Offensively, the Beavers certainly didn’t put up huge numbers, but they seemed to move the ball consistently throughout the game. OSU scored in each quarter and gave up only a pair of fields to Stanford in the second quarter.
Five players gained yards on the ground for the Beavers and six made positive yards in the passing game. With so many players handling the ball it is tough to single out any one player as having a standout game on that side of the ball. OSU simply did what they needed to do to move the ball up and down the field and let the defense take care of the rest.
Oregon State’s offense held the ball for 36:09, while Stanford had possession for 23:51 – that is a big key going forward. The offense needs to hold onto to the ball and do enough to keep the defense well rested and if that happens the Beavers have a great chance to have a very productive season and possibly end up in the top 25.
In the first half, senior tailback Yvenson Bernard ran nine times for 62 yards and a touchdown – but he didn’t play in the second half due to a shoulder injury. In Bernard’s absence, Matt Sieverson had a great second half with 16 carries for 68 yards. Sieverson ran the ball extremely hard and it appeared to me that the O-line was putting forth extra effort.
Quarterback Sean Canfield had another accurate game connecting on 14-of-21 (67%) pass attempts for 142 yards and one touchdown; not one pass was even close to being picked off. The receivers did have trouble holding onto the ball though as Darrell Catchings missed a perfectly thrown deep pass as did Chris Johnson.
Canfield found six different teammates – three receivers and three tight ends. Catchings was Canfield’s go-to man with six catches for 51 yards. Tight end Howard Croom caught three balls for 24 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Powers had two grabs for 16 yards, while Anthony Brown, Gabe Miller and Brady Camp each had one catch.
Unlike a number of games earlier in the season, the Beavers did not turn the ball, however they did force four Stanford turnovers, two fumbles and two interceptions.
The Beaver run defense was again phenomenal, as they limited Stanford to negative yardage on the game (-8). Six OSU defenders had at least a share of a sack. Dorian Smith had two sacks. Joey LaRocque, Gerard Lee and Slade Norris each had one, while Victor Butler was credited with half a sack. On those sacks, the Beavers pushed Stanford back a total of 48 yards.
This, more than any game this season, was a complete team effort. Everyone on defense did a solid job – it wasn’t just two or three guys making plays, everyone contributed. LaRocque lead the team with eight tackles, Derrick Doggett had seven and Brandon Hughes had six – 18 other players had at least one tackle.
Doggett and Tim Clark each had one interception. Clark’s pick was a nice acrobatic catch on a deep pass near the OSU sideline – some people in the stands were calling for Clark to play both ways after that diving catch.
At 3-2 in the Pac-10 with new weapons emerging each week, the Beavers could make a run and end up in a very solid bowl game. One more win makes the team bowl eligible, but personally I want more than that.
I don’t want this team to settle for just going to another bowl game, I want to see them earn their way into one of the better bowls for Pac-10 teams. The Beavers play at USC this coming Saturday. If there were ever going to be a time that OSU could knock off the Trojans in LA… it would be this year.
If this team keeps moving the ball consistently and doesn’t turn the ball over, they are capable of beating any team on the schedule – that includes USC and Oregon. I truly believe the OSU defense is one of the best in the nation, in fact they lead the nation in sacks and rushing derfense, and if the offense and special teams do their parts, the Beaver team will have a great end to the season.
One final note, congratulations to former Beaver Jacoby Ellsbury and his teammates with the Boston Red Sox for winning the 2007 World Series. I do remember seeing one Beaver fan with an Ellsbury T-shirt at the OSU football on Saturday.
Jake Schubert is a new/old contributor to BeaverFootball.com. He writes for the Newport News-Times in Newport, Oregon and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jake has been to every home football at OSU for eight consecutive years and he is looking to make it nine this year.