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Can Oregon State Leverage Mis-Matches?

Oregon St.'s best bet might be to play for the big play as a result of the big mis-match this year.
Oregon St.'s best bet might be to play for the big play as a result of the big mis-match this year.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

The answer to that question will probably also provide the answer to whether Oregon State can escape the Pac-12 North cellar, or is likely to watch the bowl season from the couch exclusively.

The Beavers took Sunday off, and today was another day of doubles, but with no peeking, or even post-practice press releases, so we won't know if there's likely to be long lasting effects of Hunter Jarmon's banged up knee, or any residual affects for Rahmel Dockery.

What we did learn on Saturday is the offense still has work to do to clean up their mis-cues to make their short range game deliver the consistency necessary to compete in the high-octane Pac-12, where there likely won't be as many 23-17 games as there will be quarters.

But we did see the opportunity to turn one of those short-range plays into a game-changer from time to time, and its more likely to be Jordan Villamin (or Caleb Smith) that does it than speedy Victor Bolden. Bolden will doubtless break off some big plays, and he has the speed to separate, but its size, be it Villamin's length (especially), or Smith just plain massive size, that can really create mis-matches.

Bolden, fast as he is, isn't necessarily faster than the fastest of the DBs in the Pac-12. But the number of corners that can contend with Villamin, and the safeties that want to match up with Smith, on crossing plays like the one that resulted in the un-defended touchdown catch down on the goal line, just aren't plentiful.

Historically, it has been sustained successful plays that move the chains that also move up the score. But its a new college football world, and not just at Oregon St. Keep track of the number of big plays the Beavers get out of big mismatches this season. It's likely to be the best indicator of wins. (And better than hoping for opposing coaches to get in hot water and get distracted [or worse] after over-indulging!)