QUARTERBACKS: C (73)
With the strength of the defense and our running game, the mantra of the quarterbacks all season long was to "not lose the game". Just like how parents tell their kids to be "seen and not heard", Mike Riley and the rest of the Oregon State coaching staff thought that as long as the QB's put the Beavers in a position to win, managed the game well, and limited turnovers, the Beavers would wind up in good shape.
Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield certainly did not lose the Emerald Bowl, but some of their costly mistakes could have been avoided. Main example: Canfield's bonehead interception inside the ten. He's rolling to his left, nothing is there, and instead of getting hit (possibly sacked), he lobs the ball into the hands of Moise Fokou. To me, it looked like he was trying to throw it away, not force it into the hands of the OSU receiver in the end zone. The way I saw it, he saw the pressure coming, and forgot where he was on the field and just got rid of the ball. If he gets a little more umpf on that pass, we have the ball third and goal at the Maryland 4 yard line. If we score there, we tie the game up with about three minutes left in the half, but we wound up scoring after Maryland went three and out and had to punt. In the grand scheme of things, we probably don't score touchdowns on both of those possessions even if Sean doesn't throw that pick. We were fortunate to get that extra possession before the half, and we were also fortunate to get the ball in the end zone in the two minutes we had to work with.
Other comments: Would have liked to see Lyle be more effective and not have been limited by injuries. I hate to see us get into the habit of alternating quarterbacks in games, but what coach/fan does. However, it was good for Sean to get game experience to finish off his year. Also, it gives his some confidence going into the off season workouts, but Riley has already announced that Moevao will be the starter heading into spring practice.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A- (92)
Whenever you have two players rush over 100 yards, lots of credit goes to the offensive line. While James Rodgers, one of the players over 100 yards, usually burns defensive backs around the outside, the offensive line played a big role in helping Yvenson Bernard to 177 yards on the ground. That's not to say that the offensive line doesn't have role in OSU's "Fire Arc Arizona" (fly sweep) play, but their presence is the most felt when Oregon State runs the ball in the conventional style.
Oregon State definitely won the battles in the trenches, but the O-line gave up five sacks along the way. I realize it's very difficult for a line to alternate blocking for two complete opposite quarterbacks in the same game, but these sacks proved costly as Lyle Moevao was injured twice due to hits, and the Beavers lost a fumble on a sack at the beginning of the second quarter.
Other notes: Jeremy Perry, who broke his leg in the season opener against Utah, did not play. Gregg Peat replaced him on the line.
RECEIVERS/ TIGHT ENDS: A- (92)
The receivers get an A thanks to James Rodgers performance not only receiving, but running the fly sweep. While the results of the fly sweep go down in the stats as rushing yards, and we talk about Rodgers like a running back, we need to keep in mind that he is still a receiver.
The one touchdown he scored receiving was a beauty. I don't know if Maryland's coverage broke down of of James just juked the defender out of his cleats on the post route, but whatever happened, #8 was wide open in the end zone for six.
Shane Morales, Darrell Catchings, Brandon Powers, Brady Camp, and Chris Johnson also made catches in the game. While our longest reception was 14 yards, I thought our receivers still did enough damage that Maryland's defense stayed off guard. However, they knew the fly sweep was coming, and they still couldn't stop it.
Just like almost every other team.
Other notes: Anthony Brown only played one snap, and that was the very first play of the game. Believe it or not, Anthony hadn't played significant bowl minutes his whole career. He didn’t finish two regular-seasons due to suspensions and his sophomore season was plagued by injuries. Brown missed the 2004 Insight Bowl and played only sparingly in the 2006 Sun Bowl.
RUNNING BACKS: A (98)
There's not much to say here besides that we couldn't have won without Yvenson's 177 rushing yards and Rodgers' 115. That's why
we I decided to give them BTD Co-MVP honors.
Matthew Sieverson got one carry late in the game, but only got back to the line of scrimmage. Although that final drive was an important, I'm glad the coaching staff got him a carry to cap off his senior season.
OFFENSIVE AVERAGE: B (88.75)