OSU looks to finish strong
With a possible Rose Bowl bid on the line, Oregon State stares down one of their final challenges of the season: Stanford on the road.
Matchup: Oregon State (11) vs. Stanford (14)
Venue: Stanford Stadium (Stanford, CA)
Game Time, TV: 12:oo (PT), FOX
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Weather: 61 High, 39 Low, Chance of rain
Team Records: Oregon St. (7-1) Stanford (7-2)
After his dominating victory against Arizona State, Cody Vaz will once again start for the Beavers. For just the second time this season, Stanford will start their backup quarterback Kevin Hogan.
Starting center Isaac Seumalo sat out Tuesday’s practice to rest his hip. All signs point to him playing Saturday. Same goes for Jordan Poyer, who didn’t play against ASU due to a knee sprain. No word yet on who will be starting at running back.
Both teams rank first (Stanford) and second (Oregon State) in the Pac-12 in run defense.
Since 2009, Stanford has only lost two games at home. Over the last five seasons, the Cardinal leads the series 2-3.
What to watch: Oregon St.
How do they beat this Stanford defense?
The last time the Beavers faced a defense this good, it was Week 7 against BYU. In his first collegiate start, Vaz led the Beavers to a 42-24 win in that one.
Despite Vaz’s great performance, the Beavers also rushed for over 100 yards. Last week against Arizona State—another
great Vaz start—they rushed for 157 yards. Against Utah—a game in which the offense had no rhythm—the team only rushed for 52 yards.
Do you see the trend I’m trying to paint here?
If the Beavers want to win this one, they have to keep moving the ball. While the majority of that will come from the passing game, they have to find a way to attack the ground against the best run defense in the FBS.
What to watch: Stanford
How does Kevin Hogan react to a defense not from Colorado?
The Cardinal have been running a plug-and-play offense all season long. Their plans are built on getting the running game going, and using easy passing sets.
But with their match against Colorado last week, Coach David Shaw decided to do something different. He started the redshirt freshman Hogan over Josh Nunes.
Hogan did quite well, completing 18 of 23 passes for 184 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also had 48 yards on seven carries.
But of course, anyone can look good against the Buffs. With a hard hitting Beavers defense looming for the Cardinal, can Hogan repeat his stellar stuff?
Beav’s O vs. Cardinal D
The biggest way for Oregon State to win this game is by not backing down up front.
That 0-line struggled last week against a Sun Devils team that ranked second in the Pac-12 in sacks. By the end of the night, ASU had six sacks, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt.
This week, the Beavers stare down the number one team in the Pac-12 in sacks.
Plain and simple, the Beavers need to get the passing game going to win this one. Stanford has a great squad, but their secondary is a lot thinner than the rest of the team. OSU won’t beat them on the ground, but they can surely beat them through the air.
That means giving Cody Vaz the time he needs to make his plays. If the line can get the offense moving on all cylinders, the Beavers will be pretty hard to beat.
Cardinal O vs. Beav’s D
Take everything I said for the Beavers, and just swap the teams.
Stanford has a great tailback in Stepfan Taylor, and he’s the backbone of their offense. But just ask Wisconsin, UCLA and Utah
what the Beavers do to great tailbacks.
If the Cardinal want to keep pace offensively, they need Kevin Hogan to take the lead. The best way to do that is to give him as much protection as possible.
OSU doesn’t have as dominate a pass rush as Stanford, but they’re pretty solid. If the Cardinal don’t guard well, Scott Crichton will have the time of his life out there.
Stanford also needs to watch out for Michael Doctor. The Beavs star linebacker is very good in the short game. They’ll find a hard time running screens against him.
It’ll be a war of defenses.
And each time that’s been the case this season—Wisconsin, BYU, Utah—the Beavers have come out on top.
No reason to doubt them now.