Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oregon State Preview

Vacation Notes

We are in Martha's Vineyard which is off the Cape in Massachusetts's. We started the trip in Darien, Connecticut where we were fortunate to do a little boating in Long Island Sound. Just want to relate that this corner of the country is very special, and scenic. We heard one day that Eric Clapton was performing at a private club on the water in Greenwich, Ct.. We loaded up the boat and enjoyed a free concert on the water. MV is like the San Juan's on steroids. Very pretty area, but much more developed. No Kennedy sightings as of yet, but we are staying right across from Chappaquiddick in a town called Edgartown which dates back to the 1600's. Have to say the whole place is special, and will be back again some day. Tomorrow we go by ferry to Boston for a few days. I am really looking forward to that since it is one of the cradles of the American Revolution.

Sorry about the brevity this week, but we are having a great time. On the seafood scene we have enjoyed Lobster everyday, but at this point still have to give the edge to Seattle in that department. It's early, and we are trying to be fair, and we won't have a real guage on it till we get out of the toursit area's and hit local spots in Boston.


Molly Yanity turns in her best work of the season in a story where she reports on what the Husky football team has been doing conditioning wise this summer. To me it sounds like these guys are jelling early, and we may see the best conditioned Husky team in over a decade.

Oregon State Preview

The Oregon State Beavers (10- 4 overall, 6- 3 PAC-10) have only been to 10 bowl games, but they have won 60% of them. In the last seven years, they've gone to five, winning four, including their 2006 appearance in the Sun Bowl where they beat Missouri 39- 38. Last season they place 3rd in the PAC-10. This year they will contend for one of the top spots again.

The Beavers scored 27.8 PPG with most of their yardage coming from the passing game. Look for the club to take some pressure off of its QB by utilizing Yvenson Bernard's (296 CAR, 1,307 YDs, 4.4 AVG, 12 TDs) tough grit more than it has in the past. The QB position for Oregon State is still up in the air. Two sophomores are battling for the job—Shane Canfield and Lyle Moevao. Canfield holds the edge right now. Senior split end Sammie Stroughter (74 REC, 1, 293 YDs, 17.5 AVG, 5 TDs) has the sure hands and speed to make him the teams' go-to, big down man. On the line, Jeremy Perry, now a junior, is one of the nation's best offensive guards. Overall, the Beaver "O" line looks tough and solid.

Oregon State held opponents to 22.2 PPG by mainly stuffing the run and putting a lot of pressure on QBs. OSU had 47 sacks and 60 other tackles for a loss, which together equaled 107 hits for a loss, totaling 528 yards lost. That led the country. Senior DE Dorian Smith (9 sacks) returns to this talented line. Senior WLB Joey LeRocque (98 tackles, 44 solo) anchors an expert line-backing corps. Last season the secondary made its share of blunders, but there's hope that experience will turn that around.

The Consensus on Oregon State

Experts are picking big things for the Beaver's this year who finished stronger than any other team in the Pac Ten last year including USC who they knocked off late in the season. Coach Riley has proven himself after being on the hot seat early last season. It is hard to believe that the OSU faithful wanted to dump him after a slow start. Things have of course changed and the Beaver Believers truly believe there team has a shot at a BCS bowl in 2007.

My take is not so fast. Sure the Beaver's were manhandling UW even before IS went down with a season ending injury in the second half, but I think UW has better talent on the roster than the Beaver's do coming into 2007. Washington of course needs to prove they are better on the field in Corvallis, but if you don't approach each meeting with OSU thinking it's winnable you might as well join the Big Sky. Look for the Beaver's to finish in the upper division of a very competitive, and very even league. The difference between the #3 team, and the #8 team won't be that much this season.

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