Well, with that destruction of ASU behind us, now we can look ahead to the next game on our schedule, Oregon State. Everybody knows the story by now. OSU is the Rudy of the Pac10. Everybody overlooks them and yet year in and year out they are competing for the Pac10. Honestly, Mike Riley has done better in the Pac10 over the last 5 years than Jeff Tedford and our beloved Golden Bears have. It pains me to say that, but it is the honest truth.
It is definitely going to be a difficult game this week. Fortunately, we have a great SBN counterpart up north in Building The Dam. We sent a bunch of questions up to AndyPanda and his beaverboys and they got back to us with the information. They help break down this Oregon State squad, so we can see what to expect this Saturday.....besides yet another emotionally debilitating defeat. Is there any other kind with Oregon State?
Thanks to AndyPanda and BuildingTheDam for their answers. You can check out their answers to our questions over there. GO BEARS!
1. Who's stepping up in the place of James Rodgers on offense and on special teams?
2. Pac10 midterm exam - how do you grade Ryan Katz?
3. Despite of starting Stephen Paea, one of the best DT in the Pac10, the Beavers seem to struggle against the run. What's the gameplan to stop Shane Vereen, who grinds out for yardage instead of flying over defenders for TDs like his best friend Jahvid?
4. Mike Riley - genius or mad man going for 2 in double OT?
A lot of fans surprisingly support Riley’s decision, despite the fact that it was a low percentage call, more likely to fail than not. No one trusts the defense right now, including the coaching staff. And Riley, as well as most fans, have confidence in TE Joe Halahuni that if they were to run the same play five more times, he would make the catch each time.
5. Is this the year for the Bears to break the Kevin Riley curse against the Beavers?
Only if he can turn in the kind of quarterback that Jake Locker or Andrew Luck are, ie a 60% passer who can also run a little, and throw on the run. That will allow him to take advantage of the Oregon St. cornerbacks, who are tasked with covering huge amounts of real estate, by buying time for his receivers to work into the open.
6. Oregon State has always found a way to give us our most heartbreaking losses of the year. In 2007 we had the Riley fiasco, in 2008 Cal's special teams yielded 2 TDs and Riley threw a pick six to mask an otherwise stellar defensive effort by Cal (that should have won us the game), and in 2009 you guys ended Jahvid Best's career at Cal. What sort of devastating win do you have in store this year?
This year it could be a statement game by Jacquizz Rodgers, who while only 7 yards behind his per game average from this point last year, has taken responsibility personally for what he considers to be the Beavers offensive underachievement. ‘Quizz is looking for a game in the 150 yard range, with several touchdowns.
7. If the OSU offense runs at 100% with James Rodgers, what would you rate it in his absence? Has anyone been able to fill the void?
80%. The problems have been in part due to field position, something James Rodgers made a significant difference in, and the inability of anyone to make the fly sweep be productive with any consistency. Receiver is Oregon St.’s deepest position, however, and if Marcus Wheaton can refine his game a little, and Jordan Bishop continues to progress, the passing game is still formidable. And Aaron Nichols and Joe Halahuni, who continue to make significant plays, will be looked to for improved productivity. Again, the bye week came at a great time. If the time proves to be well used, the Beavers can still be a force down the stretch.
8. You guys had some trouble pressuring the passer last year, has it improved this year?
There has been some improvement, but speed off the edge remains a concern. The key is to avoid getting into short second and third down situations.