1. Special Teams
Oregon State has been hurt by their special teams play for the majority of the season. The past three games the kick coverage team has given up 315 yards on 14 kicks for an average of 105 yards per game. At USC the special teams committed almost every mistake in the book when two field goals were blocked, a punt was blocked, and their were several bad snaps. The Beavers must eliminate these miscues to give themselves a chance to win.
2. Contain Casey Kelly
Despite OSU's defense being ranked as one of the best in the Pac-10, the Beavers have had trouble containing mobile quarterbacks all year long. Fresno State's Jeff Grady hurt the Beavers late in Fresno, Ryan Dinwiddie of Boise State gave the Broncos a chance to win and Oregon's Kellen Clemens chewed up the Beavers for 64 yards on 12 carries, with many of his runs picking up first downs. If the men in black can keep Kelly in the pocket and force him to throw into the Beavers excellent secondary, it will spell trouble for the Lobos.
3. No Dropped Passes
Great players make great plays in important games, for examples USC's Mike Williams one-handed grab in the back of the endzone against OSU. The Beavers' receivers need to catch all passes that they get their hands on. This will give themselves confidence, the team confidence, Derek Anderson confidence, and keep the chains moving.
4. Grab the Lead Early
Getting out of the gates is essential for Oregon State. It will demoralize UNM and give the Beavers a jolt of energy and confidence. If the Lobos hang around, OSU could be in trouble.
5. No Dumb Penalties
With eight players on the roster from Las Vegas, the team will have plenty of energy and excitement. The Beavers have been plagued by stupid penalties the entire season. They must keep their emotions, mouths, and bodies in check to avoid 15-yard back breakers.