BEAVER NOTES: Quizz No. 1 in Pac-10

WITH THE EXCITEMENT from the USC game still lingering here's the latest news and notes as the football team and Beaver Nation turn their focus to the No. 15 Utah Utes.

ARV: Oregon State received its first votes in the polls since the preseason. They got three votes in the AP Poll and six votes in the coaches poll.

Besides Oregon and USC, who are ranked, OSU is the only Pac-10 team receiving votes. With a win over Utah Thursday they would most likely move into the top 25 in both polls.

 

LEADING THE PAC: Through four games true freshman running back Jacquizz Rodgers leads the Pac-10 in rushing yards per game 112.2 average, which is good for 14th in the nation.

Two other running backs are averaging over 100 yards a game in the conference - Arizona's Nicolas Grigsby (108.8) and California's Jahvid Best (105.2) who are both sophomores.

His 99 rushing attempts is also a conference high while his six touchdowns are good for third in the league.

Rodgers is one of two true freshman in the conference's top 10 as California's Shane Vereen is averaging 69.8 yards per game.

 

BIGGEST CHALLENGE YET: After holding four of its five opponents under 60 rushing yards this season the Utah defense says they are facing their greatest challenge yet in Jacquizz Rodgers and Beaver offensive line.

"He's obviously a great back and they have a good offensive line," Utah defensive lineman Greg Newman said. "Definitely it's our greatest challenge to date."

 

BANGED UP: Seniors Sammie Stroughter (hip), Brandon Hughes (hamstring) and Al Afalava (groin) all sat out the weekend's practices after incurring injuries against USC.

Stroughter and Hughes' status are still to be determined while Afalava is expected to start at No. 15 Utah Oct. 2.

Quizz, who was helped off of the field due to a left ankle sprain, practiced during the weekend and will start against the Utes.

 

DOING THEIR HOMEWORK: The entire Utah football team watched Oregon State's upset of USC Thursday and know they must step their game up when the Beavers come calling this week.

"We were all watching that game," Utah linebacker Stevenson Sylvester said. "We know every week everyone is coming for us and they're a good team."

Utah coached teams under Kyle Whittingham are 3-3 on Thursday games with their most recent victory coming in 2007 versus TCU (27-20).

 

ROAD HOGS: A large part of the Men in Black's success had to do with the dominating performance by the Beaver offensive line who allowed just one sack and opened up running lanes left and right for Quizz.

Riley was very impressed with the group and his offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh saying the fiery coach had his players ready, "strategically and emotionally."

In the last 67 passing attempts the offensive line has given up just one sack.

 

LESS CARRIES: Following Quizz's 37 carries against USC several posters on the message boards asked if he could stay healthy for an entire season if he carried the ball 30 times a game.

Head coach Mike Riley is confident that the 5-foot-7 dynamo can withstand the rigors the Beavers schedule, but doesn't want to give the ball to Rodgers 30 times a game.

Thursday's game was exception as it was against the No. 1 team in the nation and, as Riley put it, "Quizz was on a roll," but the abuse does take its toll - just ask former OSU running back Yvenson Bernard.

From here on out, look for Quizz to get around 25 carries with redshirt freshman Ryan McCants, who didn't play against USC, getting 8-10 touches a game.

 

A SELLOUT?: Oregon State's next home game is a little under two weeks away, but there are just 1,500 tickets left for the game against Washington State Oct. 11.

Immediately after OSU's victory over Troy the athletic department sold 600 single-game tickets.


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