Southpaw sophomore Sean Canfield starts at quarterback for the Oregon State Beavers. The first year starter from Carlsbad, California has had a shaky first year as the Beavers signal-caller. Canfield has been mistake prone in his short career throwing 13 interceptions in just eight games. Canfield threw for five interceptions in the Beavers 44-32 loss to Arizona State.
Although Canfield's interception total is very high he has made strides in the last two weeks. He hasn't thrown an interception in his last 58 pass attempts.
With Canfield under center the Beavers currently rank 7th in passing offense in the Pac-10 averaging 224.6 passing yards a game.
On the year the sophomore quarterback has passed for 1,508 yards and 8 touchdowns while completing 59% of his passes.
The Beavers average 157.1 yards a game on the ground and the majority of those yards have been gained by senior Yvenson Bernard. Bernard injured his shoulder last week against Stanford and is questionable for this Saturday's game against the Trojans.
If Bernard is healthy enough to play this weekend, USC will face one of the better running backs in the country for the second week in a row. Last week the Trojans weren't able to stop Jonathan Stewart, and trying to contain Yvenson Bernard this week is will be another difficult challenge.
Bernard, a First Team All-Pac-10 selection in 2006, will try and make his 33rd start of his career this Saturday against USC at the LA Coliseum. The 5-9, 202 lbs. tailback is currently the conference's active leader with 3,462 rushing yards. The durable back has also gone 162 rushes without a single fumble.
Behind Bernard the Beavers have two very capable running backs in Matt Sieverson and Clinton Polk.
In 2006, Polk filled in for the injured Yvenson Bernard and rushed for a game-high 100 yards against USC in the Beavers shocking 33-31 upset at Reser Stadium.
Oregon State has won 9 of their last 11 games when Yvenson Bernard has rushed for 100-plus yards. So the Trojans main focus on defense will be to shut down Bernard and the Beaver rushing attack.
The Beavers like to spread the ball on offense. So far this season they have 11 different players with 5 or more receptions. Anthony Brown, Darrell Catchings, and Brandon Powers have become the Beavers top receivers in the absence of Sammie Stroughter.
Senior wide receiver Anthony Brown has emerged as the Beavers playmaker in the passing game and leads the Oregon State receivers with 30 receptions for 418 yards. The 6-1, 217 lbs. receiver from Dominguez High School, in Compton California will be the receiver to watch out for on Saturday.
True freshman Darrell Catchings is filling in for Sammie Stroughter, and has made an immediate impact for the Beavers in 2007. Catchings, from Escondido, California has 24 catches for 261 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Brandon Powers has been a steady performer for Oregon State this season. Powers will be making the 16th start of his career this Saturday against the Trojans. Last year Powers recovered the onside kick to clinch the win over USC.
The Beavers receivers are a solid group but they lack a true playmaker. None of the starting receivers have more than a single touchdown.
The Beavers starting tight end, Howard Croom, has been a good weapon in the passing game. The sophomore tight end from Long Beach, California is tied for the team lead with 2 touchdown receptions.
On the year, Croom has 13 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
The Beavers have a very solid, veteran group of offensive linemen. The Beavers had four returning starters on the offensive line in 2007. Roy Schuening, Kyle DeVan, Jeremy Perry and Andy Levitre have combined for 123 starts on the offensive line.
Right guard Roy Schuening will make the 46th start of his career Saturday against USC. The big guard is a two-time Pac-10 Honorable Mention performer.
Kyle DeVan will start at center for the Beavers. DeVan has started in 33 straight games and was an All-Pac-10 Second Team selection in 2006.
Adam Speer is expected to start at left guard in place of the Jeremy Perry, who could return from injury this week.
The battle in the trenches should be fun to watch again this week. The Trojans defensive line should get the best of this match up, but the veteran Oregon State offensive line will be up for the challenge.