'We have to be more tough-minded'

2,000 yards, the offensive line has its work cut out...Moore vs. Canfield...injury report...post game news, notes and quotes from Oregon State's 42-17 loss to Boise State Sept. 7.

Play of the game.
Down 14 points and badly in need of a touchdown to stop the 28-point outburst by Boise State, the OSU defense forced the Broncos to punt on their first second half possession. The Oregon State offense proceeded to drive 70 yards to the Boise State 14-yard line where they faced second and five.

The offensive line opened a huge hole in the middle of the field for RB Yvenson Bernard and it looked like Oregon State would cut the lead to seven. But DL Andrew Browning stuck his arm out, tripping up Bernard preventing him for the score and an important first down. This was the start of a series of events that put the nails in the Men in Black's coffin.

On third and three OSU ran play action and QB Matt Moore was sacked. On the next play PK Alexis Serna missed a 36-yard field goal as the wind blew it wide left. The defense held the next series but the Broncos pinned the Beavers on their own one-yard line. Bernard fumbled, the second time in as many games, after the Beavs picked up a first down and on the next play RB Ian Johnson ran 19 yards for a three touchdown lead.


Players of the game.
- Kyle DeVan. The mobile center did a nice job of pulling and getting out in front of Bernard to clear the way.

Defense - While the entire defense played well a week ago, it was difficult to single out any one player that excelled against the Broncos.  One person that caught many people's eyes was Curtis Coker who was in the BSU backfield early and often.  The Broncos had to change their defense throwing two guys his way.  It's just too bad no one else on the line stepped up.

Special teams - For the second consecutive week Sammie Stroughter returned a punt for a touchdown.  This time he reversed the field slipping four tackles in route to a 64 yard scoring jaunt. See the notes for below on his chances for rewriting the OSU record books.


Return of the big play already.
As you unfortunately already know, the Beavers gave up over 60 plays of 25 yards or longer a year ago.  Most of them came through the air, but Thursday night the damage was mostly done on the ground. The Beaver defense game up 12 running plays that went for 10 or more yards. On the season the defense has given up five plays that have gone for 25 or more yards putting them on pace to meet last year's big play total.


Stop the mo.
It is a disturbing trend. The Oregon State football team giving up points in a bunch, all on the road. Here's the data:

  • at Boise State - 42 unanswered
  • at Oregon - 21 unanswered, twice
  • at UCLA - 24 unanswered
  • at Arizona State - 21 unanswered
  • at Louisville - 42 unanswered


2,000 is a long shot.
Before the start of the season the offensive line had a goal of getting Bernard 2,000 yards.  The Florida native would have to average 153.3 yards per game.  Through two he has a total of 213 yards for an average of 106.5 per game and a respectable 5.0 yards per carry.

Bernard needs 1,787 more yards to reach 2,000 which would be 162.5 per game. If Bernard is averaging 162.5 yards per game during the Pac-10 season, then the Boise State game would have been a turning point for a great season.


Special teams a plus.
Special teams play continued to excel as the punt return group did another fine job. Coye Francies looked great returning kickoffs returning two for 64 yards, with a long of 37. Punter Kyle Loomis improved booting five for a 37.0 average. The coverage teams limited the dangerous Quinton Jones to just 17 yards on two punt returns and 22 yards on one kickoff return.


Strougther set to assault OSU record books.
It's been several years, since T.J. Housmanzadeh in 2000, that the Beavers have had a playmaker returning punts. I looked in the media guide and did not find who is the career leader for touchdowns at Oregon State, but did find that, if Stroughter continues his ways, he will shatter several OSU punt return records.

None of the punt return leaders in the record books returned multiple punts for a touchdown in their careers. The Beavers returned two punts for touchdowns in 1949 versus Montana. Stroughter's career numbers are 59 returns for 522 yards (8.8 avg) and two touchdowns. This season he has returned five punts for 157 yards (31.4 avg) and two touchdowns. Here is how the record books look right now.

  • Individual punt return average career - Dwayne Owens (1990, 92) - 18, 211 yards, 11.3, one touchdown
  • Individual punt return average season - Dick Gray (1949) 10 for 188 yards 18.8 average, 0 touchdowns
  • Most punt return yards career - Jim Lilly (1970-72), 834
  • Most punt return yards season - Jim Lilly (1972), 359
  • Most punt return yards game - Larry Rich (1968, Iowa), 121


Wacky sky.
In Corvallis it was quarter sized hail, followed by rain, followed by sunshine.  In Boise it was smoky skies with thunder and lightning. The smoky skies were due to nearby wild fires that forced the Idaho Department of Environment to issue a red air quality alert for the second straight day.


Injury report.

