BF.C KEYS: Oregon State vs. BYU

FOLLOWING OSU'S WIN over ‘Zona, life was at least 5 to 7 percent better for Beaver fans on Sunday. The grass was greener, the sun shone a little brighter, the birds started singing again - and just in time for a little Vegas Bowl retribution, the Beavers welcome back an old friend.

Mighty ‘Mo.

BYU enters Corvallis this weekend with a 4-2 record but really, they're very similar to this Oregon State (1-4) team. They're young, they have a new starter at quarterback who has bumped out an incumbent who had a lot of fanfare before the season started -- and the team as a whole is very much a work in progress.

Much like last weekend's tilt against Arizona, this game is a winnable contest for the Beavers. BYU's Riley Nelson has an added dimension in that he is a mobile quarterback, which is something the Beavers will need to account for - and Nelson is capable of moving the Cougar offense. But he is equally capable of committing freshman mistakes and turning the ball over, especially when pressured.

OSU QB Sean Mannion had a "light bulb" type game last week, and will look to build on that. In particular, the developing chemistry with Joe Halahuni, who is shaking off the rust nicely, is a thing of beauty to watch. Guard Josh Andrews should be returning to the football field for some limited playing time, although Grant Enger has done an admirable job in Juice's absence.

All good things, and things to feel good about, for Oregon State. And here's how the Beavers can make this Sunday morning 6 to 8 percent better.

1 - Lane Discipline. OSU DE Scott Crichton has been terrific so far this season and has expressed his eagerness to chase down the mobile Nelson instead of seeing the ball get out before he can get there. The key is for Crichton, Taylor Henry, Dylan Wynn, Rusty Fernando and crew to get to Nelson -- but make sure they don't lose contain.

2 - Reading is Fundamental. How OSU center Grant Johnson reads the Cougar's 3-4 defensive look and makes his line calls correctly, and how the OSU line executes, will determine how much success OSU has against BYU's jumbo front. The Cougars mix up where the pressure comes from and OSU will need to be up to the task.

3 - Win the Turnover Battle. BYU is going to turn the ball over. At times they have been downright turnover prone, and there's no reason to think that won't be the case this weekend as well. Nelson doesn't have a great arm and the suddenly ball-hawking Beaver defense needs to take advantage, while being careful not to return the favor. OSU's offense needs to be sure and score points off those turnovers.

By the way, I hear there will be one heck of a party in DearLeader's Secret Lair if the Beavers notch another victory this week.

BeaverBlitz Top Stories