For those of you who might ask for my credentials.... I played football all my life. Started 3 years on varsity at QB in a 4A (Largest class in Washington), Eastern Washington high school. I broke Drew Bledosoe's Big 9 record for completion yards in a game (498 yards, my junior year against Eastmont HS) I think I know more about football than most non-coaching adults and I know , and I know more about football than almost all of my peers (Save those playing at the next level of course). That being said. I am hatemay, here are my thoughts.... Oregon state edition.
Quarterback/ Wide receiver-Kellen Moore should no longer get flack for not throwing a good long ball. He put some of those throws precisely on the money. The one handed catch by Titus, the roll out, on the run TD throw to Titus, and a few variety short passes were thrown so well I had to keep in mind I was watching a 22 year old young man... not Joe Montana. Our receiving corps continues to play well. When will opposing teams figure out that when we are inside of their 20 yard line we are going to go play action slant across the middle.... usually to Austin Pettis? It just proves teams must respect the run. Also proves that Pettis has what it takes to get the receiver 3 feet behind him.
Doug Martin.... why beat a dead horse? Well, I will. He got off to a slow start, but in the second half ran with bad intentions. I think in the first half he had a hard time spotting the gaps because of the quickness of the OSU line. As the game wore on he found his groove... and found running room. Analysts talk about Mark Ingram's yard after contact. I wish to know how many yards after contact Douglas has. Doug Mad, Doug Smash. Does anyone know the status of D.J. Harper's injury? I am guessing he will dress next week but I don't think he will play. Dan Paul continues to blow my mind with his physical run blocking abilities. I prefer to keep Canadian Bacon out of the backfield... keep Paul or move Koch, Linehan, Efaw or Gallarda as a goal line blocker. Those OSU defenders were shooting right at his knees on his lead blocks... makes me nervous.
Offensive line played well. It must be said the Oregon State has a very tough, physical D-line. Especially Stephen Paea, who in my opinion is a future first rounder. Another game without a sack, another game with 100+ yards rushing. Well done big fellas.
Secondary- Jamar Taylor plays physical. Jerrell Gavins played well filling in at times for Taylor and in obvious passing situations. Jerrell played much better than last weeks game, and Brandyn Thompson had a good night. Our safety play was good in the run support, but something tells me we could be better at the routes over the middle and to the tight ends. Some of that falls on the LB's for not getting good jams.
Line backers-The Hout continues to play well. I like him over Derrell Acrey but there is little drop off with Acrey. I wish we would have seen more twists and inside blitzes, but I know that with the fly sweep we must keep outside contain. Winston Venable continues to be a vocal and physical leader on defense. I love his aggression.
Our Defensive line wasn't as dominating this week as weeks past. They were up against a very physical offensive line. More physical than Virginia Tech in my opinion and it should go without saying... but I will say it anyway.... more physical than a certain team from Laramie. The D-line won the battle in my opinion. Jac. Rodgers was held to minimal gains, and they got pressure to Ryan Katz numerous times.
Special Teams. I don't think coach Choate got much sleep last night, and he wont get much tonight either. Brotz had a good game. But the punt return for a TD was a shot in the arm that OSU needed to get in the game. We can't give that up on the road in Reno. The kick off coverage was atrocious. We are usually good. Players like Cedric Febis, Travis Stanaway, J.C. Percy and Tommy Smith do a great job of limiting opposing players to big returns. For some reason that wasn't the case last night.
Potpourri thoughts. I knew that OSU is a good program. They came out to play. More than I expected. They had a more physical O and D lines than I expected. A lot of credit goes to Coach Riley, he runs a good program. Much more than his in-state rival. There were some bad calls. The refs tried to "Get things under control" by letting loose on the flags. The call on Winston Venable was dog sh!%. I looked high and low for any type of penalty on that play committed by any Bronco and there was none. Tommy Smith needs to understand that what he do was an foul that could have gotten him ejected. Coach Pete will make sure he is in very good shape come Monday for that. It was a bad decision on his part. A big thanks once again to Crissie and Mr. Crissie for putting on another splendid tailgate. It was good to meet more OGNUGers. The food was amazing. I know its hard to get excited for Toledo coming to town but I hope we can make it happen again.
We have New Mexico State on the road next week. Coach Pete will do a fantastic job of getting everyone scared to death that NMSU will clean our clock. But, we must understand, we need to take things one game at a time.