  • CB Brandon Hughes sat out but is expected to play against Idaho
  • QB Sean Canfield bruised his left calf and will not miss any time
  • SS Sabby Piscitelli suffered a minor concussion but is not expected to miss any time
  • LG Jeremy Perry had arthoscopic knee surgery Friday and is expected to play against Idaho
  • LB Bryant Cornell suffered an arm injury but returned to play in the game and is not expected to miss any time


Additional notes.

  • PK Alexis Serna is 0 for 2 on the season after missing a 36 yard attempt in the third quarter.  Dating back to last season, after making 18 consecutive field goals Serna has missed five of his last seven. Serna has never missed three field goals in a row. "It's a tough way to start for Alexis but it's just part of the whole picture of where we are right now. He'll come back," Riley said.
  • The Beaver-Bronco rivalry will resume in 2009 in Corvallis and in 2010 in Boise.

  • The NCAA allows teams to add walk-ons after the first game of the season. Here is the first batch, and they are all freshmen: No. 22 S Shane Cavanaugh (Corvallis High), No. 40 S Daniel Klobes (Scappoose), No. 44 LB Darnley Weekes (Vancouver, Wash.), No. 54 OL Steven Rodenhurst (Kailua, Hawaii) and No. 88 WR Lahaina Olsen-Kuroda (Aiea, Hawaii). Cavanaugh is the son of OL coach Mike Cavanaugh.
  • The Broncos gained 407 total yards, 302 on the ground. BSU threw just 15 times for 97 yards.

  • The Beavers had six three and outs.

  • The longest OSU passing play of night belonged to punter Kyle Loomis who hit Daniel Drayton for a 27 yard gain on a faked punt in the first quarter.

  • WR Sammie Stroughter led all receivers with six catches for 74 yards. The other starting receivers Anthony Wheat-Brown and Brandon Powers didn't get their first reception until fourth quarter when Sean Canfield entered the game. Each quarterback completed passes to three different receivers Moore (Newton, Bernard, Stroughter); Canfield (Powers, Wheat-Brown, Bernard). Moore finished 12 of 17 for 116 yards and one touchdown and one interception. Canfield finished 7 of 11 for 63 yards.

  • CB Coye Francies had several bone jarring hits.

  • LB Derrick Doggett led all tacklers with 13 stops, LB Alan Darlin added 7, while CB Coye Francies and LB Joey LaRocque each added five a piece.

  • Bronco RB Ian Johnson's five rushing touchdowns most allowed by Beavers since ASU's Ben Malone rushed for five in a 1973 game at Portland

  • OSU has lost five straight nonconference regular-season road games.

  • In past two games at Boise State, Oregon State has given up 95 points and 899 yards and allowed 76 unanswered points in the two losses.

  • The box score says the offensive line gave up six sacks, but that is a little misleading as Moore had trouble getting rid of the ball quickly.

  • Oregon State averaged 3.6 yards per play and converted just 3 of 12 third downs.

  • Boise States only wins against the PAC-10 are against Oregon State.

  • After the Beavers opening drive they managed just seven total offensive yards their next four drives.

  • In the last five games the Beaver defense had given up a total of 262 rushing yards. Against Boise State gave up 302 yards on the ground.


Coach Mike Riley.
(On the game) "It was way too much like a couple years ago and very disappointing. I give a lot of credit to Boise State, they were resilient early and they just kept coming. They did a great job. I knew 14-0 wasn't the answer. I was pleased with the momentum we had for a short time, but it seems like when they got that interception and he (Johnson) got that big first run, they just kept going. But when they got the first big run, it really sparked them."

(On who to blame) "It pretty much looked like a team defensive deal, there's no doubt about that. Everyone plays a role, and when people gain yards, it's probably more than one person's responsibility, especially when they are big yards. We'll look at that and give our kids a chance to get better. They came in a different fashion from a year ago. It was the deep ball, and tonight it was the long runs. We've just got to be sound."

(On what went wrong) "We were not coming off the blocks very well, basically missing assignments. It's not the system. No matter what system you are playing, you've got to take care of the details within the system. We have to get better as a whole defensive unit, the containment of long runs by the secondary, filling of the gaps by the linebackers and filling of initial gaps by the defensive line."

(On Ian Johnson) "I think he's good and he certainly is fast. Their blocking was crisp and we didn't defeat blockers very well. They were pretty relentless with the run. I don't when we've had that many (yards) against us before."

(On the fake punt) “I didn’t see his eyes when it was called, but I just told (special teams coordinator) Bruce Read to call it, and he did a good job. He’s going to be fine as a punter. He’s going to get better.”

