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5 Thoughts - 2008 Sun Bowl
Oregon Stuffs Bill Stull
Oregon Stuffs Bill Stull
Posted Dec 31, 2008

Oregon State beats Pitt 3-0... 5 Thoughts on the 2008 Sun Bowl

5 Thoughts 2008 Sun Bowl

Oregon State 3 ... Pitt 0

GAME RECAP: Oregon State's defense dominates
- 2008 CFN Sun Bowl Preview

2008 Sun Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

1. No, I'm not insane, at least not clinically, and my brain surgery was close to 20 years ago; I liked this game. I know, I know, it didn't have the offense of the Armed Forces Bowl earlier in the day, and this will likely be remembered more for the offensive futility and ineptitude than anything else, but it was sort of like watching a bad movie that appeared to be on the verge of a big payoff. That it never came didn't take away from the anticipation. Pitt was known for making big comebacks throughout the year, and it had two chances late to come up with the tie, but Conor Lee missed a 58-yard field goal wide and the final drive got stopped. It might not have been scintillating football, but it was a brilliantly coached defensive game by the Oregon State defensive staff and it was intriguing at the end. I wouldn't want a whole bowl season full of these games (this game could've been 19 quarters and the Pitt passing game still wasn't going to work), but a great defensive slugfest isn't bad once in a while. - Pete Fiutak

Awful. Hideous. Brutal. Repugnant. Dreadful. If I had a bigger vocabulary, I’d spend the rest of this space spitting out more adjectives to describe the Pittsburgh offense. While Oregon State deserves its share of the shutout, the Panthers were a disgrace, failing to produce 200 yards from an offense that has one of the best backs in the country, a nice group of receivers, and had a month to prepare. The blame can be spread out to a wicked situation at quarterback, terrible play-calling, and poor pass-protection. Who was in charge of preparing Bill Stull and Pat Bostick for this game because both looked lost for four quarters? Where was multi-dimensional third-stringer Greg Cross, who at least has the feet to improvise and escape the Beaver rush? Hey, LeSean McCoy, you ought to think long and hard about returning to school in 2009. Do you really want to be associated with this mess for another season? - Richard Cirminiello

3. It's really rather simple. If you want to give Oregon State's defense problems, run a spread/option/spread option/spread HD/triple option, or some other kind of offense with the words spread or option in them. OSU eats up traditional pro sets, and today's game showed why. Pittsburgh isn't a bad team, but as a point of comparison, the Oregon Ducks annihilated these same Beavers in November with speed and confusion. Simply trying to run LeSean McCoy between the tackles just didn't work for Dave Wannstedt.
It's a tremendous credit to the Beavers' defense that they were able to be so dominant on a day when they knew they'd have to carry the team. The absence of both of the high-powered Rodgers brothers (Jacquizz and James) meant that Oregon State entered this contest at a disadvantage. Dynamic defense--and a lack of offensive creativity from the Panther braintrust--created the low-scoring affair we saw today. - Matthew Zemek
4. I'm sorry, but I'm getting really tired of seeing legitimate completions being ruled incomplete because of a misguided point of emphasis. It used to be that if you got a foot down and had possession of the ball--particularly in the end zone, where, by definition, you can't run after the catch--that's all you needed for a completion. Now, this silly thing about "a football move" and "holding onto the ball after contact with the ground" is just getting way out of control.
Plainly put, Oregon State's John Reese caught a touchdown pass in the final seconds of the first half in this game. Reese had a foot and a knee down in the end zone, but when he skidded out of the end zone, the ball popped loose. The replay booth looked at the play for several agonizing minutes, and came to the conclusion that a catch wasn't made.
Pitt fans might think this is selective whining, but the reason for making this argument is not to say that Oregon State got screwed; the purpose of this argument is to ensure that this point of emphasis is garbage, and needs to be junked. I would like to think any lover of football would be able to appreciate as much. - Matthew Zemek

5. Amen for Oregon State DE Victor Butler, who was about the only positive thing to come out of this year’s Sun Bowl. In an otherwise snoozer, the senior, who’ll play in the East-West Shrine game in two weeks, really helped his NFL draft status, while doing his part to keep Pittsburgh off the scoreboard. For four quarters, he embarrassed the Panther tackles to the tune of 11 tackles, four sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery. On an afternoon when the Beavers needed someone to step up in the absence of offensive playmakers Jacquizz Rodgers and James Rodgers, Butler delivered with a memorable finale to his college career. - Richard Cirminiello