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Canfield Has Reason to be Confident Heading Into Saturday

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Two years ago, Oregon State then-sophomore quarterback Sean Canfield experienced his first defeat as a starting quarterback at the hands of the Cincinnati Bearcats.

He threw three interceptions, two in the first half. The two first half interceptions led to 10 Cincinnati points, and the Beavers could never recover.

Things didn't go Canfield's way from the get-go, as his first pass of the game fell through the hands of Sammie Stroughter. Stroughter had a step on his defender but mistimed the catch, and the ball fell through his arms. Sammie, who was playing in his first game since he sat out fall camp with personal issues, also muffed a punt that led to a Cincinnati touchdown.

Canfield's very next pass was intercepted and returned 20 yards, setting up a field goal.

"You can't make mistakes like that and expect to win a ballgame," Canfield told reporters after the game. He finished the contest with 143 passing yards and completed 14 of 23 passes.

Two years removed from that forgettable affair, not only is Canfield more experienced, he has the reigns of an offense that is posting over 400 yard per game and has led the Beavers to their first 2-0 start since 2005.

But not only that, Canfield leads all Division 1, FBS quarterbacks with a completion percentage of 78.6 percent after his 25 of 31 performance in Las Vegas. But interestingly enough, Cincinnati quarterback Tony Pike comes in at number 3 on that list with just over a 77 percent completion percentage.

Stroughter is gone from that 2007 team, but Canfield has a new bevy of receivers to throw to such as the steady James Rodgers, Damola Adeniji, Jordan Bishop, Casey Kjos, and perhaps Darrell Catchings.

Another reason Canfield can be confident is that he will be facing a defense that has been totally rebuilt for this season. The Bearcats only return one starter-- safety Aaron Webster-- and have a new defensive coordinator as well. Bob Diaco, who now oversees the defense, came to Cincinnati from Virginia in February, and had a busy off-season installing a new multiple-front look. The defense has had some early success however, as it held Rutgers to 15 points and limited the Southern Mississippi State "offense" to just a field goal.

Canfield has obviously grown a lot since that Thursday night game in September of 2007, but he'll face the Bearcats for revenge this Saturday, at home, with 45,000 on his side.

What do you think: Is this the biggest start of Sean Canfield's career at Oregon State? I say yes.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)