The Unusual Suspects: Week 7

BY NOW EVERYONE knows that Sean Canfield passed for 329 yards, that 113 rushing yards were turned in by Jacquizz Rodgers and the Beavers put up 36 points on the road and looked very close to pulling one out in a 42-36 defeat to the No. 4 USC Trojans. But here are some other black and orange performances that haven't been talked about enough.

First half red zone inefficiency, poor tackling and a roughing the passer penalty were enough to overshadow Canfield, Quizz and the Beavs' upset bid.

While the loss was mostly due to costly penalties and breakdowns on defense, there are a lot of other things to take away from this game. Here's a look at the game's unusual suspects.

Justin Kahut - Yes, he did miss a gimme 22-yard field goal but Kahut also bailed the offense out when they stalled in or near the red zone in the first half.

Two kicks from 48 yards out and another from the 33-yard line were the only points OSU would score in the first half.

The 21-9 half time deficit could have been much worse, and momentum would have been much more on USC's side than it already was, had it not been for the strong and accurate leg of Kahut.

Kahut has missed one close-in shot and one extra point this year. But it's been maddening for fans in part because they have not let go of last year's short range misses. Here's why..

For all the outcry, Kahut is 11-of-14 this season on field goal attempts -- with a long of 50 -- and 22-of-23 on extra points. He is in the nation's Top 20 in field goals made.

Before Saturday, Kahut had all of one miss from inside 49 yards all year -- an errant 47-yarder that hit the upright in the win over UNLV.

You'd never know all that given the level of complaints in cyberspace.

Jordan Poyer - I'd imagine many Beaver Believers were confused when No. 14 -- and not James Rodgers' No. 8 -- went streaking down the sideline on a 70 yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter. It led to a Beaver score and put OSU right back in the game at 42-29.

Poyer has excelled in the coverage game for OSU this season and his kickoff return, after James Rodgers bruised a knee, brought the Beavers back after USC's punt return seconds earlier had seemingly all but sealed the deal.

James Rodgers is expected to be ready for UCLA on Saturday but might not practice on Tuesday, which could give Poyer a few more chances to shine.

Jovan Stevenson/Ryan McCants - With Quizz having his ankle examined and re-taped in the locker room during the second quarter, McCants and Stevenson were called upon to handle the load at tailback, and they did so effectively.

The Beavers went primarily to the passing game with Quizz out, but a key third down pick up my Stevenson and two purposeful runs by McCants are good signs if OSU must go to a back up plan down the road -- or if they simply want to spell Quizz more.

The duo gained 19 yards on just three combined carries.

The Beaver Secondary - Some will say the secondary doesn't belong here but I disagree. USC freshman QB Matt Barkley came in tossing for 260-plus yards a game-best in the league. There were a few letdowns and one incredible diving touchdown catch by USC wide out Ronald Johnson but at the end of the day, the Beavers forced two Barkley turnovers (three had it not been for a late hit penalty) and held the young gunner to just 202 yards through the air.

The previous week, Barkley torched the Notre Dame secondary, on the road, for 380 yards.

From this chair, the young group looks to be hitting their stride and performed much better than anticipated on Saturday.

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