Game #10 : November 15 @ Oregon State (time and television TBA).
TwistNHook: Hey, remember when Chase Lyman was on pace for like 12 TDs in the game against OSU back in 2004. I think it was 2004. We seem to blow them out up in Corvallis and then lose in the most emotionally devastating manner possible at home. Let's not rehash last year's game here.
I don't believe that we'll blow them out in Corvallis like we have the past couple of times. This team has very quietly had some solid seasons the past couple of years. Last year they did better than us. The year before we slaughtered them, but they did beat USC (which we couldn't) and made a very respectable bowl, although I forget which one. We can't take them for granted anymore.
Hmmm, I'm hearing a lot of silence on OSU. People must STILL be sitting shiv'ah from that game last year.
TwistNHook: Well, let's take a first glance at OSU. They have a QB controversy too. Lyle Moevao v. Sean Canfield. These guys are entering their junior year, so we'll have this controversy for a while here. Apparently, neither performed as well as might have been hoped last year, but look for them to make a big step this season.
The biggest question is who is going to replace the St. Bernard, Yvenson Bernard. I swear that guy was 40 and had 16 years of eligibility. I feel as if he had been around forever. Wasn't he tearing up Cal defenses in like 1988? Now, they got this freshman kid Ryan McCants. He's huge, about 240. Runs like a diesel truck. He's got the hype of a Jahvid Best, even if he's the exact opposite type of back.
I always feel like they have great backs up at OSU. Jackson, Bernard, this McCants character could be next in line.
Also, of note, Sammie Stroughter has recovered from his appendectomy, leg amputation, penile laceration (ouch!), cueballectomy, and, of course, all that elective plastic surgery from last season. When he's out on the field, Stroughter is an explosive player, but he has some rough health last season. With inexperience and concern at QB, having a player like Stroughter out there can only benefit the Beavs.
They also have a wise and elderly offensive line with multiple players able to play multiple positions. With concerns at RB and QB, Beaver fans are hoping that the skill players at WR and OLine can help bring this offense together.
Whether that'll actually happen remains to be seen.
HydroTech: Riley wins a close one against the Beavs: Riley 6, OSU 3.
TwistNHook: Yknow, generally, Hydro, we wait until the END of the discussion to give predictions.
HydroTech: I don't have time for your rules, Twist. I'm a rebel!
Yellow Fever: Can't we just link to our demolition of Building the Dam? You know, again?
OSU has high hopes for this season! - Image via farm3.static.flickr.com
TwistNHook: Is that Cal v. OSU football score or our score versus BtD?
Honestly, I don't know why they thought it was so "devastating" towards them. We mostly made fun of ourselves. Except for this part:
Four: Your fans have many traditions surrounding the sport of football. What are some of your most questionable traditions? Do you have any good ones that aren't laughably ridiculous?
No, many of our traditions are laughably ridiculous. For example, the most well known UCB tradition is ridiculed by pretty much every football fan ever. It goes as follows:
1. Put your arms in the "Good Fieldgoal" symbol and yell "Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu."
2. Put your arms straight forward with a slight bend to them and yell "Seeeeeeeeee."
3. Keep your arms in the same form as Step 2, but bring your hands towards your chest and yell "Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee."
Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
That is probably our most well-known tradition and eminently mockable by all. [Whatever. That's totally awesome.--ed.]
Yellow Fever: And uh, hey. Sammie Stroughter's back. I still can't name anyone else on their team off the top of my head. Canfield is their QB, right? Last year's loss was too traumatic.
TwistNHook: Yeah. That sucked. A lot. These last 3 games are going to be depressing, depressing write ups. OSU, Stanford, UDub. *sigh*
Stunningly, Alexis Serna is out of eligibility. Half the frigging team last year seemed like they took Social Security benefits. Serna had been around since god knows when. What year was it he missed those 2 XPs against LSU? How does Riley manage to squeeze 12 years of eligibility out of all his players??? Tedford needs to learn this, go back and time and make sure Marshawn stays until 2012. Or at least until Boo-Boo is ready to take over!
Here's the crazy thing about OSU. It's D last year was sick. And it flew under the radar. But they graduated all of the starters on their front 7. Damn! Victor Butler and Slade Norris weren't starters last year on the DLine, but they both had enough sacks to rank in the Top 10 for the Pac10. So, there is some experience here. Nonetheless, replacing 7 starters can be difficult and lead to some uncertainty. We'll have to take a look and see approach to this portion of the D.
Of course, on the complete other hand, the defensive backfield is pretty staunch. They have 5 returning players with a combined total of 98 starts. They have 2 superstuds in Brandon Hughes and Keenan Lewis. These guys have started 65 combined games. That's............ a lot. I'm not even sure USC can match them here.
So, the D is sort of the tale of two worlds. Kind of the best of times, but also the blurst of times. Stupid monkey! On one hand, you have to replace 7 starters in the front (albeit some of the replacing players have decent experience). But with an incredibly strong and deep defensive backfield, OSU fans are hoping that the backfield will help keep the D steady while the newer players learn their roles.
Honestly, I wish we were facing this team earlier in the year. There is a lot of flux here, which could be settled by the time we face them. In November. In Corvalis. After USC.
Go Beavers? - Image via menofthescarletandgray.com
I don't even know how to go on this. I want to say Cal will win, because we seem to do well at Corvalis and there are a lot of Qs about this team. But it won't be easy. Close, close game. 21-17. All safeties, of course.
