Q&A with Beav d-coordinator Mark Banker

CORVALLIS –What will it take to stop ASU running back Marion Grice? Plus, why does Utah film play an unusually large role in planning for this game -- on both offense and defense? Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker offers an assortment of thoughts and observations on Arizona State headed into Saturday night's tilt (TV: Pac-12 Networks, 6:30 p.m.) in the desert.

BF.C: Outside of Taylor Kelly and the fact that he is a mobile quarterback, you've got three pretty decent running backs to contend with in Tempe this Saturday. How do things change when you start having to account for multiple threats out of the backfield, instead of say, just one ‘big time' running back, such as Stanford's Tyler Gaffney?

Mark Banker: Well the good news is they can only have one on the field at a time. It doesn't matter who the person is, you still have to be sound in execution. It's a big plus for them if they have three guys that they can hand off to and get the same output.

BF.C: The only time Marion Grice (737 yards, 5.3 YPC average and 12 rushing TD's) did not rush for a touchdown was against Utah. In watching any of the Utah film, did you see anything you can use?

Banker: Grice did not have a good game. At times I thought that maybe there might have been something wrong with him injury-wise. Then towards the latter part of the game, (Utah) stacked the box up on him and he made a nice lateral move and just took off the edge. He didn't look hurt at that point in time. But Utah just plays good defense. They are very solid inside, they've got a good defensive line, and it just wasn't (Grice's) day.

BF.C: You've had a bye week. Do you sense any rust accumulating, particularly on some of your young linebackers that have been thrust into starting roles in Caleb Saulo and Rommel Mageo?

Banker: No. We had three good practices last week… You can only hope that they are gaining experience as time goes by and that they are more game-ready.

BF.C: Back to Kelly one last time given some of the challenges the Beavs have had with running quarterbacks. Have you gone back and looked at the second half film from the Utah game earlier this season for another refresher course?

Banker: I watched the Utah game specifically this weekend where we had a bye week -- probably about five times. And then a similarity – Colorado. Now, they didn't have, per say, a running athletic quarterback, but the elements were there. So just looking at what we did and how we were going to defend that.


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