There's a Big Difference between 5-3 and 4-4

Whew! That first PAC-10 victory seemed like a long time coming. There was a big difference between the OSU performance the last home game and the one against Cal. Beaver believers are cautiously optimistic, a big difference from the last three games. With differences in mind…

AN OPENING NOTE: My orange hat is off to the offensive line and Steven Jackson, but the entire defense gets my most valuable whatever vote.

There's a big difference in the game's result when you stop the run and put pressure on the passer. The Beaver defense really took it to Kyle Boller, 4 sacks and lots of hurries. Eric Manning dominated the middle and the defensive backs played a great game.

Talk about difference makers; the entire OSU linebacking crew was fantastic once again. I don't think there is a college linebacker in the country playing any better than Nick Barnett.

There's a big difference in your defense when you can substitute freely during the game. I'm not noticing a big drop off in the defense when the second stringers are in and, with the exception of the UCLA game; the defense is looking strong at the end of games. The Beaver defense is going to be in good shape for many years to come.

There's a big difference between lining up for an onside kick and getting the ball back after an interception in the end zone. Den-nis, Den-nis, Den-nis, plays don't get much bigger than that.

There's a big difference when you bang heads with your opponents when you have your helmet on, just ask Joe Igber. I hope he is okay.

There's a big difference in punt return yardage when you actually run up the field. I hope James Newson returns punts for the rest of the year. He's a big play guy; the more he touches the ball, the better.

There's a big difference between 14-66 and 35-239. Keep giving the big guy the ball. Great backs wear down their opponents as the game goes on. It's a little early to call Steven a great back, but give him the ball and give him the opportunity to prove it one way or the other.

There's a big difference between pass blocking and run blocking. Is it me, or did the offensive linemen look happier with the emphasis on run blocking? I know David Lose looked happier.

There's a big difference in rushing yardage when you run the ball more than one time in a row. Big Momma Orange had to hand me a tissue in the first half; my eyes were tearing up something fierce when the Beavers ran the ball 5 plays in a row.

There's a big difference in gaining yardage downfield when your receivers are blocking. The James Gang did a great job of downfield blocking. Kudos to the tight ends too.

There's a big difference between stopping the other team and coming back on the field after 4 plays, and stopping the other team and watching your team go on a sustained drive for a score. Beaver offense, the Beaver defense thanks you.

I hate to be a wet blanket, but there is a big difference between an offensive revival and one quarter of solid offensive football. The Beavers' offense did nothing the second half (92 yards) and not much in the first quarter. In the words of the eternal pessimist Johnny Russ, "One strong quarter does not an offense resurrect." I saw a big improvement, but need to see more before I believe the offense is all of the way back.

There's a big difference between handing out kudos to your team after a game and announcing player of the game with 3 minutes, one blocked punt, and a goal line stand to go. The game wasn't over; besides, it's bush to do that sort of thing while the other team is still on the field.

There's a big difference in how well you handle traffic congestion after a win. Beaver fans were gracious. "You need to merge in? Go right ahead, I'll just slow down and you feel free. I don't care if you do have a green flag on your car." Those from down south, "You want to merge in front of ME? I'll ruin my bumper AND yours if you even THINK about trying to merge in ahead of me. As a matter of fact, pull over and I'll kick your sorry butt! I don't care if you ARE my mother."

ONE LAST NOTE: Tim Euhus once again wins the Tim Alexander On the Field the Longest After the Game award. I was watching Tim make his way towards the locker room, signing autographs, posing for pictures and so on. Maybe it's the name Tim.

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