2009 CFN Oregon State Preview
Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Posted Jul 5, 2009

The CFN 2009 Oregon State Beavers Preview, Breakdown, and Analysis.

Oregon State Beavers

Preview 2009

By Richard Cirminiello

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- 2009 Oregon State Preview | 2009 OSU Offense
- 2009 OSU Defense | 2009 OSU Depth Chart
2008 OSU Preview | 2007 OSU Preview | 2006 OSU Preview 

Head coach: Mike Riley
9th year: 56-42
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 27, Def. 23, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best Beaver Players
1. RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Soph.
2. LB Keaton Kristick, Sr.
3. WR James Rodgers, Jr.
4. DT Stephen Paea, Jr.
5. QB Lyle Moevao, Sr.
6. LB Dwight Roberson, Jr.
7. C Alex Linnenkohl, Jr.
8. OG Gregg Peat, Sr.
9. CB Tim Clark, Sr.
10. DE Ben Terry, Sr.

2009 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2009 Record: 0-0

9/5 Portland State
9/12 at UNLV
9/19 Cincinnati
9/26 Arizona
10/3 at Arizona State
10/10 Stanford
10/24 at USC
10/31 UCLA
11/7 at California
11/14 Washington
11/21 at Washington State
12/3 at Oregon

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2008 Record: 9-4

Aug. 28 at Stanford L 36-28
Sept. 6 at Penn State L 45-14
Sept. 13 Hawaii W 45-7
Sept. 20 OPEN DATE
Sept. 25 USC W 27-21
Oct. 2 at Utah L 31-28
Oct. 11 Washington St W 66-13
Oct. 18 at Washington W 34-13
Nov. 1 Arizona State W 27-25
Nov. 8 at UCLA W 34-6
Nov. 15 California W 34-21
Nov. 22 at Arizona W 19-17
Nov. 29 Oregon L 65-38

Sun Bowl
Dec. 31 Oregon State L 3-0

Go ahead and underestimate the Beavers, but do it at your own peril. There’s a real good chance they’ll make you look foolish by the end of the year.

Rather quietly, head coach Mike Riley has built something very unique and special in the Pacific Northwest, a program that perennially overshoots expectations and gets more from its resources than any other Pac-10 school. Over the last three years, Oregon State has been picked to finish 7th, 5th, and 6th in the league, only to wind up 3rd, 3rd, and 2nd. When does everyone finally catch on?

Last season was bittersweet, yet quintessential Oregon State. Pegged to straddle the .500 mark, the Beavers stunned USC at the end of September in one of the games of the year and controlled their own Rose Bowl destiny right up until the regular season finale. A 65-38 loss at the hands of rival Oregon meant El Paso instead of Pasadena, but a third straight Top 25 finish was proof that the program has a legitimate claim to the No. 2 spot in the league behind the Trojans.

Once again, there’s a need to retool, but few in Corvallis appear rattled. Yeah, both lines need major work and the secondary lost all four starters, but as long as Riley and his staff are on campus, there’s a sense of calm that everything will be fine. The Rodgers brothers, Jacquizz and James, will carry the offense, and the defense will slide new playmakers into key roles, much like it’s done for the past seven or eight years.

There’ll be a bunch of new starters at Oregon State this fall, especially on defense. Riley sees it as an opportunity—an opportunity for former backups to reach their full potential. And an opportunity for the coach to solidify his position as one of the most underrated teachers in America. Looking at his recent run with the Beavers, only a fool would doubt him at this point.

What to watch for on offense: The quarterbacks. Who doesn’t like a good tussle between a pair of senior hurlers, right? Well, the staff could do without it, but then again, two experienced players at the position isn’t such a bad thing. Lyle Moevao is the incumbent, an unpolished rogue of a player, with a knack for getting the job done and getting the most out of his teammates. Sean Canfield, on the other hand, looks as if he’s been preparing for this job his whole life. He stands tall in the pocket, practices good fundamentals, and was heavily recruited out of high school. However, he’s been a disappointment, struggling to produce. Canfield gained ground in the spring while Moevao rested his surgically-repaired shoulder. Now, he’ll need to prove he can close the deal in August.

