After a hetic morning at the airport, I'm writing to you from seat 13A my Alaska Airlines flight from PDX to Oakland. It wasn't the original plan, but that's life for you. It was good to see Beaver Nation in strong force at the airport this morning. We should have a good turnout for the game judging by the looks of the check-in line.
Well, travel problems aside, the Emerald Bowl is tomorrow. The game preview continues today with a look at the starts for both teams. We're starting off with a look at Oregon State's offense and Maryland's defense, and this post will be followed by a look at Maryland's offense and the tenacious Oregon State defense.
DE: Jeremy Navarre 6-3 262 Junior
DT: Carlos Feliciano 6-5 307 Senior
DT: Dre Moore 6-4 311 Senior
(or) LEO: Trey Covington 6-3 240 Junior
Strong: Moise Fokou 6-1 225 Junior
Middle: Dave Philistin 6-2 231 Junior
Weak: Erin Henderson 6-3 236 Junior
CB: Isaiah Gardner 5-11 197 Senior
FS: J.J. Justice 6-2 222 Senior
SS: Christian Varner 5-11 205 Senior
CB: Kevin Barnes 6-1 188 Junior
LT: Andy Levitre 6-3 311 Junior
LG: Jeremy Perry (?) 6-2 329 Junior
C: Kyle DeVan 6-2 306 Senior
RG: Adam Speer 6-3 283 Junior
RT: Roy Schuening 6-4 320 Senior
QB: Lyle Moevao 5-11 226 Sophomore
RB: Yvenson Bernard 5-9 201 Senior
TE: Howard Croom 6-3 248 Sophomore
Split End: Darrel Catchings 5-11 274 Freshman
Flanker: James Rodgers 5-7 181 Freshman
Slotback: Brandon Powers 6-2 218 Senior
Fullback (if used): Andy Stewart 5-11 235 Senior
H-Back (if used): Gabe Miller 6-3 239 Freshman
Although Maryland's defense isn't in the top tier of the ACC, they have a talented squad who can compete with anyone. They showed that during the regular season by beating Boston College and Rutgers, two teams that were mentioned in many National Championship conversations at the beginning of the year. Maryland is 2-1 against opponents ranked in the Top 25. Their loss came to then No. 4 West Virginia their third game of the season.
Weakside linebacker Erin Henderson is one of the leaders of the Maryland defense with 122 total tackles on the year. He's one of the best linebackers in the nation, and was a semifinalist for the Butkus award this season. He received First Team All-ACC honors this year, after making the second team last season. He missed the entire 2005 season with a knee injury. He holds the team record for career tackles, despite only two years in uniform.
Defensive Tackle Dre Moore is another talented defender. At 6-4, 311, Moore can tie up the interior of the line with his speed and strength. He also received All-ACC honors this season. Some NFL scouts are ranking Moore as high as fifth as a prospect at defensive tackle. He has 10 and a half sacks on the year, and would love to get his hands on Lyle Moevao and the rest of the Oregon State backfield.
We're less than a day away: