- CONTROL THE CLOCK
This is just a different way of saying, "establish the running game."
In the last two contests Oregon State has averaged 196.5 yards on the ground, a little over double the amount of rushing yards they averaged in their losses. The Beavers ability to run the ball has led to a significant advantage in time of possession as OSU held the ball almost 10 minutes more than USC and just under 15 minutes more than Hawaii.
Establishing the running game wears down defenses, leads to easier third down conversions and keeps the opposing team's offense off of the field.
- HARASS BRIAN JOHNSON
While Utah quarterback Brian Johnson has the wheels to pick up a first down, the coaches prefer to keep him in the pocket and that's a excellent news for an experienced Oregon State secondary and speed rushing ends Victor Butler and Slade Norris.
Johnson has thrown five interceptions and has been sacked 12 times this season. Unfortunately the Beaver defensive backfield could take a major blow if safety Al Afalava and Brandon Hughes sit with injuries.
- DON'T BE AFRAID TO THROW
Utah has been outstanding against the run limiting four of their five opponents to 60 rushing yards or less. Plus, they average 8.6 tackles for loss per game - good for sixth in the nation. Suffice to say they will be loading up to stop the run.
The good news for OSU is the Utah secondary has been suspect giving up an average of 171.2 yards per game, which isn't bad, but eight passing touchdowns while picking off just four passes.
Lyle Moevao hasn't thrown an interception in the last two games, knock on wood, and is completing over 60% of his passes. Even if Sammie Stroughter doesn't play he has a wealth of talent to throw to.
The Beavers may be forced to pass, but that isn't such a bad thing.
Reviewing last game's keys:
- Win the turnover battle - Another outstanding job by the offense
and defense. Moevao and company did not turn the ball over once while
the defense forced two turnovers. In the last two games the Beavers are +5
in turnovers after going -4 in the first two games of the season.
- Generate a big special teams play early - There was not one specific
big special teams play, but a couple of Johnny Hekker's punts turned out to
be huge. At least two of his punts came off the side of the foot and looked
to be headed out of bounds only to take Beaver bounces pinning the Trojans
inside their own five yard line.
- Let it all hang out - Great job Beaver Nation! There was plenty of orange and excitement the entire game. As for the team, they kept their cool and kept pounding the ball down the Trojans throats - no need for trick plays when the running game is clicking.