Who has the edge on offense?

TWO OF THE top three scoring offenses in the conference will face off this Thursday in what's being labeled as "The War for the Roses." Oregon State travels to Autzen Stadium boasting the conference's best passer and second best rusher, while Oregon will showcase the league's best ground game and most dangerous dual threat quarterback. Who has the edge?

Offensive fireworks are expected two days from now and these are the matchups:



Offensive Line: Both units entered 2009 with serious holes to fill -- UO center Max Unger (Seahawks) and OSU tackle Andy Levitre (Bills) left their respective positions as two of the best ever for the Ducks and Beavers. But Jacquizz Rodgers and LaMichael James are have both topped the 1,000 yard mark and are deadlocked for second and third in the conference, separated by just three rushing yards -- Quizz with 1,313 and 19 scores and James with 1,310 and 11 scores.

An issue early in the season for OSU has been fixed, and the number of sacks since week seven has diminished greatly -- Sean Canfield was sacked 22 times through the first seven weeks. In the last four, OSU has allowed just five sacks.

Jeremiah Masoli's ability to scramble and quality schematics has allowed only 12 sacks on the season from the Duck offensive line.

Pick: Push -- Do this comparison at the start of the second half of the season and the edge goes to Oregon. But while the sack total remains in favor of UO, the past four weeks the Beavers have protected Canfield exceedingly well and with both Quizz and LaMichael rushing for over 1,300 yards it's tough to give either line the edge in the ground wars.


Quarterback: Inarguably the best quarterbacks in the conference, Jeremiah Masoli and Sean Canfield could be playing for first team All-Conference honors come Thursday night.

Masoli thrives in the Ducks spread option offense and has 619 rushing yards and 12 scores to go with 1,865 passing yards, 14 passing TD's and just four picks. Sean Canfield is playing his best football of his career and with 203 yards will top the 3,000 yard mark. His 254.3 yards per game and 147.5 passing efficiency are good for first in the conference. Canfield has thrown touchdowns to seven different Beaver wide outs.


Pick: Push -- Both are playing tremendous football and smartly suit their respective offensive styles. The one with the better performance on Thursday night could very well earn First Team All Conference Honors. Canfield has been razor sharp in the passing game. Masoli has been the X Factor for the Ducks with his feet.


Running Back: Quizz or LaMichael? You can't go wrong with either of these guys. And the most impressive thing is they're both underclassmen -- not good news the next couple years for Pac-10 foes.

James has already broken Quizz' 2008 mark for the conference's freshman rushing record. Quizz has matched James' 1,300 ground yards, but also added 436 receiving yards and a score.

James' ability to scoot through holes a-la Quizz is impressive, and he possesses the top end speed that Quizz does not. Rodgers and James are ninth and tenth in the nation in total yards.


Pick: Beavers -- Jacquizz produces the same yards, albeit in a more workmanlike fashion, while James is a big play threat at 6.9 yards per carry. The difference is the lethality of Quizz in the passing game, something James has yet to showcase in his brief career.


Tight End/Receiver: Ed Dickson is one of, if not the, conference's best receiving threat from the tight end position. Dickson leads the Ducks with 551 yards and six scores. His 6-5, 243-pound frame makes him a valuable asset for Masoli when on the goal line.

Less publicized but showing increasingly to be just as talented, Joe Halahuni has stepped up for OSU and given Canfield yet another tool at his disposal. Halahuni has snagged 33 passes for 462 yards and three scores – 335 of the yards and all three scores coming in the last five games.

Comparisons are few and far between at the wide out position. Oregon receivers are used primarily as blockers, while the OSU crew is used both downfield in the aerial attack and in the run game.

James Rodgers and Damola Adeniji continue to be the go-to threats, combining for 1,537 yards and 12 scores on 124 receptions. Quon has added another 260 yards and a score on the famous fly sweep OSU runs so well.

Aaron Nichols has become a quality third down receiver, aiding in the continuation of Beaver scoring drives. Nichols has 176 yards and a score on just 11 receptions.

The Ducks leading pass catcher, Jeff Maehl, has 548 yards from his team high 46 receptions. His five scores is good for second on the team.

The second most productive wideout is D.J. Davis who has just 215 yards and two scores on 20 receptions. While the stats aren't there for the Ducks, the effectiveness of Maehl is certainly enough for defensive coordinator Mark Banker to have spent some late nights this week in meetings.

Pick: Beavers -- The numbers aren't comparable -- and you can't really quantify blocking. Dickson and Maehl are effective but Halahuni, Rodgers, and Adeniji are all threats and used to a greater degree in the Beaver offensive scheme.

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