The Beavers defeated Portland State 34-7 on a cold, rainy Saturday in Corvallis yesterday. Here are my thoughts on the game.
I thought Sean Canfield played great, living up to all the credit Mike Riley was giving him during Fall Camp. Sean went 8 for 11, throwing for 158 yards, and one touchdown. He looked very crisp with his throws and did not force anything. Ryan Katz also played for the Beavers, going 7 for 12 with 124 yards. He also connected with Aaron Nichols with a 56 yard bomb that I think was one of the best plays of the game.
Jacquizz Rodgers had a great game to start off the season, rushing for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Jacquizz had 16 carries, including a 43 yard touchdown run, the longest for him as a Beaver. Jovan Stevenson also played, rushing for 30 yards on 10 carries. I didn't see anything special from Jovan and I think that there's no doubt that McCants will be our back up when he is healthy.
Even with the loss of Stroughter, I thought our recieving corps looked great. Damola Adeniji, who could be huge this season for the Beavers, had three catches for 45 yards. James Rodgers looked great as well (no surprise there) with two catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. The TD came on the first offensive play for the Beavers with Sean Canfield connecting with James for an 87 yard bomb that sent the Reser crowd of 41,680 into a frenzy.
Aaron Nichols had two receptions for 61 yards, including an all out diving catch via Ryan Katz. Markus Wheaton had two receptions for 13 yards.
I thought Mike Cavanaugh's bunch did a great job, especially true freshman Michael Phillip. They should only get better as the season goes along so I don't think we have anything to worry about there.
Even though we only gave up seven points, I feel like our defense struggled a lot. The Run and Shoot is tough to defend no matter who the opponent is, but I thought they moved the ball to much on us. Our defensive line did not play well at all either. When you can't get a sack against an FCS team it shows there is a big need for improvement. Overall though, I trust Mark Banker and know he will get these guys better as the season goes on.
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I thought Justin Kahut did a wonderful job and looks completely different than last year. The 50 yarder he hit was just incredible. His kickoffs looked pretty good too, even though they could of been a little deeper. James Rodgers did well on his kickoff return as usual. I heard that he was going to return punts too? I tihnk he'd be a little better than Kavanaugh at that position. Hekker's punts were pretty good too. Overall, I think we are going to have a pretty good Special Teams unit this year.
I thought the Vikings played as well as canbe expected for them and definitely surprised me with their level of play. Quarterback Drew Hubel runs the Run and Shoot to perfection, and moved the ball pretty well against the Beaver D. Ray Fry had a great day as well, with 10 receptions for 146 yards. I think that Jerry Glanville has these guys headed in the right direction and might be able to win the Big Sky title this year.
I thought everybody was pretty loud when they needed to be, (3rd and 4th Downs, Goal Line Stand) which is good. I think it was the fact that it was Labor Day Weekend grouped with the bad weather and the opponent was the reason for the low attendance number. It should get into the 44,000's for the rest of our games I think.
It was also nice to see all of the sections with at least a few people in them. There's nothing I hate more than to see a completely empty section like there usually is at Reser. (That and players punching an opponent. Sorry, had to fit that in somew here.) Overall it was a pretty good crowd considering the circumstances.
Short Pac-10 Recap
Washington-Looked better than expected, maybe three or four wins this year?
Washington State-They looked horrible. Which is an improvement from last year.
Oregon-They looked pretty bad, but I'll cut them some slack since they were playing a tough team.
Oregon State-Looked pretty good, but you can never tell when you play an FCS team.
California-Looked really good, but we'll see what happens when they play a good team on the road.
Stanford-Played pretty well up in the Pallouse. We'll see how they look when the play @ Wake Forest next week.
USC-Absolutely dismantled SJSU. We'll see how Matt Barkley handles the Horseshoe next week.
UCLA-Played three good quarters against SDSU, we'll see how they play at Rocky Top next week.
Arizona-Looked alright against Central Michigan, should be interesting when the go to Iowa in week three.
Arizona State-Aniliated the poor Bengals of Idaho St, should be interesting when the play UGA later in the month.
A good way to start off the College Football season with a win despite the rough condidtions in Corvallis. You can't tell much when you play Portland State, but we did look good. I'm excited to see us open up the playbook next week against UNLV.
Who had the better win this week? BYU over Oklahoma or Boise State over Oregon?