Will Quizz have difference making impact?

A BIG DIFFERENCE between next Thursday's Civil War and last year's battle between OSU and UO -- the Beavers' Jacquizz Rodgers will be playing this time. But wasn't last year's game punctuated by a legion of big plays surrendered by the Beaver D? And so what does that have to do with Quizz? Actually, a great deal.

That's because so many times this season in the Pac-10 the old adage has been proven true -- the best defense is sometimes a good offense.

When the Oregon offense is clicking, as it was in last year's Civil War and a number of times this season, it can put up big points, real fast.

But when they're forced to wait on the sidelines as the other team puts together an impressive drive, it's harder to have the same rhythm or explosive capability -- see the Ducks' recent games against Stanford and Arizona.

And for the Civil War, that's where Jacquizz Rodgers, with 1,313 rushing yards to date, comes in.

He's the play clock consuming factor the Beavs didn't have in last year's Civil War, due to the shoulder injury that prematurely ended his season. He's the guy this year who can grind out the yards and move the chains to earn the Beavs a fresh set of downs.

And Sean Canfield, who is playing as well as any quarterback in college football right now, can work the airwaves better when defenses have to respect the run.

In last year's Civil War, Oregon State had four first half drives that resulted in 0 points -- each of those consisting of four plays or less.

Oregon in turn scored on six of seven first half possessions, (and returned an interception for touchdown.)

The Beavs never quite found their footing, never got into a rhythm in the first half. Giving the ball right back to Oregon allowed the Ducks to find, and maintain, theirs.

And OSU already trailed by 20 points headed into halftime. The game was effectively over.

With Quizz in the lineup this year, particularly in the first halves of games, there are a lot more crooked numbers in the drive charts -- 9 plays, 11 plays, 10 plays, 8 plays, 14 plays, and on and on.

Sure, there are still some quick scoring drives -- Canfield has been razor sharp in the latter half of the season. And sure, there are still times when Oregon State goes three and out.

But nowhere this year have they dropped down to the level seen in last year's rivalry game. Even during their losses, they've been able to put together longer drives.

And the main reason for that wears No. 1. And unlike last year's Civil War, he'll be in the backfield this time around.


BeaverBlitz Top Stories