Ah, Quarterbacks, Quarterbacks, Quarterbacks. Last year was a bit of a bumpy road in this category, when junior transfer Matt Moore threw 19 interceptions and 11 touchdowns. This year, he needs to put last year behind him and continue to play in the present. He will have some advantages, as this will be the first year ever where Matt will be running the same offense two years in a row.
Matt will definitely emerge as the starter. At this point, competition is pretty close between Ryan Gunderson and Sean Canfield for the number 2 spot on the depth chart, but I think Canfield has it. Ryan is a big veteran who knows the offense in and out and can step up in a emergency. On the other hand, Sean Canfield is the future of the program. Gunderson is still a junior, so it will be interesting to see the competition for quarterback between him and Canfield at the beginning of next season.
Matt Moore appeared in six games as a freshman at UCLA in 2002. His sophomore year, he started four games, and appeared in eight. In the season opener against Colorado, he suffered a leg injury that put him on the sideline for three games. He eventually played in three more games at UCLA before transferring to the College of Canyons, and then signing at Oregon State for the winter term of 2005. He participated in spring ball and was announced the starter.
Ryan Gunderson has had a tough road at Oregon State. He has always been visible in the program, next to Riley calling in the plays, but prior to last year, never really saw a lot of time on the field. After Matt Moore went down in the second quarter against Stanford, Gunderson took over, and started his first game of the year the next week in the Civil War. Despite competing for playing time, he will still be a team leader, and will possibly be the holder on placekicks.
Sean Canfield is described in the media guide as:
Bet you didn't know that!
Sean is a great player, and will be the future of the program. He is an accurate passer and can throw the deep ball. Sean may get a few snaps late in some games, which will be exciting to fans, especially if Matt doesn't start the season very hot.
The key to success for our quarterbacks will be to slow it down, take everything in, and make the best decisions. No more throwing completions into triple coverage to Mike Hass anymore. The offensive line will be strong, which should cut down on sacks, and open bigger holes for the backs. If we play smart football all season, we will have success.