What to watch for on defense: The young safeties. Of course, it would be great to have Al Afalava and Greg Laybourn back for another season, but the program is still excited to turn loose its next wave of playmaking safeties. Lance Mitchell, Cameron Collins, and Suaesi Tuimaunei aren't even household names around Corvallis, but they just might be by December. The trio is an example of Oregon State’s recent recruiting successes, going to places like California and Hawaii to sign big, physical athletes, who look like they belong in the USC secondary. While there’ll be a drop-off, it won’t be as steep as many believe.

The team will be far better if… it can start fast for a change. Since 2004, Oregon State has gone just 9-12 in the month of September, sometimes needing torrid finishes just to achieve bowl eligibility. Sure, the Beavers have shown a lot of teeth and perseverance by consistently battling back, but digging out of a hole year after year is hardly a desirable situation. With a single road game—at UNLV—this September, there’ll be fewer excuses for another slow start.

The Schedule: The early non-conference game against UNLV and its spread offense won't be easy, while the Beavers have to hope Cincinnati, a rebuilding defending Big East champion, isn't quite back to form. There might be five Pac 10 road games, but four of the first six games are at home including the conference opener against Arizona. Unfortunately, the three biggest games on the Pac 10 docket, USC, Cal, and Oregon, along with the early game against Arizona State, are all on the road. While that means Stanford, UCLA, and Washington, who all stayed home for the bowl season, come to Corvallis and should mean wins, playing three of the last four games on the road, including the Civil War against Oregon, won't be easy.

Best offensive player: Sophomore RB Jacquizz Rodgers. What was that? Arguably the biggest individual surprise of the 2008 season, Rodgers went from a decent high school recruit to the first freshman ever named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. As soon as he got an opportunity, he became an instant star, running like a more powerful version of Barry Sanders. He finished with 1,253 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, but it was the way he almost carried the program to a Pac-10 crown that’ll someday be the stuff of legends. 

Best defensive player: Senior LB Keaton Kristick. For a couple of years, Kristick watched and waited, listened and learned. When he was finally turned loose as a junior, he played like a formerly caged animal, racking up 82 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. A fantastic athlete, with the range to make plays all over the field, he plays from whistle-to-whistle and with non-stop intensity. With that first year as a regular behind him, he’s poised to be the defensive leader and even more productive. 

Key player to a successful season: Senior DE Ben Terry. Why was the defense so successful last year, despite so many first-time starters? Because the two senior ends, Victor Butler and Slade Norris, lived in opposing backfields, making life simpler for everyone else. Now that they’re gone, it’s up to the holdovers, namely Terry, to replace much of that production. If the spring is a good indicator, he just might be up to the challenge, routinely blowing past tackles and looking like a worthy successor.

The season will be a success if ... the Beavers keep the train on the tracks. Considering all of the turnover, especially on defense, a seventh bowl berth in the last eight years would be further proof that Oregon State no longer rebuilds after a successful season. Of course, since there’s a vacancy behind USC, a first-ever trip to the Holiday Bowl, the next best thing to Pasadena, would make for a truly successful campaign for the Beavers.

Key game: Sept. 19 vs. Cincinnati. No, there’ll be no impact on the Pac-10 standings, but that won’t keep this from being one of the most interesting non-conference games of the third weekend. In a battle of similar programs looking for more national respect, both the Beavers and the Bearcats have underrated head coaches, rebuilt defenses, and offenses led by a senior quarterback and explosive playmakers. Count on an interesting chess match in Corvallis.

2008 Fun Stats:
- Third quarter scoring: Oregon State 109 - Opponents 63
- Kickoff returns: Oregon State 23.4 yards per try - Opponents 18.7 yards per try
- Time of possession: Oregon State 32:05 - Opponents 27:55

- 2009 Oregon State Preview | 2009 OSU Offense
- 2009 OSU Defense | 2009 OSU Depth Chart
2008 OSU Preview | 2007 OSU Preview | 2006 OSU Preview