Wasn't it a bit strange that Lyle Moevao's first pass after coming in cold in the second quarter was a poorly thrown interception?
Wasn't it even stranger when Sean Canfield's first pass in the third after sitting the entire second quarter was also a pick?
Of all positions in football, the quarterback is the most sensitive. Their world is all about getting comfortable amongst a sea of chaos.
Standing behind center and running a football team as a quarterback is a full-time job. It takes a while to just get a feel for the defense across from you. Then you need to be able to pick out their weaknesses and exploit them in a matter of seconds.
All this while finding a rhythm offensively that has all 11 guys on the field dancing to your beat.
You are in a constant search for that 'zone' that all quarterbacks feel comfortable in. And you must find it quick. The 'zone' could change in a matter of seconds with one swift adjustment of a defensive coordinator upstairs.
Most quarterbacks that take all the snaps for four quarters never find that 'zone' the entire game. If you take half of those experience away form a quarterback you are naturally taking away half of the opportunities to find that 'zone.'
Canfield completed his first pass when he just dumped it off to running back Yvenson Bernard coming out of the backfield for a gain of six on 3rd down and eight. On his next six attempts he found the turf five times and one time found tight end Gabe Miller.
Canfield was looking uncomfortable and a little nervous, which is normal. He just needed time to work the kinks out.
With 58 seconds left in the first quarter Canfield got another opportunity. Stuck back at their own three yard line, Canfield threw his best pass of the night thus far to Chris Johnson for a gain of 15. Getting his team out of the shadows of their own goalpost Canfield hustled up the field with a little swagger to his step.
He was real close to finding that 'zone.'
However, time ran out on Canfield and the second quarter was Moevao's - no matter what.
Coming in after sitting almost an hour after a long first quarter, a cold Moevao took his first snap as a Beaver and proceeded to throw his first pick as a Beaver.
From there Moevao was further from the 'zone' than when he arrived at the stadium.
Moevao finished the half completing only two passes on four attempts for 20 yards.
With the momentum that he gained from his last completion back in the first quarter all but gone, Canfield was asked to take the field again in the third. With his sweat dry from sitting on the sidelines watching Moevao, Canfield's first pass of the second half was his worse pass of the night.
Canfield finished the night 8 for 19 for 87 yards, with one interception. Moevao was 3 or 9 for 32 yards with a pick.
That is 11 for 28 for 119 yards and two interceptions out of the two-headed quarterback. Not good numbers for any single quarterback, let alone two.
Getting ready for their trip to Cincinnati for another one of those Thursday night games, news out of Beavers camp is basically the same.
“We are going to start Sean Canfield and play Lyle Moevao, but we don’t have any parameters as to time," head coach Mike Riley told the media at a press conference on September 3rd. "We’re not going to do quarter again. They are practicing relatively even right now. Sean is probably getting a few more turns but they are still both getting a lot of reps.”
Before everyone starts calling for Riley's head let's remember last season and have some faith in the coach. But the fact of the matter is a commitment needs to be made, one way or the other.
All Riley needs to do is take a quick look at that team to the south and see what kind of success you can hope for running with a two quarterback system.
The University of Oregon tried using Jason Fife and Kellen Clemens in a platoon system in 2003 and it got them an 8 and 5 season and a trip to the Sun Bowl. Not a very successful season for a team that was ranked as high as 10th in the AP Poll.
For the sake of the program, it is time for the OSU coaching staff to make a decision now and stick with it.