W/ Moevao, OSU to again test early airwaves?

JACQUIZZ RODGERS WON'T play in the Civil War, his shoulder sprain and future health won't allow it, but that probably doesn't mean the Beavs are going to change a whole lot on offense. And it won't be a surprise if they stick with the opening formula either. With the Pac-10's leading rusher in the backfield, the Beavs over 11 games have pretty much come out of the gate the same -- throwing it.

By going to the air early, it loosened the opponent's defense. And then with the opposing D properly set up, the Beavs then went to a steady diet of feeding the ball to Quizz.

The guess here is Oregon State does the exact same thing with running backs Ryan McCants and Jeremy Francis in for Jacquizz Rodgers, although if the win over Arizona is any indication Francis could make his biggest impact as a receiver coming out of the backfield.

It's not as if the Beavs have been ultra successful opening that way either, the Beavs have 4 punts, 1 missed field goal and 1 interception on their opening drives to go along with 3 touchdowns and 2 field goals.

But in the greater scheme of things, the early playcalling trending towards the airwaves helped enable them to ultimately find success on the ground. There's also the confidence factor. And having success the first few times via the ground could well set the tone for the rest of the game on the Beaver o-line.

And it will be Lyle Moevao who will open the game slinging the pigskin for the Beavs.

EARLY IN THE week, it sounded as if Mike Riley might be leaning towards Sean Canfield to start. He said the Beavs would make the decision on Wednesday, but it wasn't made public that Moevao would get the start under center until Friday.

Riley could have been just keeping his cards close to the vest this week. He hasn't been averse to making the opponent prepare for as much as possible over the course of the season.

Or, given Canfield's rising performances, he could have been weighing the matter right up until a little more than 24 hours before game time. Or it could have been a little of both.

Canfield has had some uneven moments but he's played well overall and particularly in the latter stages against ASU, UCLA and Arizona. Moevao started the first eight contests, and got the nod in Week 10, and has had some very fine stretches, though many of them came before he injured his shoulder against ASU.

With practices semi-closed this week, one thing would seem likely.

Moevao probably had a hell of a practice week.

WITH CANFIELD FINISHING off the Arizona game in the manner that he did, and with his ability to throw the deep ball, many thought he might get the nod. But Moevao must have made it clear to Riley from Tuesday to Thursday he was more than ready to roll.

One of Moevao's greatest assets is his confidence. If he makes a bad throw, he doesn't lament spilt milk, he comes right back at it.

He doesn't have the arm strength that Canfield has and his deep ball has less arc, putting an added premium on accuracy.

But he has made some tight medium range bullets on third and gotta have at it, and his chemistry with Shane Morales, who has been slightly less productive with Canfield in, is great.

Canfield may well be called upon in the Civil War today. Or Moevao could go all the way. All depends on how the game unfolds. But the company line coming out of Corvallis is that the Beavs have two healthy, solid quarterbacks ready to go against the Ducks.

And it's hard to argue too much with that.


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