A Seattle Quan Show, as Beavs scorch Huskies

PASS FIRST. THAT's been the stratagem of the Oregon State staff on the opening drive(s) of the game -- the thinking being you loosen the defense before cranking up the Quizz Show. On Saturday, it was the Quan Show. On the road in Husky Stadium, James Rodgers went wild, with two 50-plus yard touchdown runs plus a long middle screen catch to the house. Meanwhile, what about that Beaver D.

The Beaver defense kept the UW out of the end zone until 11:59 remained in the fourth quarter. By that time James Rodgers and the Oregon State offense, and the Beaver D, had already put this one out of reach. And the D still had one more goal line stand to come.

OSU opened with four straight pass attempts, and six of seven of the first plays from scrimmage were throws. Trailing 3-0, that set up a first quarter, fourth-and-one gut check on the Beavs' own 43 yard line.

Into the teeth of the Husky defense, Jacquizz Rodgers (Quizz) was not touched until he was two yards beyond the line to make. First down. The next play OSU offered the men in purple their first dose of misdirection -- from Jacquizz' older brother.

Sophomore James Rodgers, whose nickname is Quan, went 52-yards untouched to the house on a fly sweep for the first of his three touchdowns.

Game planning, strategy mapping, coaching; whatever you want to call it, it worked well on Saturday. Even when the Beavs had to punt the ball away after an opening, four-play drive, even that played right into their hand.

In the trenches, both battles were won handily by the black and orange. The Beaver offensive line -- LT Andy Levitre, LG Adam Speer, C Alex Linnenkohl, RG Gregg Peat and RT Mike Remmers -- did not allow a sack.

AND IT WAS overshadowed in the bright light that was Quan on Saturday, but Oregon State QB Lyle Moevao was superb against Washington. In the pocket, on the run, wherever; Moevao was spot on accurate on Saturday, to the tune of 18-for-22. On second- and third- and long, Moevao turned those into chain movers time and time again.

But Washington tried something early and it found success -- high arching passes, to be precise. But in the end, every time the Huskies looked to be gaining momentum, the Beaver defense bowed its neck.

After a Justin Kahut field goal made it 10-3, Ben Terry sacked Ronnie Fouch, forced a fumble and Oregon State took over on their own 49-yard line. On third-and-six, the offensive line held the pocket around Moevao, giving both him and the patterns enough time. And Shane Morales went up and got himself some with a tremendous 17-yard leaping, hit-as-you-catch-it grab.

The Washington defense was crafted on Saturday to stop Quizz and the inside zone run. So OSU went to the middle screen ,on second and long, following the Morales reception.

And James Rodgers raced 33 yards untouched again.

HOW GOOD WAS the Beaver D at times? On four occasions when the UW threatened both the scoreboard and to grab momentum, the Beaver D forced four field goal attempts. End result? Two misses. Two makes. Six points.

The Beavers held a 17-3 lead with 8:35 left in the half and they were in complete control. Defensive ends Victor Butler and Slade Norris had by then already been abusing the left and right sides of the UW line. But now everyone was getting in on the act.

Al Afalava, a monster hit in the secondary already under his belt, glided into the backfield out wide and dropped the Husky ballcarrier for a three-yard loss. And if the RB could have stepped out of Afalava's grasp, Butler, Bryant Cornell and others were waiting to make it a two-yard loss.

IF THERE WAS a quibble to be had with the Beaver D on Saturday, it was with the pass defense on long throws.

It's hard to be too upset with a defense that doesn't allow a touchdown in the first three quarters. But it is something that will need to be cleaned up. Time and time again, Fouch lofted high arching passes that threatened to bring down rain from sunny skies. Yet more often than not, the Beaver safeties and corners were beaten by UW receivers.

BUT THERE WAS no arguing with the Beaver defensive stand to put an exclamation mark on the Pac-10 road win.

On first and goal from the 1-yard line, with about 3:00 left in the game and OSU leading 34-13, Oregon State stoned the Dawgs --- on four straight runs.

With the game already decided, the Huskies could not pick up one yard against an energized-to-the-end Beaver D. James Rodgers, on the other hand, had no such trouble. He had 110 yards, and two touchdowns, on but three carries.

NOTABLE NOTES:
Unofficially, Quizz had 20 rushes 94 yards and one touchdown. James Rodgers, in addition to his 110 hashes on the ground, had 53 receiving yards and a touchdown.

Moevao was 18-for-22 for 191 yards and a touchdown. He had no interceptions.

Ryan McCants got in some nice work when Quizz came up limping and briefly went to the sideline. McCants had six carries for 29 punishing, pad-crunching yards.


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