WEEK 4: Let's talk Aztecs vs. Beavs

OREGON STATE HITS the road for the second week in a row to square off against San Diego State on Saturday (TV: CBS Sports Network, 4:30 pm) and an old college football bromide might be cause for concern for the Beavs...

The old saying goes something like this: In college football, where a team is dependent on 18, 19 and 20 year old players, winning the second game of back-to-back road games is extremely difficult.

But then again, most college football trends don't seem to have applied to Oregon State in recent years.

San Diego State has not enjoyed the start to the 2013 season. They're winless at 0-2 and have been outscored 82-26.

They haven't been able to run the ball and until the backup quarterback came in, they hadn't done much through the air either. Defensively, the front seven has played below expectations but the secondary has looked especially vulnerable.

Sean Mannion, Brandin Cooks and the rest of the Beaver offense must have been licking their chops in film session this week.

BUT WHAT SDSU does have working in their favor is a veteran coach, Rocky Long, and that they've had two weeks to prepare for Oregon State. OSU, meanwhile, is coming off an exhausting overtime win at Utah.

There's also SDSU running back Adam Muema to consider. He returns after an ankle sprain in Week 1. There are two big questions here: is he healthy and are the bulk of SDSU's ground game problems fixable with him back, or is it more the o-line. Muema rushed for 1,458 yards last season.

Meanwhile, QB Quinn Kaehler is a walk-on from Diablo Valley College. The 6-4, 210-pounder came in off the bench against Ohio State and did fairly well, all things considered. He completed 22-of-36 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown.

Oh, and there's this.

Kaehler is a mobile quarterback.

So you can look at that one of two ways if you're a Beav fan: Oh hell, here we go again -or- Thank you Mr. Scheduler for another opportunity, because now the Beavs have the chance to take care of business against a mobile QB and to put this matter maybe not to rest, but at least over in the corner and out of sight for a while.

SDSU's secondary is breaking in two new starting cornerbacks and the Beavs should take full advanage here and in a number of ways.

Will the Beavs try to establish the run early, though?

If so, it will fall upon the shoulders of Terron Ward (in for Storm Woods, concussion) and the OSU o-line which is still thin and missing two starters.

It's the same o-line as last week against Utah, where they provided good pass protection. But the run game was another story, and has been through the first three games this season.

One school of thought has the Beavs trying to get well against SDSU by going to their run game early and often. The other has the Beavs going to their strength, and SDSU's weakness, and chucking the ball around...and then after OSU gets a good-sized lead, go run heavy.

How that all turns out, that's anyone's guess.

Las Vegas is cautiously optimistic on the Beavs' chances. They started out as a 10-point favorite but that's dropped to 8 points on some lines.

Oregon State at San Diego State
Where: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego

Time: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: CBS Sports Network - Comcast 854; DirecTV 221; Dish Network 158; all channels available in HD. Andrew Catalon, Aaron Taylor and Lauren Gardner on the call.

BeaverBlitz Top Stories