A YEAR AGO, Toby Gerhart's breakout game came against Oregon State. And ever since then, the 230 pound bruiser has grown more productive, confident and punishing. And the lion's share of all the pregame matchup pub, and rightfully so, will also be the focus of Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker.
watching last year's game, it was
clear the problem was not running to the football.
it was the yards after contact from
Gerhart as OSU defenders looked to
blast the big back into next week
-- instead of making solid form tackles.
You can't just lower a shoulder on Toby Gerhart
-- that's his game. Let him drag you
for 1-2 yards, but don't let
Take Away the Play
Stanford's meat and potatoes this year has been to
force opponents down into the box with a steady diet of Gerhart,mix in
some short passes and then go big
for the dagger.
Andrew Luck has a fabulous arm.
But as has also been seen this season,
he's still a freshman.
you take away the easy stuff, and keep him
from getting over the top with Cover 2 and
other looks, OSU defensive coordinator Mark Banker will be
right where he wants to be.
Wake Forest punished Stanford with the fly sweep.
Stanford's defense is hard nosed, smart, and tough,
but they do lack top end speed.
Oregon State's offense can cut them to ribbons if
they find ways to turn the game into a track meet.
If there ever was a game to unleash the fly sweep
and get other guys involved in it -- PagingMarkus Wheaton, Mr. Markus Wheaton to the huddle please
-- then this is
REVIEWING LAST WEEK'S
1 - Manufacture a Pass Rush. HALLELUJAH. While the Beavers only
produced one sack -- Sun Devil QB Danny Sullivan did a great job of getting the ball out early -- the pass rush was nothing short of
ferocious. Granted, it was against a dinged-up Sun Devil line but Banker opened
up the playbook and the game featured plenty of stunts and even some corner
blitzing from Brandon "The Hawaiian Hammer" Hardin. Grade:
2 - Get Canfield Some Breathing Room. Against an outstanding ASUdefensive front seven -- and probably the second best defense in
the conference -- Oregon State did just
that for Canfield. The Beavers took a
page out of Arizona's playbook and got the ball out quickly to James Rodgers in
space to let him do his thing. And they featured plenty of protect packages
including Jacquizz Rodgers, (who is an outstanding blocker), staying in to protect. Canfield was sacked just once, and it
was all the difference in the world. Grade:
3 - Think Outside the Box. Mike Riley and
offensive coordinatorDanny Langsdorf did exactly that, featuring
bubble screens early and often, and getting Quizz the ball out in space for a
32-yard touchdown run on a pitch. The fly
sweep made an appearance a couple of times but Arizona State's overall team
speed, and Vontaze Burfict in particular, made it difficult to find success there. Still, the OSU offense adjusted well and overall had
a solid outing. Grade: