QUARTERBACK: First game starters at OSU

FOR THE FOURTH time in the Mike Riley era, Part II, a new quarterback will be lining up under center to start a season. Each of the past three has won their first game as a starter, but only one was victorious in their first road game. How might Ryan Katz fare?

Current Carolina quarterback Matt Moore piloted the Beavers to a 41-14 victory over Portland State in 2005 during his first game in orange and black. He completed 26 of 38 (68%) attempts for 367 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

His first road game came against a tough opponent in No. 11 Louisville. The California native started out hot completing his first five of seven passes while leading the team on an 11 play scoring drive on its first possession.

Moore finished with a great passing day, but was harassed all night as he was sacked five times and lost two fumbles. He topped the 270 yard mark for the third straight game completing 25 of 48 passes (66%) for 317 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Moore finished 2005 with 2,711 yards on 211 of 355 attempts (59.4%), but tossed 19 interceptions and 11 touchdowns. The team finished 5-6 - the last time the program didn't go bowling.

FIRST ROAD GAMES
QB Opponent PA PC % YDs TDs INTs
Moore at No. 11 Louisville 25 48 66 317 1 1
Canfield at Cincinnati 18 31 58 131 0 3
Moevao at Washington State 15 28 54 202 1 0

Current New Orleans Saint Sean Canfield's first start didn't fair as well as Moore's as he completed just 8 of 19 passes (42%) for 87 yards, one touchdown and one interception against Utah at home in 2007.

In fact Canfield was struggling so much in the first quarter that he was replaced by Lyle Moevao in the second frame. Canfield eventually returned in the second half leading the team to a 24-7 victory.

Canfield's first road game was rough too, but so was the team's opponent Cincinnati who would win 10 games and finish in the top 25.

The lefty tossed three interceptions - two that directly setup Bearcat scores - while completing 18 of 31 passes (58%) for 131 yards and no touchdowns. The Beavers were humbled 34-3.

But the team would bounce back winning nine games and finishing in the top 25.

The same year that Canfield received his first start, so did Moevao. After Canfield was injured against USC Moevao received his first start against Washington in November.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Ryan Katz first start comes against No. 6 TCU.


He completed 10 of 22 attempts (45%) for 109 yards and one touchdown and did not turn the ball over. His punishing hit on a UW defensive end was one of the plays of the year and got plenty of time on ESPN.

Moevao's first road game came against Washington State in Pullman where completed 15 of 28 (54%) for 202 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. The Beavers won handily 52-17.

At the conclusion of 2007 Canfield passed for 1,661 yards on 165 of 286 passing (58%), but tossed 15 interceptions and just nine touchdowns in nine starts. Moevao also had a bad touchdown to interception ratio with six picks and two touchdowns.

In four starts Moevao finished with 876 yards on 77 of 147 (52%) passing.

If there is one trend that is consistent from first year quarterbacks under Riley it is they have a horrible touchdown to interception ratio tossing interceptions to touchdowns at a 2 to 1 clip.

Fortunately the past doesn't dictate the future. And it is worthy of noting that except for Moore's first year, and including Moevao's 2008 season, two of the three first year starters piloted the team to a winning record and a post season birth.

Another positive sign for Katz is the praise Riley has tossed his way. Usually Riley is sparse with his compliments of a new quarterback - that has not been the case with sophomore Ryan Katz.

"He is poised to take this position and run with it," Riley said. "When he went into games, what impressed me the most is that he went in with a lot of poise and made plays.

"That’s the one thing you like about Ryan and an absolute key to playing the position. He’s tough. I think he’s pretty unflappable.’’

And while Riley and his staff are well aware of their team's slow starts and the plethora of interceptions - it is full speed ahead with Katz.

"We're not going to hold much back with this guy,'' Riley told The Oregonian recently. "We need some stuff to challenge TCU. The main thing is to tell a guy like Ryan, just go after it.

"He can't be in anything but attack mode."

And maybe, just maybe, the praise and the attack mentality can give Katz enough confidence to pilot the Beavers to one of the bigeest wins in program history.

 

FIRST YEAR QB BLUES
QB Year Yards PA PC % TDs INTs
Moore 2005 2,711 211 355 59 11 19
Canfield 2007 1,661 165 286 58 5 15
Moevao 2007 876 77 147 52 2 6
Average:
1,749 151 263 57 6 13

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