Troy Walters' QuickSlants™: OSU

To give us his "quick slants" on the performance of the Stanford receiving corps last week against Oregon State, we once again turn to Bootleg in-house expert, current Detroit Lions Wide Receiver and Return Specialist Troy Walters (1996-1999), the 1999 Biletnikoff Award winner and Stanford's career receiving leader. Troy was impressed with the group's blocking, but needs to see more playmaking!

Expert Analysis: Wide Receivers  vs. OSU

Troy Walters' Quick Slants™ (the new custom "segment branding" for Troy!)

Oregon State is a pretty tough place to play. First of all, you have to stay about an hour away in Eugene because there are not many hotels in Corvallis that can accommodate a football team adequately. Even after upping the capacity by 8,000 a couple of years ago (with plans to take it from the current 43,000 to 55,000) OSU's Reser Stadium is small and the fans are less than 20 feet away from the visitors bench. In order to beat the Beavers in Corvallis, you have to be mentally and physically tough. 

I know a lot of fans were listening on the radio and couldn;t see what was happening on the field. The game I watched showed that, defensively, OSU was more physical than we were. We couldn't establish our running game effectively, pretty understandable given the recent injuries, and their defensive backs were able to play tight coverage on the receivers. There were a lot of plays to be made from the receivers, but unfortunately they didn't make enough to put points on the board. #9 Richard Sherman made a very nice over the shoulder catch in the third quarter, but couldn't come up with a couple of other deep routes that could have given the offense a spark. During 90 per cent of the game, the Beavers were in man-to-man coverage, which means if the receiver can beat his man there is no one left to defend him. The OSU corner backs did an excellent job of disrupting the timing between Stanford's QB and receivers. The receivers repeatedly failed to get separation from the cornerbacks which meant that the QB had to make "tight" throws for the majority of the game. That is asking a lot from a young quarterback starting the fourth game of his career. On an encouraging note, the Stanford receivers did do a significantly better job of blocking this game. They were more aggressive and from my viewpoint, really blocked well. 

Lions Update: After getting by the Chicago Bears 16-7 at Soldier Field last week, the Lions are 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the NFC North, putting pressure on Green Bay! Now we are getting set to take on John Lynch and the Denver Broncos at Ford Field on Sunday!

Have a blessed week and Go Stanford!

About the Author: Troy Walters (LSJU '01), is an eight-year NFL veteran wide receiver and return specialist currently in his first season with the Detroit Lions after playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, and Arizona Cardinals. A four-time letterman at Stanford from 1996 to 1999, Walters became one of the most beloved players in school history. In his senior season of 1999, he was named the Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Year and a Consensus First Team All-American. He was clearly a big reason Stanford appeared in its first Rose Bowl appearance in 28 years. During that memorable 1999 campaign, the 5'7" 170-pound Walters caught 74 balls for a school- and Pac-10-record-shattering 1,456 yards and 10 TDs. He was also honored with the 1999 Biletnikoff Award, presented annually to the nation's outstanding wide receiver. Subsequently, he was selected in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. During his outrageously productive Cardinal career, Walters caught 244 passes for 3,986 yards (in excess of 1,000 yards more than the second-place holder) with 26 touchdown receptions, second only to Ken Margerum's career total of 30. Walters is currently the school's career leader in receptions and receiving yardage, single-season receptions (86), single-season receiving yards (1,456), single-game receiving yards (278) and longest pass play (98). In addition, he was one of the most dangerous return men in school history, tied with Luke Powell for fifth place all-time with a punt return average of 10.6 yards. A future first-ballot inductee into the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame. Oh, and let's not forget to mention that Walters was also a First-Team Academic All-American.  

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