WRAPPING UP TIGHT END Rob Gronkowski is one of the top priorities for the Oregon State defense this weekend and one of's keys to the game.

1.  Pressure Willie Tuitama
Last year the Beaver defense sacked Tuitama eight times. This year they will need to do the same exact thing.

The Oregon State defense has 19 sacks in the past five games while the Arizona offensive line has given up 23 sacks in 10 games, good for sixth most in the conference.

If they can't sack Tuitama putting an immense amount of pressure on him in the pocket and forcing him to make quick decisions is the next best thing. 

Tuitama, who has seven interceptions and 18 touchdown passes, has a penchant for panicking and forcing the ball into coverage when the pocket collapses.

And when their is pressure on the quarter, the routes have to be shortened, which seems to be one of the keys to beating the Wildcats.

In each of their four losses UA averaged less than eight yards per pass attempt, in their wins they averaged more than eight yards.


2.  Wrap up TE Rob Gronkowski
With a 6-foot-6, 260-pound frame Gronkowski is more like a rampaging defensive end than a tight end.   If he gets loose in the secondary it takes more than one player to take him down.

Gronk set career highs in Eugene last week with 12 catches for 143 yards while his season average of 14.7 yards per catch is good for second on the team.

The Pennsylvania native will probably get his Saturday, so the Beaver defense must limit any big plays.

Instead of trying to deliver a punishing blow and risk bouncing off of him the defense needs to either tackle him by his legs and trip him up or grab him around the waist and wait for help to arrive.


3. Pound it down their throat
The bread and butter of the Oregon State offense is the run fueled by a healthy, disciplined offensive line and one of the best running backs in the nation in Jacquizz Rodgers.

The Beavers are averaging 172 yards a game, fifth in the conference, while Arizona is give up 138.4 yards per game, sixth in the conference, which plays right into the Beavers hands.

One of the great things about last week was the offensive line and Quizz got stronger as the game went on.  In the first half Quizz only had 36 yards on 16 carries.  In the second half he ran for 108 yards on 11 carries.

Plus, a side benefit of running the ball effectively is a huge advantage in time of possession which means less opportunities for an opponent to score and a rested OSU defense.

In the last three of four games the Beavers have had the ball for nine minutes or more in the fourth quarter.  In that same time frame the offense has had four clock gobbling drives that have lasted five minutes or longer.


Reviewing last game's keys:

1.  Protect Lyle Moevao - Moevao was sacked just once and was given plenty of time to throw.  Another standout job by the offensive line.

2.  Mix up the playbook - The Beavers lined up in the I-formation for the first play of the game, employed the the fly sweep, ran a double reverse and had Moevao take a couple of shots down field.  The coaches did a nice job of throwing in the occasional trick play along with a steady dose of Jacquizz Rodgers to keep the chains moving.

3.  Overwhelm Cal QB Kevin Riley - Riley was sacked five times and knocked to the ground several other times.  DE Victor Butler had a monster game as he hammered Riley almost every play.  The pressure from the front seven on passing plays was tremendous.

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