2009 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl - Oregon St vs. BYU
BYU QB Max Hall & OSU RB Jacquizz Rodgers
BYU QB Max Hall & OSU RB Jacquizz Rodgers
Posted Dec 17, 2009

The CFN 2009 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl Preview - Oregon State vs. BYU

2009 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl

BYU (10-2) vs. Oregon State (8-4)

Las Vegas, NV, 8:00 EST, ESPN, Tuesday, December 22

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Team Pages and 2009 Season
BYUOregon State

- 2008 CFN Las Vegas Bowl Preview
- 2007 CFN Las Vegas Bowl Preview
- 2006 CFN Las Vegas Bowl Preview
National Rankings
18th Total Offense 28th
35th Total Defense 50th
12th Scoring Offense 22nd
34th Scoring Defense 51st
60th Rushing Offense 64th
23rd Run Defense 25th
12th Passing Offense 21st
65th Passing Defense 87th
66th Turnover Margin 27th
Position Ratings
relative to each other
Y 5 highest
1 lowest
4.5 Quarterbacks 4
4 RBs 5
4 Receivers 4.5
3 O Line 3
3 D Line 3
3.5 Linebackers 3.5
3 Secondary 3
3 Spec Teams 4
4.5 Coaching 4.5
Las Vegas Bowl History
2008 Arizona 31, BYU 21
2007 BYU 17, UCLA 16
2006 BYU 38, Oregon 8
2005 California 35, BYU 28
2004 Wyoming 24, UCLA 21
2003 Oregon St 44, New Mexico 14
2002 UCLA 27, New Mexico 13
2001 Utah 10, USC 6
2000 UNLV 31, Arkansas 14
1999 Utah 17, Fresno State 16
1998 N Carolina 20, S. Diego St 13
1997 Oregon 41, Air Force 13
1996 Nevada 18, Ball State 15
1995 Toledo 40, Nevada 37 (OT)
1994 UNLV 52, Central Mich 24
1993 Utah State 42, Ball State 33
1992 Bowling Green 35, Nevada 34
For BYU and Oregon State, this year's Las Vegas Bowl is going to have a Groundhog Day-like feel to it. The Cougars will be ending their season in Sin City for the fifth consecutive time and the Beavers are reliving 2008, losing to Oregon and getting bumped from Rose Bowl contention to a mid-tier December game.

If Oregon State is going to win a sixth bowl game in-a-row, it'll have to shake off the Dec. 3 loss in Eugene that ended those dreams of Pasadena. Perennial fast-finishers, the Beavers shook off a couple of September losses to Cincinnati and Arizona to win six of their last seven games to turn the regular season finale into the first-ever winner-take-all Civil War. Despite the outcome, Oregon State enhanced its reputation under Mike Riley as one of the nation's best-coached programs and one of those schools that should never be underestimated in August.

Yes, this Beaver bus has once again been driven by the Rodgers brothers, RB Jacquizz and WR James, but the offensive sparkplugs have gotten help from an unexpected source, QB Sean Canfield. Healthy for an entire season, the siblings finished one and two in the Pac-10 in all-purpose running, routinely taking handoffs and receptions and zipping through opposing defenses. However, it was the emergence of Canfield that really unlocked the potential of Danny Langsdorf's attack.

The oft-booed, underachieving lefty put it all together in his senior year, leading the league in passing efficiency and earning first team All-Pac-10 honors. With the threat of a passing game to go along with the dynamic brothers, Oregon State has averaged 32 points and more than 400 yards a game, putting up at least 31 points in five of the last six games. It's a good thing, too, because Mark Banker's rebuilt defense took a while to jell and had considerable problems defending the pass. Enter BYU and Max Hall, one of the nation's most prolific hurlers.

The Cougars will begin this game ranked No. 14 in the BCS standings after locking down a fourth straight 10-win season under Bronco Mendenhall, a former Oregon State linebacker and safety. The program experienced the full spectrum of emotions in September alone, shocking the world with a 14-13 upset of No. 3 Oklahoma in the opener, only to get ambushed by Florida State, 54-28, two weeks later in front of a stunned home crowd. From that point forward, BYU pretty much won all the games it was supposed to, but was no match for TCU on Oct. 24, losing a chance to win a Mountain West title and vie for a first BCS bowl game.

As has often been the case throughout the years in Provo, BYU has been spearheaded by the offense. Now, that's not to suggest that the offense hasn't been carrying its weight. It has. However, when the Cougars were rolling, it was usually because of an offense that ranked No. 12 nationally in passing and scoring, ringing up at least 50 points on three different occasions. With Hall behind center, RB Harvey Unga impersonating a battering ram, and record-setting TE Dennis Pitta providing a steady threat, BYU has been able to hurt defenses with a balanced, veteran offense.

Although both BYU and Oregon State had visions of a BCS invitation dancing in their heads at times this fall, neither is going to suffer from a lack of motivation. The Cougars, with a large fan base in Southern Nevada, will be well-represented and, as always, are eager to earn some goodwill for the Mountain West by knocking off a Pac-10 team. The Beavers are always in the hunt for more national respect, so don't expect them to yawn at the prospect of a December game in Las Vegas. They want that sixth bowl win in-a-row, especially against a team sporting a higher ranking.

