Monday, August 23, 2010
PAC 10 2010-Oregon State Beavers
2009 Record: 8-5 (6-3)
Head Coach: Mike Riley (10th season, 64-47)
Offensive Coordinator: Danny Langsdorf (6th season)
Defensive Coordinator: Mark Banker (8th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Las Vegas Bowl, lost to BYU 44-20
Offense: The Rodgers brothers (Jacquizz and James) are the big time weapons of the Beaver offense for certain, but they will be isolated if the QB job isn't straightened out. Ryan Katz looks to have won the job, after Lyle Moevao was denied his petition for a 6th season and Sean Canfield graduated. Virginia transfer Peter Lalich was supposed to compete for the job, but he was given the boot after spring ball due to off field issues, which were what drove him out of Virginia. Jacquizz Rodgers is a beast at RB, and may have an outside shot of Heisman consideration. He has rushed for 2500 yards the last 2 seasons. James Rodgers is just as dangerous as a runner on end arounds and off of screens as he is in the open receiving game. Markus Wheaton and Jordan Bishop will get lots of looks when defenses stack up against the Rodgers Brothers. 4 linemen return, which should help greatly with the QB transitions.
Defenses: Three starters return on the line, with DT Stephen Paea and DE Gabe Miller leading the way. There were losses in the off season when DE Matt LaGrone and LB David Pa'aluhi both left for family issues. Both were projected as starters. LB Keith Pankeny is highly questionable as he blew his achilles tendon during the winter. All of these issues have to be addressed, as now the LB group went from being a source of strength to being a source of concern. Former QB James Dockery looks to be a starter at one CB spot, while the other spot remains open with Brandon Hardin looking like the best bet at winning the job. Lance Mitchell and Cameron Collins return to man the safety spots.
Special Teams: Justin Kahut returns at PK, but must fix his tendency to miss PATs. Johnny Hekker will be the holder and punter, and is in his third season on the job.
Wins: 9/18 Louisville, 10/2 Arizona State, 10/30 California, 11/13 Washington State
Toss Up Games: 10/9 @ Arizona, 10/16 @ Washington, 11/6 @ UCLA, 11/20 USC, 11/27 @ Stanford
Losses: 9/4 TCU (@ Arlington), 9/25 @ Boise State, 12/4 Oregon
The non-conference schedule is difficult, and there are key road games that the Beavers must win if they have any chance of competing for the PAC 10 title. At the end of the day, the new QB will have to adjust quickly, and OSU will have to find a way to avoid slow starts that have hindered them in years past.
Outlook: The QB situation has to get sorted out, or else it won't matter what the Rodgers Brothers can do. The defense must also hope that ll of the off season drama does not derail what could be a very special season for them. The schedule is a bear early, and there are several difficult road trips that could be a wall that the Beavers may not be able to break down. OSU has historically struggled when breaking in a new QB.