Moore/Canfield rotation around the corner?

It happens every year, in every state and at each level of football from the high school ranks to professional leagues. When a team's offense is struggling, one of the first positions to be scrutinized is the quarterbacks. And with the OSU offense currently ranked eighth overall in the Pac-10 the statistics continue to fuel the fire between Matt Moore and Sean Canfield's playing time.

There is speculation that some members of the football team have lost faith in Moore. With a year of the OSU system under his belt Moore was expected to excel in his senior season, but he has yet to throw for over 200 yards in a game or complete a pass longer than 24 yards. He missed several open receivers against California that could have resulted in big plays or a touchdown.

Several players, including running back Yvenson Bernard and Anthony Wheat-Brown, were visibly frustrated with Moore as they threw their hands up in disgust a couple of times. Despite the frustration from the players, several of the team leaders say Moore is their man.

"Everyone knows that the fan's best friend is the backup quarterback,” senior safety Sabby Piscitelli said. “We have all confidence in Matt. We support him 100%. So, if your talking about that with the fans thing, we know Matt is our player. He is a senior and a great leader. He will get it going.”

Oregon State’s leading receiver Sammie Stroughter agrees with Piscitelli and expects Moore to spark the offense this weekend against Washington State.

"We believe in Matt,” Stroughter said. “Not to downplay Canfield or anything, but Matt is the leader of our football team no matter what. A lot of people are going to say we are losing because of the quarterback, but its not. It is more than that. If you are a football player you see more than that. There is no quarterback controversy. Matt is our guy and he is going to lead us until the coaches feel otherwise."

And the coaches may feel otherwise soon. Before the start of the season head coach Mike Riley stated that he would like to get Canfield into games, when it counts, to prepare for next season. Canfield has yet to play when the game is on the line, but Riley is close to implementing a predetermined rotation between Moore and Canfield.

“I am thinking about a predetermined rotation, but have not made a final decision on that,” Riley said. “I don't mean this as a knock to Matt or that his job is in jeopardy at all. That's not the factor. I think Sean Canfield is getting close to the point, like when another runner or receiver goes into the game, he can play and be a factor for us. And help the whole picture down the road."

Tight end Joe Newton says it doesn’t matter to him weather Moore or Canfield is under center. He is comfortable with both throwing him the pigskin.

"I will be absolutely comfortable no matter who plays,” Newton said. “ It's an absolute pleasure playing with Matt out there. I felt he has done a good job with me so far, but I will stand behind whatever the coaching staff decides."

The bottom line is it is a difficult decision that needs to be well thought out, planned and communicated.

"It is a big decision and it has to be well thought out,” Riley said. “There has to be a reason for it. Maybe for some coaches it is a feel for a game, and then it has to be explained. Every kid has feelings in that regard, but the main thing is communication."

Moore vs. Canfield


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