(On halftime) "At halftime, I was really encouraged by what might still be. We had a good drive right off the bat that ended in no points, or we could have cut it closer. We've certainly got to be more tough-minded than ever right now. I mean, that's going to be our key coming back, because this is quite a derailing. I know our guys were working with our kids a lot at halftime, trying to shore some things up. But sometimes that momentum gets going and it's hard to put a stop to it. I think that's what happened."

(On what he told his team) "I told our guys, the bad news is we played badly with a great opportunity (for exposure), and the good news is, we're better than that.

(On fixing the mistakes) "What you do is, you just go back to work. It might be good we have a bye so we can just practice and not have a game on top of us. I'm thinking that's a good thing right now, to kind of get some distance between us and the (Boise State) game, which was bad. We get four extra days of practice next week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) and it will do us good. We need to talk about the details of what to do, to finish plays correctly, angles on defense, and efficiency, quickness and details on offense."

"We need to be balanced. We've got to be able to stretch the field better than we are doing. We must be more consistent running the ball, more consistent in the intermediate passing game and we still are not good on third down yet (8-of-24 in two games)."

(On OSU trash talking) "When I went out on the field, there might have been some stuff going on. Somebody told me about both teams jawing at each other before pregame warmups. I immediately tried to find out what that was and get our guys out of it. I don't know any more than that. Certainly, I don't condone it from our end, if it was going on. But the way it was related to me, it was a two-way street."

"I couldn't say anything about that right now, I'm just looking forward to getting back to work. After a game like that I'd like to practice and keep going. I feel good about this group coming back and working."

(On bouncing back) "I think we have a pretty good team that way. It's a great lesson about this kind of ballgame. We have to be more tough-minded than ever. That's a key coming back. This was quite a derailing. Our biggest job right now is to get some confidence back, and get some attitude back. It comes down to individual character. Every time you go through stuff, you learn from it. We have to draw on that, hopefully we can use it the next time. Hopefully, we learned a big lesson about how tough you have to be whether you're behind or ahead, and we were both."


WR Sammie Stroughter.
(On the big loss) "We are going to deal with adversity sometimes, but we have to step through it even though it's tough. We know what losing tastes like, and we have to go back to the drawing board and get better so we don’t taste this again."

(On his punt return for a TD) “Our punt return group takes pride in what we are doing. We know special teams can play a big part of the game. We can break open games and make a difference. It’s not about me. I wouldn’t be able to do any of that if it wasn’t for the guys blocking for me.”

(On the game) "We hurt ourselves. No disrespect to Boise State, but we went up 14-0 and started thinking we were untouchable. We've got to learn to stay focused. We were always on the short end of the field on defense. We fell apart from there.


QB Matt Moore.
(On the game) "I was feeling good, everybody was feeling good. But that's why this game is so great. It can change just like that. Then it's a matter of how you deal with the adversity. They picked up their tempo a lot. We kind of did what we wanted to on that first drive, but we come out again, and they're just flying around, getting to the holes before Yvenson was, just playing fast."

(On Boise St. gaining momentum) "They really didn't change anything. They brought some pressure late in the game. On film we saw what they brought and our execution wasn't there. They got hot, and that's a darn good football team. They executed well and scored quick. We went three-and-out and couldn't move the ball, that's not a good combo. That happened a bunch."

(On Hall's pick) "Hall is the leader of that defense; he's a stud, a big-time player and he made a nice play. I guess it's not good to be up 14 points in this stadium."

(On fixing the mistakes) "I just think we need to tighten it up a little bit and be sharp at practice. We just have to get better. You just have to move on. Our motto is the next game is the most important one. That’s just the way we have to be. We have to let it go and get ready for Idaho."

DE Jeff Van Orsow
(On the game) "It was just big plays. We knew they were good. I don't know what we could have done. It was bad tackling. It started to go their way, and it all fell apart. We had bad tackling and didn't swarm to the football like we did last week."

(On the rest of the season) I think we are going to come together. The ball game didn’t go our way. We are still a team. We have the bye week to recover, and then go for a 12-game season."

(On how to improve) "Wrap up and tackle. That was the basic point -- toughness. We had to show we were tougher than them, and it didn't happen."


S Sabby Piscitelli
(On the game) "You have to tip your hat to Boise State, and you can't make excuses. We have to watch the film and get better. We didn't execute our assignments. We didn't play the way we should have. You have to finish in college football. We started out well but we just didn't finish. We just didn't play as well as we should have played. We should know that from the last three games with guys. There's no excuse. The Oregon State defense didn't show up to play. It wasn't that we were flat. It's just that the momentum started changing and we didn't get it back. That was the biggest thing. Defensively, we need to keep the momentum up. You can't let offenses get on rolls like that."

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