HydroTech: Give me a second to actually type something out, Twist. Hydrotech has a life, unlike you.
TwistNHook: Actually, Hydro, the stage directions that you are responding to won't show up in the eventual post. So, you are only embarassing yourself here.
More so than usual.
"OSU IS A MAN! OSU IS FORTY!" - Image via media.scout.com
HydroTech: Runningback Yvenson Bernard is gone. Praise be to Tedford. But OSU's returning rush threat is WR James Rodgers who averaged a Jahvid Best like 11.7 yards per carry last year on 50 attempts. Crrraaazzzzyyy good.
HydroTech: Crrraaazzzyyy bad? Canfield. Maybe he'll prove us wrong when we play the Beavs, but last year Canfield threw at a 58% clip and had a 9-15 TD-INT ratio. Yikes. I think even the stoutest Longshore-haters would gladly take Longshore over Canfield. On the bright side, Canfield did have two dominant games last year against the sturdy Stanfurd and Idaho State defenses. Although, if you take away these two good games, Canfield's stats get even worse. Nevertheless, turnarounds do happen. Look at Oregon's Dennis Dixon. He went from QB washout and minor league MLB player to Heisman trophy contender. TwistNHook went from talkative band nerd to somewhat respectable attorney.
TwistNHook: I'm respectable? When did that happen? How did I leap frog mediocre to get to respectable?
I'm not sure we can really rule out Canfield's game against Stanford. Because it's not like we dominated against those guys. *sigh*
HydroTech: So what if we didn't dominate those guys. Just because our offense didn't dominate Stanfurd's defense doesn't mean that Stanfurd's defense is good or something. The other plausible explanation is that the offense didn't play well. So Canfield could have played well against Stanfurd's weak defense. The Cal offense didn't play so well against the Stanfurd defense and thus we didn't dominate them. Stanfurd's defense can still be weak even though we didn't dominate them.
TwistNHook: If Stanford's D was weak. And we didn't dominate them.
Then, what does that make us?
Look, it's all in the past and ostensibly not about OSU.
HydroTech: It makes us stronger, but our O played poorly.
TwistNHook: Did this happen in a vaccuum? Did the O play poorly and Stanford's D had no effect thereupon. Yes, it's true correlation is NOT causation, but still.
HydroTech: Yes, Stanfurd's D had no effect thereupon. Duh.
TwistNHook: And this was when I realized that not only was I funnier than HydroTech, I knew more about football than him. Go me!
HydroTech: The day that you know more about football is the day when Southern Cal loses at home to Stanfurd.
TwistNHook: And this was when I realized that YF, Rags, and CBKWit wanted to create their own blog and leave the both of us behind to our circle jerk.
CBKWit: I'm jacking off to Riley porn, give me a minute.
TwistNHook: I find it doubtful you could last a whole minute.
ragnarok: I suppose it's also worth mentioning that Canfield's poor TD-INT ratio was due in part to two astonishingly bad games: @ Cincinnati, where he was responsible for 3 of the 6 interceptions the Beavers threw, and @ Arizona State, where he threw 5(!) interceptions. Other than that, he was serviceable, though the only teams that failed to intercept him were Idaho State, Stanford, and...Cal.
It's probably also worth mentioning that Lyle Moevao will be the Beavs quarterback to start the season...and that would be the case even if Canfield wasn't hurt (he's rehabbing from a torn labrum, and is questionable for the opener vs. Stanford). Frankly, I wasn't impressed with either guy last year; Sammie Stroughter, as awesome as he is, may have a frustrating year trying to get the ball.
"Run! Run! It's a Beaver! The most intimidating mascot ever!" - Image via www.sjcs.ca
CBKWit: Some might find it strange how we have recently lost heartbreaking games to the Beavs at home (2005 & 2007) while we've blown them out on the road (2004 & 2006). I found it strange, until I got around to part 1 of my analysis, the quarterbacks. In 05, we were starting Mr. Joseph Ayoob in place of an injured Longshore. In 07, Riley made the first start of his career in place of...an injured Longshore (this Longshore fellow might be a little injury prone, no?). So we lost close games when our (former!) starter was injured and our backups were put in less than desirable situations (Riley - first career start against the top defense in the conference with a #1 ranking on the line. Ayoob - was Joe Ayoob).
For the even-year road games, we had a healthy Rodgers in 04 and a (somehow) healthy, nasty, Nate in 06. And they tore it up. So while I probably should be concerned about their latest under appreciated but good running back, their under appreciated by very good defense, and the return of their under appreciated but explosive receiver. I'll stick to my simplistic analysis. If we have a healthy Riley OR Longshore (both capable of being good Pac-10 starters), we should win, even in Corvallis, even after USC. If both of them are hurt and we're starting Brock Mansion for the first time coming off a historic win against a top opponent (SC) and the number 1 ranking in the country within our grasp...wait, where have I heard this before?
ragnarok: I've heard this year being called a rebuilding year for Oregon State (replacing your entire front 7 on defense will do that), but I'm not so sure. The Beavers have consistently been getting good performances out of less-heralded guys, and buy the time we face these guys, their new defensive starters will be pretty well-seasoned. Oregon State is always a tough out, especially late in the season. The last two seasons, they won 8 of their last 9 and 7 of their last 8, respectively.
I'd love it if the road team winning streak held up one more year, but I just don't know. Before the Riley announcement, I was ready to call this a loss, but I'll say KR has a glorious homecoming and pulls off a big win. 34-31 Cal.