Canfield or Quizz: Who do you stop?

Jeff Tedford and California chose Quizz. 

They couldn't stop Canfield. 

We're witnessing the Beavers get better and better as this 2009 season wears on, and it's largely due to the fact that the offense is so balanced. The Beavers are averaging 412 offensive yards per game. 131 on the ground, and 279 in the air. 

California did a good job of clogging holes up front and getting sideline to sideline to stop the Oregon State rushing attack. They obviously frustrated Jacquizz Rodgers, who only rushed for 67 yards on 24 carries, a season low. A fair chunk of his total yardage came on a 24-yard touchdown run late in the game, showing that defenses can't forget about Quizz, even if they successfully frustrate him for a fair portion of the game. 

But Cal's decision to stop Quizz at whatever the cost opened the door for QB Sean Canfield to light things up in the passing game, throwing for a season-high 342 passing yards, with a 75% completion percentage, no less. Canfleid has been utilizing one of the deepest receiving corps the Beavers have seen in awhile, with James Rodgers, Joe Halahuni, Damola Adeniji, Jordan Bishop, Casey Kjos, Aaron Nichols, and several others all playing a role. The biggest surprises of the year have been Adeniji and Halahuni-- the two receivers who come in right behind the Rodgers brothers on the stat sheet. 

Here's what AndyPanda had to say about Halahuni, one of Canfield's favorite targets, in a recent comment that deserves some front page attention:

Joe Halahuni, who had a career afternoon, will be keeping Nick Holt, and future opponents’ defensive coordinators as well, up late. When Arizona lost Rob Gronkwski, a lot of folks figured only Oregon’s Ed Dickson remained as a premier tight end in the Pac-10 (USC’s Anthony McCoy, now injured, hadn’t fully appeared yet). The position has been relegated to history in many programs at all levels, what with the advent of various spread offenses, but Oregon St. has kept what can be a major threat in their system.

Halahuni has made almost a quantum leap on a weekly basis, and is a physical mismatch for most defensive backs in the business. This requires defensive schemes that provide secondary support on nearly every play, which restricts blitz schemes, opens seams for the wide outs, and if a defense isn’t careful and fast, limits run support.

It will be interesting to see what method Nick Holt takes in order to stop the Oregon State offense. Stacking the box and bringing blitzes will open the door for Canfield to hit the likes of Halahuni, Adeniji, and James-- but may limit Quizz. Dropping linebackers into coverage to stop the passing attack will likely allow Quizz to break off solid gains all game long. 

How would you scheme to stop the offense?

The balance that this Oregon State offense is developing has to make you feel good about the remaining three games on the schedule. 

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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