OA's keys to the Idaho game

Well, Beaver fans, here we are. It's been two weeks and one day since the Beavers went into Boise and were beaten like a Palestinian in a synagogue wearing a "Allah rules, Moses drools" t-shirt. We've had two weeks off to mourn, argue about whether or not the team quit, point fingers, and generally do what most fans do when the team loses in a blowout: Play Chicken Little.

Well Chicken Little, it's time for Hurricane Dennis. If the sky really is falling, we'll know when the Idaho game is over. Oregon State enters as a 22.5 point favorite, and the consensus in Vegas seems to be that if OSU bothers to show up at all, they'll win in a walk.

Whatever you do, and no matter what football god you pray to this weekend, make sure you stand up and give St. Dennis a standing ovation when Idaho comes into the stadium. We all need to remind Coach Erickson just how much we appreciate what he did for us here in Cornvalley.

And now on to the keys to the game:

1 - Stop The Run.
This cannot be over-emphasized. Idaho put a scare into Michigan State by having some success running the ball. The Vandals are going to throw the ball 35-40 times on Saturday, and they're going to go deep but their wide receivers are suspect and OSU's secondary SHOULD be able to keep them in check in single coverage. Follow Washington State's example of stuffing the run and the Beavs will stay in the driver's seat.


2 - Keep the Turnover Ratio Positive.
Inopportune turnovers against Idaho will keep them in the game, and will give Idaho a chance to steal one away. Yvenson needs to keep the ball covered up and Matt needs to go through a progression or two to keep the Mike backer in the zone from drifting over to pick one off.


3 - Special Teams Dominance.
Sammie Stroughter just needs one more punt returned for paydirt to tie an NCAA record for consecutive PR TD's. Loomis improved a BUSHEL from week one and will probably continue to do so. Winning the Special Teams battle will go a long way towards keeping Idaho from getting any momentum.


Reviewing last week's keys:

  1. Keep Zabransky planted into the turf: If I was grading this key for last week, I'd say it was a D-minus. Z was sacked 3 times but rushed 10 times for 22 yards and had entirely too much time to complete 8 of 13 passes.
  2. Keep Boise's offense on the sidelines: F-minus. Boise owned the trenches on both sides of the ball. Matt was sacked 5 times and Canfield was sacked once as well.
  3. Keep Quinton Jones from going yard: A. Jones had one KR for 22 yards, and 2 PR for 17 yards, an average of 8.5 yards per return (long 12). Special teams was really the lone bright spot for OSU, aside from Serna's botched field goal attempt. Loomis had a long of 52 and his average rose significantly from week one. Good job Coach Reed.


Today's Stat of the Week:

Bruce Reed is earning his paycheck these days. The number kick returner in the Pac-10 is Coye Francies (29.7 yard average, long 37) and the number punt returner in the Pac-10 is Sammie Stroughter (31.4 yard average, long 64).

Go Sammie Go.


OrangeAttack can be reached at orangeattack@beaverfootball.com.

BeaverBlitz Top Stories