2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 1 - Sacramento St at Oregon St
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Sept. 3 Sacramento State 29 … at Oregon State 28
CFN Analysis: Oh great, and at trip to Wisconsin is up next. Oregon State had no problems moving the ball on Sacramento State with 230 yards passing and 266 on the ground, but there's a major quarterback problems after Ryan Katz struggled a bit and Sean Mannion came up with the better day through the air completing 8-of 12 passes for 143 yards. Malcolm Agnew was fantastic with 223 yards and three touchdowns on 33 carries, but he couldn't help out a defense that couldn't come up with the key stops needed against Jeff Fleming and the Sacramento State passing game. Was this just a case of the Beavers not waking up for the opener, or are they really that bad? We'll find out next week in Camp Randall.
(AP) CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Sacramento State's Jeff Fleming hit Brandyn Reed with a touchdown pass in overtime to pull even with Oregon State and found him again in the end zone when the Hornets went for the two-point conversion for a 29-28 upset win over the Beavers on Saturday.
With the game tied at 21, true freshman Malcolm Agnew put the Beavers ahead in overtime with a 17-yard touchdown run. Fleming countered with a 4-yard scoring pass to Reed and the conversion to win it.
Fleming completed 22 of 35 passes for 257 yards and three scores for the Big Sky's Hornets, who were 0-10 against upper division opponents since 2002. Chase Daedder caught six passes for 61 yards and two scores.
Agnew ran for 223 yards and three scores to become the heir apparent to Jacquizz Rodgers for the Beavers, who hadn't dropped a home opener since 2001.
His second score, a 4-yard run, came with 8:08 left in regulation to tie it at 21. On the Hornets' ensuing drive, Oregon State's Sean Martin recovered a fumble that gave the ball back to the Beavers.
But the Hornets returned the favor on Oregon State's possession when free safety Joe Larche returned a fumble 58 yards to the Oregon State 28. Sac State got to the 11-yard line but Jason Diniz's flubbed field goal was blocked and the ball went back to the Beavers with just over two minutes left.
True freshman Kevin Romaine's 27-yard field goal hit the right upright to send the game into OT. After Agnew's scoring run,
Because of injuries and attrition, the Beavers played seven true freshmen in the game, most ever since 1997, when they played seven true frosh for the entire season.
Romaine hit his first career field goal, a 29-yarder, in the first quarter to give the Beavers an early 3-0 lead. But the Hornets answered with a scoring drive that ended when Fleming hit Deadder with a 19-yeard scoring pass to make it 7-3.
Sacramento State extended the lead to 14-3 with 2:39 left in the first half when Fleming found Daedder in the end zone again with a 4-yard pass.
There were boos at Reser Stadium when the teams left the field for halftime.
Oregon quarterback Ryan Katz did not start the second half after completing 11 of 22 passes for 87 yards. He was intercepted once and sacked twice. He was replaced by redshirt freshman Sean Mannion.
Katz, who had surgery in the offseason after breaking a bone in his wrist in the season finale against rival Oregon, did not appear to be injured. He was standing on the sideline to start the second half with his helmet on.
Mannion completed 12 passes for 143 yards.
Romaine hit a 45-yard field goal to narrow it for the Beavers early in the third quarter. But the defense couldn't seem to figure out the Hornets, and Sacramento State scored again on wide receiver Morris Norrise's 39-yard pass to Reed.
Agnew's 1-yard run made it 21-13 with 12:44 left in the game.
The Beavers were hampered by injuries. Most notable among the absences was senior flanker James Rodgers, known for his proficiency in pulling off Oregon State's trademark fly sweep, who is rehabbing from two knee surgeries.
Tight end Joe Halahuni and cornerback Brandon Hardin both had shoulder injuries and weren't available. Also out was defensive tackle Kevin Frahm (knee).
Defensive tackle Dominic Glover is still awaiting word on his academic eligibility, but he looks doubtful for the opener.
The Beavers were also adjusting after the departure of prolific running back Jacquizz Rodgers, who left Oregon State a year early to go to the NFL. He now plays for the Atlanta Falcons.
In contrast to the Beavers, the Hornets entered the season mostly injury-free. Fleming had surgery on his throwing elbow after last season, but certainly appeared fully recovered.
The two teams had met once before, in the 2003 opener, which the Beavers won 40-7.
Sacramento State (0-0) at Oregon State (0-0) Sept. 3, 4:00
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Here's The Deal … Oregon State has won nine straight home openers, including a 40-7 rout of Sacramento State in 2003. The Beavers are hoping to bounce back from its first losing in five years, an uncharacteristically bad season from a Mike Riley production. The program was sidetracked by depth-depriving injuries, which have continued throughout the 2011 offseason. Riley's teams have shown a penchant for exceeding preseason expectations, track record the folks in Corvallis are hoping continues this fall. Although still considered a middle-of-the-pack Big Sky program, Sacramento State is heading north. The Hornets were at their best toward the end of last year's 6-5 campaign, taking three of the final four games and firing up the offense. This school has never qualified for the playoffs, but fifth-year head coach Marshall Sperbeck has his kids inching closer to the postseason with each passing fall.
Why Sacramento State Might Win: The Hornets are paced by their offense, and specifically QB Jeff Fleming. The former New Mexico State transfer threw for a school-record 23 touchdown passes a season ago, sharpening as the campaign wound down. It's a good thing for Sac State that the quarterback won't have to go it alone on Saturday afternoon. He returns last year's top rusher, Bryan Hilliard, and two best receivers, Chase Deadder and Morris Norrise. The veteran collection of playmakers is looking to start fast in the face of an Oregon State defense that was stripped down by graduations. A dearth of proven edge rushers and pass defenders could haunt the Beavers in the opener.
Why Oregon State Might Win: The Beavers have serious concerns on offense, but you might not know it this weekend. Even a hobbled Oregon State team, which will be without WR James Rodgers and H-back Joe Halahuni, that lacked efficiency in 2010 will be too much for an overmatched Sacramento State D. QB Ryan Katz is one of the bright young stars of the Pac-12, a strong-armed returning starter who'll employ the big-play skills of WR Markus Wheaton. The Beavers will cause problems for the Hornets offensive line by collapsing the pocket with an inside pass rush. The main tackles in the rotation of Dominic Glover, Andrew Seumalo and Castro Masaniai can all get off the snap and into the backfield in a hurry.
What To Watch Out For: Oregon State is going to need more than just Wheaton to support the development of Katz until Rodgers and Halahuni return. RB Ryan McCants has a shot at redemption in his senior year, after spending the last two seasons AWOL. He's listed at No. 1 on the depth chart, filling the void left by early NFL entrant Jacquizz Rodgers. The Beavers staff has been raving all summer about the play of true freshman slot receiver Brandin Cooks. Nicknamed "Sonic Boom", he has the speed and elusiveness to be the second-coming of the Rodgers brothers.
What Will Happen: So how high is the ceiling for the Beavers in 2011? A visit from Sacramento State won't answer that question. It will, however, afford Riley a chance to work out a two-deep that has considerable changes from a year ago. Katz will be the hero on Saturday, kicking off his third season of eligibility with 250 yards and two touchdowns through the air. With a trip to Wisconsin on the horizon, Oregon State will need to make the most of a comfortable win and a scrimmage-like atmosphere.
CFN Prediction: Oregon State 45 … Sacramento State 17
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