OA's keys to the Stanford game

For the love of Sweet Jehova...what in the world was that? Not only did Arizona pull off a victory that was every bit as shocking as Oregon State's ambush of USC, but every favored team in the Pac-10 took a dive except the Trojans. It was a Bizarro Pac-10 week.

And now in the wacky aftermath, for the first week since the season began, TBB's Pole of Power has 10 teams. Welcome to the Pac-10 Stanford. You blew it. Big Time. You tanked it when you were just this close to immortality.

You blew the opportunity to put your mark in the record books and be the very first Pac-10 team to go 0-12. You blew the nation's second longest losing streak, at 11 games straight. You had gone over a month without scoring an offensive touchdown, until the fourth quarter when you took a little screen pass to the house.

And worst of all, and most unforgivable, you destroyed Washington's bowl hopes and officially saved Gordo a thousand bucks.

VERY disappointing, Stanford.

And now on to the keys to the game:

  1. Ball Security.
    The blueprint for Stanford to win this game includes taking advantage of several inopportune turnovers by the Beavers. That means Matt needs to slide to avoid the hit so there is no opportunity to jar the ball loose. That means the running backs need to cover up the rock, even at the expense of grinding for just one more yard. Do this and a Beaver victory is almost a certainty.

     
  2. Be All Business.
    This week is not about getting fired up emotionally, about wanting it more than they do. This week is about cold, calculating, execution. Keep the trash talking to a minimum and limit dumb penalties. Play in position, wrap up, get the job done and get bowl-worthy.

     
  3. Save Something For Next Week.
    Get out in front and then keep a lid on it. Substitute liberally for our starters (Especially Bernard) so that we come in rested and ready against Oregon, who will be coming off a meat-grinder (back-to-back games against SC and Arizona).


Grading the keys from last week:

  1. Control Chris Markey, Control the Bruins - Not bad overall. OSU's defense really played a pretty good game, limiting Markey to three receptions for 11 yards and 84 yards on 23 carries. Markey also never hit pay dirt. Grade: B

     
  2. Keep Matt Cool, Calm and Collected - Moore was sacked six times, but I doubt that when Coach Cav took a look at the game film he graded all of them as sacks allowed by the offensive line. The offensive line deserves a passing grade, but only barely. They did not dominate the Bruin defensive line by any stretch. Grade: C-

     
  3. Run the Ball with Authority â€" Here the Beavers did not grade well at all. Yvenson and Polk are clearly nowhere near 100%, and YB's YPC average landed at 3.4, while Polk averaged just 3.9 yards per carry with just 25 touches between them. Considering that UCLA was generally playing cover 8 on defense, this stat looks even worse. Not a good night for the Oregon State running game. Grade: D-
     

Side notes: Receiver Anthony Wheat Brown has reportedly been grounded for the Stanford game for an unspecified violation of team rules. The last time the Beavers traveled to Palo Alto, AWB was also MIA, leading the tinfoil hat crowd to conclude that Anthony either really has a strong distaste for all things Hyphy and Thizz, or he owes some money to a bunch of big, bad preppy bookies (credit to Rory Hunt for that joke).

On the plus side, it appears that Ruben Jackson will be silencing the black-helicopter crowd by starting in this game, dispelling the notion that his absence could be anything other than injury-related. This will be Jackson's first career start at Oregon State.

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