Fall Camp Preview - Quarterbacks

Going into spring, it was Sean Canfield's job to lose. Coming out of spring and heading into fall camp, it is still Canfield's job to lose. The left handed gunslinger didn't blow his competition away nor did his competition, Lyle Moevao, gain any ground.

Depth chart beginning of April:

Sean Canfield OR Lyle Moevao
Ryan Gunderson
Brennan Sim


Depth chart start of August:

Sean Canfield OR Lyle Moevao
Ryan Gunderson
Breenan Sim


  • Brennan Sim - suffered what appeared to be a minor dislocation of his non-throwing arm towards the end of the spring game. He was going after his own fumble on the play.



Going into spring, it was Sean Canfield's job to lose. Coming out of spring and heading into fall camp, it is still Canfield's job to lose.

The left handed gunslinger didn't blow his competition away nor did his competition, Lyle Moevao, gain any ground.

Head coach Mike Riley was asked daily how the competition was going and he banefully replied each time that he wants both quarterbacks to perform and be game ready. Ultimately seventh year OSU coach wants his decision for a starting quarterback to be a difficult one to make with the competition coming down to the wire.

Each quarterback was far from game ready during the spring's first scrimmage as both struggled with windy conditions. Canfield completed just six of 15 (40%) for 52 yards to go with two interceptions and zero touchdowns. Moevao didn't look any better as he completed just one of his seven passes for eight yards.

Canfield's two interceptions came on the first two drives of the scrimmage. With the picks still fresh, all Moevao had to do was play it safe, but he failed to make an impression going three and out on his first two series.

Without the blustering wind, both quarterbacks displayed marked improvement during the month's second scrimmage.

Canfield opened up the bout by taking the offense, mostly made up of first teamers, on a 16-play, 70-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a 8-yard pass to Anthony Brown. Canfield finished the day completing six of 12 passes (50%) for 65 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions.

Moevao failed to find the end zone for the second consecutive scrimmage but led the team on a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive that was highlighted by a 65-yard completion to tight end Brady Camp, one of his favorite receivers in the spring. He completed four of six passes (66%) for a scrimmage high 109 yards with no interceptions.

The improvement of both quarterbacks continued in the spring game where Moevao finally tossed his first touchdown pass in a scrimmage - finding Camp in the end zone on a 15-yard pass. He completed 13 of 28 attempts (46%) for 168 yards along with one touchdown and zero interceptions.

Canfield looked the best he had all spring completing 17 of 30 passes (56%) for 224 yards to go with one touchdown and one interception. Canfield's touchdown pass came on a shovel pass to running back Clinton Polk who took the ball 70-yards to pay dirt.

His interception happened in the first half when safety Greg Laybourn picked him off.

One part of each quarterback's game that stood out was their incomplete passes. When Canfield misses it is usually only where the receiver has a shot at it. His problem is he thinks he can make any throw and sometimes tries to force the throw which ends up being picked off, kind of like Matt Moore in 2005.

Moevao's misses are usually behind the receiver which are dangerous and prone to being deflected, but the scrimmage statistics show a different story as he did not throw an interception. He throws really hard which could be easily bobbled by the receivers if not focused. During practices he had a tendency at times to lock onto receivers, ending with an easy bat down or being picked off.

Another factor to keep in mind when comparing the two quarterbacks is neither worked that much with a full team of first string although each went up against a stacked defense full of experienced veterans. Spring, barring the quarterbacks, is time for the younger players to get most of the repetitions and that's just what happened.

Their true colors will show shortly when fall camp begins, especially when the two-a-days start Aug. 8.

When all is said and done it all comes down to who completes the most passes and makes the least amount of mistakes. Each has the physical tools to succeed as each athlete does one or two things physically a little better than the other.

It is a mental game from here on and out.

Whoever can step up mentally by making the correct reads, completing passes and getting rid of the ball quicker and therefore running the offensive more efficiently, will win the starting position. Consistency is one of the most crucial factors right now.

With starters returning in all other areas, the success of this team will ride significantly on the success of the quarterbacks. No matter who ends up being the starter, the Beavers have two quarterbacks who are strong, mobile, vocal and ready to take over as the leader of this team.


Weaknesses: Strengths:
  • No clear starter
  • Limited game experience
  • A strong supporting crew of veteran offensive linemen, receivers and running backs
  • Strong arms
  • Mobility
  • At least a year in the Oregon State system


Top spring performer:

Both Moevo and Canfield improved from week one to week two to week three and finally to week four. All expectations were meet at the end of camp.


QB spring summary in three sentences or less:

Canfield nor Moevao distanced themselves from each other as the battle rages into fall drills.  Right now it is all about the mental aspect of the game for the two.


Notable quotes:

Overall - "They both made some plays, but they were both inconsistent - that is the best way to describe it. I saw some really good things, it was kind of like spring ball - so we need the summer and fall to really get going and to be able to determine who will be the starting quarterback."

On Canfield and Moevao's progress - "Both of them have done a good job from where they have started. This is Sean's third spring – he's knows our stuff pretty well, he is comfortable. Lyle has done an outstanding job of learning, but is still a process. For who they are, they are both doing well and we will keep going as is. There is no need to separate this. We need both of them to be capable players."

On playing a first year quarterback - "I am pleased with that. That is one area that is always hard. It will be new. It will be different. It will be the first extensive play by either one of these guys. My goal is to have both of them ready to go."

On being one dimensional with a new quarterback - "Balance is important. For us to be who we want to be we have to be good throwing the ball. We can't be one dimensional. Eve will go better as our quarterback is productive and our quarterbacks will go better as Eve is productive. It all fits together for us if we are going to be our best."

On Moevao - "He's got good poise. He's out there for the first time calling our plays and running the offense. It's his first spring ball and spring ball is the number one learning time about a lot of pressure. In fall camp he knew he was going to redshirt and he knew he was going to be a scout team quarterback, so he was never placed in many of these situations. He has handled this very, very well and has learned a lot of stuff in a short period of time."


Who's coming in the fall:

No one. Jake Gelakoska (case file) is going the JC route. The coaches are still in contact with him though hoping to bring him to Corvallis in a year or so.


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