the third quarter OSU was leading 23-7, and Quizz had rushed for 100 yards on just 19 carries. OSU won that third quarter not by scoring points but by simply holding onto the ball.

OSU had 8:29 of time of possession opposed to USC's 6:31 in the quarter. For the game, OSU led 32:28 to 27:32.

Coming into the game senior OL Alex Linnenkohl said that Riley told the players to play like they would be ahead at halftime.

"The main point was to not be surprised if you're ahead but remember that you're going to have to finish it, you're going to have to play 60 minutes against these guys," he said.

And they did.

In past games this season, the Beavers have kind of trailed off in the fourth quarter, especially when they've had a lead, but Saturday night proved to be something different.

Traditionally against the Trojans, OSU has let them back into ball games, especially in the fourth quarter. But this time, coach Langsdorf wanted to go full throttle.

Going into the final 15 minutes, OSU lead 23-7, yet the Beavers played like they were down 14. Langsdorf established Quizz, and spread the ball all over the field with Katz.

OSU scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, both of which were touchdown passes by Ryan Katz. The second TD strike came with 2:01 remaining in the game, when OSU already had a comfortable lead.

It was a killer instinct that Beaver Nation has yet to see this year, and one that 44,969 liked.

Katz finished 17-of-24 for 154 yards with two touchdowns. Quizz had 26 carries for 136 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Markus Wheaton again played like a senior and had five catches for 40 yards and six rushes for 63 yards.

BUT THIS WAS truly a day for Langsdorf to silence the critics. Some went in wondering if Langsdorf's offense could score, and most left knowing that it could.

Now Beaver Nation has to hope Langsdorf and the rest of the Beavers go into next Saturday's Stanford game with the same chip on their shoulders.

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