BF.C KEYS TO THE GAME: Oregon

OREGON KNOWS THE value of a field goal -- Duck kickers are 0-for-5 in field goal attempts in regulation over the past four Civil Wars. It goes without saying that making the kicks, and extra points too, is one of this week's keys.

1.  Force the Jeremiah Masoli to pass
Oregon leads the Pac-10 and ranks 6th nationally with an average of 268.1 yards per game and averages 3.5 touchdowns on the ground per game.

Junior RB LeGarrette Blount (74.2 avg.) has 15 rushing touchdowns on the year and needs just one more to set a new single-season standard at Oregon.  His partner in crime senior RB Jeremiah Johnson (78.5 avg.) has 11 touchdowns on the year running for six in seven of UO's 11 games.

QB Jeremiah Masoli definitely prefers to run than to pass as he averages 55.9 yards per game on the ground and has ran for a touchdown in four of the last five games, but averages just 121.2 yards through the air.

Masoli is largely untested as a passer and forcing the sophomore into a pressure passing situation in a hostile environment is key to forcing turnovers.

At the very least when Masoli strays from the pocket the players need to make sure he understands he is going to pay a price in the open field.

 

2.  Play with controlled energy
The coaches had no problem this week getting the players fired up for the 112th Civil War.  

With a sold out, orange drenched stadium on tap and the Rose Bowl on the line emotions will be running high - especially for the 20 seniors who will be playing their last game in Reser Stadium.

With adrenaline pumping through their systems it will be very easy for an over exuberate offensive player to give that one last shove after the whistle blows or for a defensive player try and deliver a big hit near the sidelines.

But the Men in Black need to take a deep breath, remember their fundamentals and play disciplined football. 

No stupid personal foul penalties!

 

3. Make your kicks
Oregon knows the value of a field goal as Duck kickers are 1-for-5 in field goal attempts over the past four Civil Wars, including 0-for-5 in regulation.

Consistent place kicking from the Beavers has helped Oregon State win back to back Civil Wars and that's why Justin Kahut needs to make all his field goals and especially his extra points.

Kahaut has nailed 11 of his last 13 field goals with his misses coming from from 29 and 45 yards out.  Last week he set a career high with a 47 yard field goal in the first half.

The bad news is he missed an extra point last week that could have cost OSU the game and has two misses on the year.  For the record Alexis Serna had just three misses his entire career.

Kahut has the leg strength to connect from 40 yards out consistently and after his game winning boot last week he now he has the confidence to make all his kicks - even the extra points.

 

Reviewing last game's keys:

1.  Pressure Willie Tuitama - Tuitama was sacked three times, hounded by Slade Norris (2.5 TFLs/ .5 SACK) and Victor Bulter (2.0 TFLs/1.5 SACK) all night and was limited to just 158 yards passing.

2.  Wrap up TE Rob Gronkowski - Gronk caught three passes for 50 yards and one touchdown, but was largely held in check as he did not break any tackles or roam free in the secondary.

3.  Pound it down their throat - Despite losing Jacquizz Rodgers in the first quarter Ryan McCants (15 for 54 yards) and James Rodgers (10 for 102, 1 TD) paced the ground game with 156 total yards and Jeremy Francis chipped in with a team high seven receptions for 61 yards.


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