BEAVER NOTEBOOK: The spread - again

THE DEFENSE GEARS up for its third straight week of defending the spread attack. The coaches are looking to rotate RB Jovan Stevenson in more, WR Jordan Bishop's role could increase and more.

THE SPREAD:  For the third consecutive week the Beaver defense will face a spread offense.  The Cincinnati offense is a big step up from Portland State and UNLV though as the Bearcats are averaging 58.5 points per game and 571 yards of total offense.

 "The level of anticipation is high," cornerback Tim Clark said.  "You're going against a high-powered offense that has shown on a national stage that they can put up points better than anybody.

"We're going to elevate and try to rise to the occasion. The stage is set for us to show the nation what the 2009 Beaver defense is about and we plan on doing that."

And while senior linebacker Keaton Kristick doesn't necessarily relish going up against the spread once again, at least he knows what he is getting into.

"It's nice to be familiar with a certain type of offense," Kristick said.  "I don't think it's particularly nice to play against spread offenses, but I think we're comfortable and we've learned a lot over the past few weeks."

THIRD DOWNS: The Beavers have been successful at converting third downs this season with a 53.8 conversion rate - the third best in the Pac-10. But the Beavs' opponents have been doing well too converting 46.2-percent of its attempts - the highest percentage in the conference.

THE WORKHORSE: RB Jacquizz Rodgers leads the Pac-10 in both carries (42) and receptions (14) which raises the question - can he stay healthy through the entire Pac-10 season with such a high workload?  Coach Mike Riley, as he has stated numerous times before, says yes.

"I love him catching the ball and I love him running for 6.4 average," Riley said. "That's pretty good stuff."

But what's not good stuff is Quizz tweaking his ankle last weekend.  He missed Tuesday's practice, but Quizz say there is nothing to worry about.

"After the game you feel a little sore, but you prepare yourself during the offseason for this type of thing during the season, so I'm good," Quizz said.

HISTORIC GAME: Saturday will mark the first time in Reser Stadium, formerly known as Parker Stadium, that a ranked Oregon State team will play a ranked non-Pac-10 foe at the venue that opened
in 1953. This is also the first time a nationally ranked non-conference team has visited Corvallis since No. 13 BYU in 1977 (OSU 24-13). The Beavers did host No. 11 Arizona State (then not a Pac-10 member) in 1971 and ‘73, No. 14 Baylor in 1963 and No. 10 Syracuse in 1961 – all those games were played in Portland.

"It is a big test," Riley said.  " They've had a super-impressive start and they have an outstanding system offensively and they have good people running it.

"The quarterback is a tremendous operator, Tony Pike, and Mardy Gilyard are great talents, but they have a lot of guys to go with him too. It will be a big challenge for us defensively."

SACKS: Tackles for loss have proven to be elusive for the Beaver defense as Kevin Frahmn has the one and only sack of the year. The one sack is the least amount in the conference.  Despite the lack of numbers, coach Mike Riley sees, "a lot of growth potential" in the defensive line.

"This defensive front, with the more confidence they get playing faster and using their abilities - they'll grow as the season goes," Riley said.  "They're a good hard working group that will get better and better."

1,000 x 2: Junior receiver James Rodgers is about to become the second Beaver in school history to amass 1,000 yards rushing and 1,000 yards receiving. James has 1,075 career yards rushing and
958 career yards receiving. He will join Pat Chaffey (1986, 88-89) who accumulated 1,421 rushing yards and 1,293 receiving yards.

VS. TOP 25: Oregon State has had success against AP top 25 teams of late, winning five of its last nine games. Wins during that streak include No. 1 USC (2008), No. 2 California (2007), No. 3 USC (2006), No. 19 Pittsburgh (2008) and No. 24 Hawai’i (2006).

STEPPING UP: With the Rodgers brothers accounting for over half of the offense's total offense the stage is set for another player to have a big year.  After not recording a statistic against Portland State junior slotback Jordan Bishop hauled in five catches for 43-yards including two clutch grabs over the middle in the fourth quarter to keep the final drive alive.

"Someone had to step up and make some plays," Bishop said of his performance against UNLV.  "Sean (Canfield) trusted me over the middle with a pass and we knew we had to get into field goal range."

With Bishop proving himself last week, quarterback Sean Canfield is sure to look his way again this weekend.

 "He's probably the best athlete on the team," Canfield said. "You saw the play he made over the middle when he got flipped, that was the craziest catch I've ever seen. It's huge for our offense to see a guy like that who's young (making plays)."

NON-CONFERENCE HOME STREAK: Oregon State enters the game riding a streak of 26 consecutive non-conference home game victories that started Nov. 16, 1996 with a 67-28 victory over
Northern Illinois. Riley is 17-0 in non-Pac-10 home games.

POW: LB Keaton Kristick and RB Jacquizz Rodgers were nominated for players of the week last weekend.

3-0?: Oregon State is looking to start the season with three consecutive victories for the first time since the Beavers won their opening four to start the 2002 season with victories at home over Eastern
Kentucky, UNLV and Fresno State, and a road win at Temple.

NUMBER 2: Oregon State has won 30 games (lost 12) since the start of the 2006 season, the second best mark in the Pac-10 Conference. USC is the only program that has more in that timeframe with 36 victories against five losses (two to OSU).

NEED A BACKUP:  With Quizz's high workload the coaches are looking for a backup to spell the sophomore.  Junior Ryan McCants started practicing this week and the coaches are planning on using true freshman Jovan Stevenson, who has shown flashes of getting the job done as the backup, more.

"We can, and will, work into more of a rotation and keep Quizz fresher," Riley said.  "I loved that Jovan went in there and hit a draw for 23 yards that was beautiful.

"Blending those spots is something that we'll have to work on."

T.O.P.: Usually OSU ranks near the top of the conference and the nation in time of possession, but that is not the case this season.  Through the first two games the team held onto the ball for an average of 31:20 a game which is good for sixth in the conference and 41st in the nation.

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