If it takes one to know one, then I'm not going to have much luck knowing anything about the Oregon State Beavers. That's why I enlisted the help of Jake at SB Nation's Building the Dam blog to give us some insight on OSU and how he sees the game turning out this weekend.
My questions and Jake's answers are after the jump, along with an update on the blog bet. Enjoy.
Building the Dam is SB Nation's Oregon State blog, and a really good one at that. Head over and check out the work done by Jake and his team this week.
1. Describe your team's season to date in 100 words or less. "Muscle hamster" must be two of those words.
Oregon State heads into Cowboys Stadium looking like a muscle hamster compared to No. 6 TCU. They get lucky a few times and fight back in the game, proving they kinda belong in the national conversation. Against Louisville, the Beavers get lucky some more, but hang on for a win. Offense still trying to figure itself out, defense needs to get waaay better, and Mike Riley assures us that playing this schedule will help out come Pac-10 time.
2. If Boise State could pick one player from your team to come play with them, who would it be? If you could pick one Boise State player to go play for your team, who would it be? Explain.
I'd have to believe they would take Jacquizz Rodgers, although the Broncos are already very deep at the running back position. A player like him doesn't come around very often and I know that Chris Petersen is impressed with everything Jacquizz brings to the table. He's got speed, toughness, and can pick up 2-3 extra yards on almost every touch.
Oregon State is very happy with the development of Ryan Katz and knows he will be a heck of a quarterback by his senior year, but they'd love to have Kellen Moore playing with them this year. He's done nothing but win since his time in Boise, and could really jumpstart the OSU offense by opening up the passing game.
3. Imagine for a moment that your team is ESPN's college football coverage. What part is Ron Franklin and what part is Pam Ward? (In other words, strengths and weaknesses.)
If we were to simplify this as much as we could, the strength of this team is the offense and the weakness is the defense. On offense, the strength is the running game. Katz's inexperience makes him a weakness at times, which can slow down James Rodgers and the receivers. On defense this main weakness has been the linebackers, who are struggling to replace Keaton Kristick and David Pa'ahuhi off of last year's squad. The stats agree- the Beavers are No. 110 in the nation in run defense.
4. Name three keys to victory for your team. Name one key to certain defeat.
- Establish the inside run. If the offensive line, especially the interior guys struggle, it's going to be tough for the Beavers to win. But if they can open up some holes for Quizz and in turn give Ryan Katz some time to throw, things will work out better.
- Find the passing game. Ryan Katz is a first-year starter and isn't completing his passes at anywhere close to the rate Sean Canfield did last season, but he's going to have to play like a veteran for at least 48 minutes on Saturday. Even in practice this week he's been making minor mental errors and still struggling to put the right amount of velocity on different throws in the offense.
- Tackle. If the OSU defense can find a way to do just this, we'll see improvement from the last two games. The linebackers need to step up, and the defensive line needs to close in on Kellen Moore whenever possible. We hear he's shifty in the pocket but can't do much scrambling. Both Andy Dalton (TCU) and Adam Froman (Louisville) could, so we'll see how the Beaver defense can do against a pure pocket passer.
Key to defeat: Defense does not show up. If Boise State runs amok in the OSU defense like TCU and Louisville did to a certain extent, there's no way the Beavers will keep up on the scoreboard.
5. On a scale of boy bands, with O*Town being not at all and N*Snync being supremely, how confident are you that your team will win on Saturday?
I think it would be better described as optimism. The Beavers know they're the heavy underdog, and on paper this matchup isn't even close. But Oregon State has excelled on this stage before, beating USC twice when they were a top-3 team, and Cal at No. 2 back in 2007. Oregon State fans know that nine times out of ten, Boise State wins this game. We're just hoping that tomorrow ends up being that one time where Oregon State gets the upperhand and the Beavers can prove that they are a top-20 program.
So, what the heck. Let's go with New Kids on the Block (which the Beavers hope they will be after stirring up the college football landscape).
The Blog Bet
Building the Dam has graciously agreed to go toe-to-blog with us for the Boise State - Oregon State game. Winning team's blog gets a free post on losing team's blog. So far this season, OBNUG is two-for-two in blog bet victories and has made good with posts of Kellen Moore saving the Washington Monument and a Bronco-led guy's night to cure emo Austyn Carta-Samuels. The Internet better hope Oregon State pulls this one out because these blog bets are getting weirder and weirder.
Good luck to Building the Dam and the Beavers, and I do not mean that at all.