The countdown to kickoff has now reached single digits in the hours category. Look for the game thread later in the day, but for now, let's share our final thoughts:
I wouldn't say I'm concerned about Katz, or any players specifically: I'm just hoping that Oregon State can come out and play like this game is at home. Early season games on the road have plagued the Beavers-- Penn State, Louisville, LSU-- here's to the Beavers breaking through today. I want the real Oregon State team to show up-- the gritty, competitive team. Proven playmakers on the offensive side of the ball like Jacquizz, James, and Halahuni give me lots of reason to believe the offense won't be anemic, but I'm really excited to see Katz impress on a big stage. Defensively, the Beavers need to stop the big play. This TCU offense is going to score, the Beavers need to carry a "bend but don't break" philosophy today. The front line needs to get pressure on Dalton early-- this is an offense that doesn't turn the ball over, but the Beavers need to force a couple today.
It's exciting to finally get the season started, but managing the excitement is going to be big. I'm looking forward to a big day by the Rodgers brothers, but it's not an accident or a joke that TCU is the two-time best overall defense. This puts the onus on the Beaver defense to get not only stops, but turnovers, and the rest of the offense (read: Ryan Katz) to not turn the ball over.
A big day from Steven Paea would be very helpful for all concerned.
Oregon St. has to make sure their best players are put into a position where they can make plays that will make the difference. If that happens, TCU's season can be spoiled before Labor Day.
Contrary to what many people say, I think this game comes down to a lot more than Katz. I want to see James Dockery and Keith Pankey have a big game, along with the Rodgers brothers on offense. If that happens, even if they don't win today, I think the Beavs are set up well for the season.
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--Jake | (firstname.lastname@example.org)