BF.C KEYS TO THE GAME: Washington State

SOME PLAYERS TEND to lose focus when their team is a 30-point favorite, so the first key in this week's keys to the game is to come out with focus and passion followed up with some smash mouth football on both sides of the pigskin.

    After playing three ranked opponents in their first five games of the season it may be hard for the Men in Black to focus on one of the worst teams in the nation, but if Oregon State hopes to make a run at the Rose Bowl they must not overlook anyone on the schedule.

    The players and coaches have been talking to talk all week long giving Washington State much respect while saying they will prepare for the Cougars the same way they prepared for the Trojans, but oftentimes talk doesn't translate into on field energy and focus.

    It is vital that the team rushes out of the helmet with lots of energy and the goal of putting the game away early.

    The Orange and Black defense had a season high seven tackles for loss a week ago, including four sacks, and should add many more TFLs this weekend as they face an offensive line that has given up a Pac-10 leading 19 sacks.

    The defense has the physical tools and smarts to overwhelm a beat up offensive line and inexperienced quarterback.

    Demoralize the Washington State offense from the first snap and never let them think they can pull off the upset.

    The Beavers should have no problem running the ball against the fourth worst rushing defense in the country.  Start it off with whole lot of Jacquizz Rodgers then a healthy dose of Ryan McCants and Jeremy Francis to finish them off. 

    Statistics show that when the Beavers are winning, they are averaging 193.6 yards a game on the ground and a little over four yards per carry.  That's 100 more yards than in their losses and over one yard more per carry.

    If things go as planned Beaver Nation could witness the first time two OSU running backs rushed for 100 yards or more since Ken Simonton and Patrick McCall did it in 2000 against California.  NOTE:  Yvenson Bernard and James Rodgers each had over 100-yards rushing in the 2007 Emerald Bowl, but Rodgers is a receiver.


Reviewing last game's keys:

  1. Control the clock - Oregon State and Utah were about even for time of possession at the end of the game as the Beavers had a difficult time running up the gut on the Utes.  Too many three and outs by the offense in the second quarter led to a tired defense taking the field which gave up 17 points in the second frame.  Plus the three and out on the final OSU possession of the game was perhaps one of the worst series this season.  The offense, and the coaches, could have definitely done a better job.

  2. Harass Brian Johnson - For 58 minutes the defense was in Johnson's face as they sacked him four times and knocked him to the ground several other times.  But in crunch time the defense went to a prevent formation as Johnson stood in the pocket untouched as he carved up the Beaver secondary.  Another key that started out great, but ended very badly.

  3. Don't be afraid to throw - QB Lyle Moevao had his third consecutive game of the year without an interception as he passed for over 300 yards.  Having Stroughter out of the lineup for much of the game hurt , but Moevao and his receivers kept the team in the game when the rushing offense was struggling.

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