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Adjusting to the NCAA :: Recent QB's at Oregon State

Derek Anderson, currently with the Cleveland Browns.

Oregon State sophomore quarterback Sean Canfield is expected to make his first start August 30 at Reser against Utah. When he does so, it will make him the fourth regular Beaver starting quarterback in eight years. Jonathan Smith had the job from 1999-2001, Derek Anderson from 2002-2004, and Matt Moore in 2005 and 2006. But how do these quarterbacks adjust to the speed of play at the college level? Let's find out.

Most of these guys spent a year on the sidelines, being bread for the job of starting quarterback. Jonathan Smith watched Tim Alexander from the sidelines in his freshman season, then started the next three years. Derek Anderson was on the sideline watching Jonathan's record-breaking senior season. Derek went on to break all of Jonathan's records, including career yards, as well as single season yards-- for all three seasons.

Ryan Gunderson, out of Central Catholic in Beaverton, appeared to be the top man for the job heading into 2005, but the Beavers snagged former UCLA Bruin Matt Moore from the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California. He started four games for UCLA in 2003, but a leg injury in the opener sidelined him for three games. He came back from the injury, but Drew Olsen had taken over the duties, and Matt didn't see very much playing time. He didn't play in 2004, and started for the Beavers in 2005 and 2006.

He didn't have a year on the sidelines at Oregon State to learn the offense, and he didn't even get to watch a single game from the sidelines before he started. Oregon State went 5-6 that year, a possible reflection of Matt Moore's inexperience with Riley's system. Matt threw eight more interceptions than he did touchdowns, causing the Beavers to have their second losing season in seven years.

Here's a side-by-side look at how the last three quarterbacks have performed and matured throughout their careers at Oregon State:

Year QB Comp Att Int TD Pct. Yds.
2006 Matt Moore 229 378 8 18 61% 3022
2005 Matt Moore 211 355 19 11 59% 2711
2004 Derek Anderson 279 515 17 29 54% 3615
2003 Derek Anderson 261 510 24 24 51% 4058
2002 Derek Anderson 211 449 13 25 47% 3313
2001 Jonathan Smith 180 317 10 14 56% 2427
2000 Jonathan Smith 154 314 7 17 49% 2468
1999 Jonathan Smith 207 425 N/A 15 49% 3053

If you look at this table in terms of yards, both Jonathan Smith and Derek Anderson had the best years their junior seasons. DA threw for the most yards in school history that season, but also threw 24 interceptions.

As far as percentages go, all three quarterbacks have had their lowest percentage year in their first season. It steadily improves year to year for each QB, something you should expect out of any quarterback, and something we should expect out of Canfield. If all goes well, Sean will spend three years at the helm of the Beaver offense, but challenges from Lyle Moevao or new recruits could prove otherwise.

Sean will get great support from our trio of returning Senior receivers. Much in the same way Mike Hass was a savior to Matt Moore and Derek Anderson, Sammie Stroughter should help Sean make the transition into the college level of play. Yvenson Bernard and the rest of the rushing attack will also take some of the pressure off of Canfield, and if everything clicks, our offense should run smoothly.

However, there are always bumps on the road. Last year, it was a pre-season loss at Boise State. This year, pre-season games against Utah at home and Cincinnati on the road could be a challenge, but the Beavers have the talent to win each game.