Spring preview '07 - Quarterbacks

Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao are set to compete for the starting spot in 2007. BF.com takes a look at the good, the bad, and the question heading into spring camp.

- Quarterbacks -

 

- The good -

For the first time under Mike Riley a prep quarterback that he and his staff recruited and have taught for the last two seasons is slated to take the reins of the offense. Sophomore Sean Canfield redshirted in 2005 and competed with Matt Moore for the starting spot in spring and fall drills of 2006.

With his two plus years in Corvallis he is comfortable with his teammates, his coaches and, despite being an underclassman, is ready and willing to lead the team. His fine leadership skills were displayed early in '06 when he publicly and privately supported Moore, even though it may have been tempting to say it was his time.

Compared to Jonathan Smith, Derek Anderson and Moore, whom Riley each coached for only two years, Canfield has one huge advantage that could lead to success quickly. The southpaw has a thorough understanding of the system and has developed a relationship with several of the receivers, including many of the returning starters.

Canfield 2006 StatisticsRiley spends a good chunk of his time focusing on the quarterbacks during spring and fall camps and he has a good track record of developing quarterbacks. Canfield should hit the ground running this April and if his skills develop as well as Anderson and Moore's did in just two years, Beaver Nation could experience some of the winningest times in school history soon.

Canfield received valuable experience last year, mostly in mop up time, playing in eight games completing 28 of 45 (62.2%) for 335 yards with two interceptions and three touchdowns, two through the air and one on the ground. He did get into the Washington and Arizona State games when it counted and looked nervous, to say the least, not completing any of his seven attempts while throwing one interception.

But, Canfield has not been give the starting quarterbacking spot, although many feel it's his to lose. Canfield's primary challenger will be the Lyle Moevao, who redshirt last year after playing at El Camino College in 2005 where he completed 167 of 267 passes for 2,652 yards and 29 touchdowns with only nine interceptions.

Moevao arrived in Corvallis in August of 2006 where he, understandably, struggled in fall camp as he learned the offense while starting to build a rapport with the receivers. After running the scout team for most of 2006 and receiving just as many repetitions as Canfield, Moevao is progressing nicely and has impressed the coaches and defensive players.

He is by far the most mobile of the quarterbacks who can turn broken plays into positive yardage. Think of Terrance

Bryant's (1998-99) scrambling ability, but a far better passer. Moevao doesn't have as nice of a deep ball as Canfield's,

but has a strong enough arm to make the difficult completions on the outs and curls.

Did you know?

Moevao played defensive end in high school at North Torrance High.

Moevao is at a disadvantage as he does not have a much experience in the system as Canfield, but the coaches did not bring in him to sit on the bench. They expect him to give Canfield a run for his money.

The good is that both quarterbacks have been in the system for at least a year and are comfortable with their teammates and coaches. Both are also surrounded by several strong players on offense - receiver Sammie Stroughter, running back Yvenson Bernard and right guard Jeremy Perry, just to name a few - who will make their life easier by taking some of the offensive load.

Look for Canfield and Moevao to get equal snaps throughout spring camp as the coaches evaluate their performance. Most likely a starter will not be named until halfway through fall camp in August.

 

- The bad -

Nothing can replace a Pac-10 quarterback's understanding of an offensive system, their relationship with the receivers, their experience from playing several seasons and their leadership skills - four key factors that Moore possessed helping the Beavers to a 10-win season and numerous land mark victories.

His statistics in the last nine games of his career tell the story. Moore completed 158 of 255 (62%) passes for 2,240 yards with 14 touchdowns and just four interceptions. During that same time frame he completed 182 consecutive passes without an interception breaking the school record.

Canfield has limited game experience with just over 50 snaps under his belt and could struggle early. How he handles adversity and how he reacts after throwing an interception or fumbling the ball will be key, but he had a great teacher in Moore who always kept a positive outlook, no matter the circumstances.

2006 QB OSU Statistics

 

- The question -

Will Canfield or Moevao distinguish themselves from the other and take command of the first team offense in the spring?

 

- Riley says -

On Canfield - “Sean certainly possesses a lot of qualities you look for in a quarterback. The key is to get him repetitions and make him feel comfortable with the offense and the personnel around him. He will be a very good quarterback before his career is over."

On Moevao - “The quarterback job is open. Moevao has some physical abilities and a competitive fire that make him an intriguing possibility. We wouldn’t have brought Lyle into the program if we didn’t think he had a chance to make significant contributions.”

 

- BF.com says -

Experience means a ton, and, despite Canfield only playing in eight games his time in the OSU system working closely with Riley and Danny Langsdorf will pay dividends in 2007 and beyond. Canfield will be named the starter, but that doesn't mean that Moevao is going to be shoved out of the picture.

Did you know?

Canfield is right-handed in everything, except ping pong and football.

Moevao's mobility is a very attractive option in short yardage, goal line and red zone situations. In the Gators march to the 2006 championship, the University of Florida used Chris Leak as the every down quarterback and freshman Tim Tebow in third down and/or goal line situations, where they took advantage of his versatility to keep the defense off keel. Moevao could be used in the same capacity.

On the other hand, they need to keep Moevao healthy in case Canfield gets injured because after Moevao and Canfield it is slim pickings.

 

- Keep your eye on -

Sean Canfield - expectations run the gamete with this California native; obviously he has the physical tools to succeed, but can he maintain an even keel if he struggles or doesn't perform up to expectations? After seeing how Beaver Nation reacted when Moore struggled in early 2006, the pressure to succeed is enormous to keep the boo birds off his back.

 

- The roster -

  • Sophomore Sean Canfield (6-2, 225) - the heir apparent to a new age in OSU football...throws a beautiful long ball...left handed athlete who has been in the system for over two years...confident and ready to lead...good mobility in the pocket which can buy a couple of seconds...full understanding of the offense...still working on his relationship with the entire offense...primarily a drop back pocket passer.

  • Sophomore Lyle Moevao (5-11, 230) - a short, stocky, yet mobile quarterback who is dangerous in the open field... has enough arm strength to make the difficult sideline throws...limited downfield capability...still learning the offense...the most versatile quarterback on the team...an born leader.

  • Senior Ryan Gunderson (6-5, 224) - a valuable asset on sidelines who will lend his knowledge to help Canfield and Moevao succeed...also will compete for holder position...like having another coach on the sidelines...a graduate assistant in the making.

  • Freshman Brennan Sim (6-2, 196) - walked on in fall of 2006...played at Sunset High in Portland, OR.

- Quarterbacks -

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