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2007 Oregon State Preview

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jul 27, 2007


Preview 2007 Oregon State Beavers

Oregon State Beavers

Preview 2007

By Richard Cirminiello

- 2007 OSU Offense Preview | 2007 OSU Defense Preview
-
2007 OSU Depth Chart | 2006 CFN Oregon State Preview 


You’d never know it based on the limited national coverage it receives, but no Pac-10 program has won more bowl games this decade than Oregon State, and only two — USC and Oregon — have won more games.  No school in the conference gets less respect than it deserves than Oregon State, but that’s on the verge of changing, as the lunch-pail Beavers return 18 starters from a squad that finished 2006 with ten wins and an unexpected ranking in the final polls.  

Head coach: Mike Riley
7th year: 38-34
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 28, Def. 31, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 13
Ten Best Beaver Players
1. RB Yvenson Bernard, Sr.
2. WR Sammie Strougher, Sr.
3. LB Derrick Doggett, Sr.
4. PK Alexis Serna, Sr.
5. OG Jeremy Perry, Jr.
6. OG Roy Schuening, Sr.
7. C Kyle DeVan, Sr.
8. LB Joey LaRocque, Sr.
9. LB Alan Darlin, Sr.
10. DE Dorian Smith, Sr.

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
7-5

Aug. 30

Utah

Sept. 6

at Cincinnati

Sept. 15

Idaho State

Sept. 22

at Arizona State

Sept. 29

UCLA

Oct. 6

Arizona

Oct. 13

at California

Oct. 27

Stanford

Nov. 3

at USC

Nov. 10

Washington

Nov. 17

at Washington St

Dec. 1

at Oregon

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
7-6
2006 Record: 10-4

Preview 2006 predicted wins

8/31 E. Washington W 52-17
9/7 at Boise State L 42-14
9/23 Idaho W 38-0
9/30 California L 41-13
10/7 Washington St L 13-6
10/14 at Washington W 27-17
10/21 at Arizona W 17-10
10/28 USC W 33-31
11/4 Arizona State W 44-10
11/11 at UCLA L 25-7
11/18 at Stanford W 30-7
11/25 Oregon W 30-28
12/2 at Hawaii W 35-32
12/28 Sun Bowl
Missouri W 39-38

It’s taken a few pedestrian seasons, but Oregon State has finally begun to get some traction under Mike Riley.  Last year was a launching point, highlighted by a program-defining upset of USC in October and a pulsating come-from-behind win over Missouri in the Sun Bowl.  The momentum in Corvallis is palpable, Reser Stadium is adding 3,000 seats, and the returning talent, including playmakers Yvenson Bernard and Sammie Stroughter and the best group of Pac-10 linebackers this side of Los Angeles, is good enough to exceed last season’s improbable results.  The great unknown for the Beavers in 2007 is at quarterback, where veteran Matt Moore has graduated, and gifted yet untested sophomore Sean Canfield is slated to be at the controls.   

While Oregon is showing wear and tear and Cal must replace four cornerstone players, Oregon State has the ingredients for its most complete team since 2000, when the Beavers capped an 11-win season with a 41-9 Fiesta Bowl schooling of Notre Dame.  There’s a highly visible opening behind USC in the Pac-10 pecking order that Oregon State is prepared to fill, if Canfield can handle the pressure in his first season as the team’s starting quarterback. 

What to watch on offense …Always striving for balance, the Beavers have the tools to achieve it once again.  Behind a very physical and battle-tested offensive line, Bernard is a slashing workhorse, who’ll register a third straight 1,000-yard season, provided defenses aren’t able to crowd the line of scrimmage.  The job of keeping defenses honest likely belongs to Canfield, a big, strong lefty, who nearly cut into Moore’s playing time last season.  Whoever’s throwing passes will spend plenty of time searching for Stroughter, a poor man’s DeSean Jackson of Cal, who can break open a game whether he’s catching passes or fielding punts.    

What to watch on defense …For a defense that requires its linebackers to be big, fast and instinctive, the Beavers have three good ones in seniors Derrick Doggett, Alan Darlin and Joey LaRocque.  They’ll set the tempo for the unit, especially in run defense, but the key in 2007 will be to continue pressuring opposing quarterbacks, without relying too heavily on the blitz.  The Beavers were third nationally in sacks a year ago, which protected young and vulnerable corners Keenan Lewis and Brandon Hughes.    

The team will be far better if …Canfield limits his turnovers and gives opposing defenses reason to reconsider stacking the box.  The Beavers are in real good shape everywhere else, including the kicking game, so if the sophomore can blossom quickly, a Holiday Bowl berth and another ten-win season are within reach.   

The Schedule: While the non-conference schedule (Utah, at Cincinnati and Idaho State) isn’t without its charm, the real meat is on the road with five Pac-10 away dates, all of them nasty. The conference season starts out at Arizona State, followed by home dates with UCLA and Arizona, but trips to Cal, USC, Washington State and Oregon will force the Beavers to prove themselves. They don’t get any back-to-back home games after early October.

Best Offensive Player: Senior RB Yvenson Bernard. A case could be made for WR Sammie Stroughter as well. With back-to-back 1,300-yard campaigns along with 25 touchdowns, Bernard is one of the nation’s most productive returning backs. While he’s not a blazer, he’s good at getting through the hole in a hurry and is tougher to bring down than he looks.

Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Derrick Doggett. The leader of what should be one of league’s best linebacking corps, Doggett is one of the Pac-10’s fastest linebackers and a blur into the backfield, with five sacks and 14 tackles for loss last season. He’s been named to the second-team All-Pac-10 team two years in a row, and should be in the hunt for first-team honors this season.

Key player to a successful season: Sophomore QBs Sean Canfield or Lyle Moevao. Everything is in place for a big season with a nasty defense, tremendous backfield, veteran offensive line and All-America caliber kicker. However, it’ll all fall apart unless Canfield or Moevao can make consistently good decisions, keep mistakes to a minimum and not be a liability.

The season will be a success if ... the Beavers win nine games. That might seem like a major downer considering all the returning talent coming off a ten-win season, but the Beavers needed 14 games to get to double-digits. It’ll likely take three wins among the tough five Pac-10 road games, and a bowl win, to get to ten again. Getting to nine should be hailed as a successful year.

Key game: Sept. 22 at Arizona State. A win in the Pac-10 opener should mean a 4-0 start going into home games against UCLA and Arizona. More importantly, it would establish OSU as a legitimate player in the conference race. Considering the road games ahead, a loss would likely end all title hopes before they begin.

2006 Fun Stats: 
- First quarter scoring: Oregon State 129; Opponents 55
- Second quarter scoring: Oregon State 103; Opponents 115
- Sacks: Oregon State 47 for 342 yards; Opponents 35 for 222 yards

  

Related Stories
2007 Oregon State Preview - Defense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 27, 2007
2007 Oregon State Preview - Offense
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 27, 2007
2007 Oregon State Preview - Depth Chart
 -by CollegeFootballNews.com  Jul 27, 2007








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