Players to Watch: Naturally, as Hall goes, so goes BYU. He's a third-year starter and the third-rated passer in America. While Pitta is clearly his favorite target, he won't fixate on No. 32. In fact, he has another talented tight end in senior Andrew George, who has caught five touchdown passes and one in each of the last three games. Oregon State will also have to pay close attention to WR McKay Jacobson, a forgotten man toward the end of the year. Although he missed a month in the middle of the season, he's averaging over 25 yards a catch and has the speed to get behind a beatable Beaver secondary that'll be without injured starting CB Tim Clark. In his place steps inexperienced sophomore Brandon Hardin, who'll wear a target all night.

The Beavers' best bet of frustrating Hall will be to get in his face and disrupt his timing. Don't bet on it. Oregon State has just 15 sacks all year, which ranks 106th nationally. The ends haven't come through all season, so it'll be up to the tackles and linebackers to get through the massive BYU front wall. In particular, keep an eye on DT Stephen Paea and linebackers Keaton Kristick and Dwight Roberson, who'll be asked to stunt and blitz their way into the Cougar backfield. Paea is a special player, with the quickness and strength to command extra attention.

If Oregon State has Hall in the crosshairs, then BYU obviously has James and Quizz on the radar. If allowed to roam into space, the Beavers can tear through anyone in the country. The Cougars, sans scary speed and quickness will try to contain the brothers as best as possible. Since Canfield isn't blessed with an abundance of deep threats, BYU will try to cheat up with linebackers Shawn Doman and Coleby Clawson, and safeties Scott Johnson and Andrew Rich. They'll look to stack the box to stop the running game and fly sweeps, forcing Canfield to beat them over the top.

BYU will win if ... : the offense executes without any signs of rust. If the Cougars are going to win this game, they'll need to get balance and crisp production from the offensive attack. That means sustained drives that keep Oregon State on the sidelines and a good mix of Hall and Unga to keep the Beavers off balance. In OSU's four losses this season, it's yielded an average of 36 points a game, a number that BYU will be striving toward. Even against the Beavers' 25th-ranked run defense, Unga should get his yards, especially in the second half. It's incumbent, however, on Hall to take advantage of a vulnerable pass defense and the expanded role for Hardin. He's had a penchant for making bad reads and forcing passing, which will really cost him versus Pac-10 talent. Hall has gone interception-free just 13 times in his career. The Cougars have won each of those games.

Oregon State will win if ... : James and Quizz aren't bottled up. If the BYU coaching staff can devise a way to slow down these two jackrabbits, it'll be well on its way to win No. 11. If not, the Cougars will be chasing them around the field all night, a rough assignment for this defense. The pair has a knack for stealing the life from other teams and completely taking over games with their big-play ability and slippery moves. One of them is dangerous, but when both are on the field at the same time, they become downright lethal. Quizz has rushed for 1,377 yards, caught 74 passes, and scored 21 times. James has 87 receptions, 289 yards on the ground, and 10 touchdowns. If allowed to get the Beaver fans and players into a heightened state, they're liable to single-handedly carry Oregon State to the finish line.

What will happen: The last two times BYU faced superior talent, it folded like a poker table, losing to Florida State and TCU by a combined score of 92-35. Oregon State has the right mix of talent and the right staff to keep that trend going. While the Beavers will struggle in pass defense, they'll offset those lapses with another big effort out of the offense. The Cougars are average defensively, benefitting from a schedule littered with the likes of San Diego State, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Oregon State presents a unique challenge, spreading the field and beating you in a multitude of different ways. With Canfield playing so well and Quizz and James keeping defenses on their heels, the Beavers will once again climb above 30 points in a positive game for the offenses. The Beavers will give up a bunch of yards and allow Jacobson behind it at least once, but it'll also pick off a couple of Hall's passes to end the threat of a comeback.

CFN Prediction: Oregon State 35 … BYU 27 ... Line: Oregon State -3

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Best Beaver Bowl Moment: Oregon State has been to three Rose Bowls over the last 60 years, but even those trips to Pasadena paled in comparison to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Pac-10 laughingstocks no more, the Beavers rode a 29-point third quarter outburst to embarrass No. 10 Notre Dame, 41-9. Few victories in school history carried more clout for the OSU football program.

Best Cougar Bowl Moment: From 1978 to 1984, BYU and the Holiday Bowl were synonymous with the magic and excitement of the postseason. That was never truer than in 1980, when Jim McMahon and the high-voltage Cougars engineered an incredible comeback for the school's first bowl triumph. Trailing SMU 38-19 at the start of the fourth quarter, BYU stormed back, pulling out a miraculous win when McMahon connected with TE Clay Brown from 41 yards out as time expired.

Oregon State Bowl History (8-4)
2008 Sun Oregon St 3, Pitt 0
2007 Emerald Oregon St 21, Maryland 14
2006 Sun Oregon St 39, Missouri 38
2004 Insight Oregon St 38, Notre Dame 21
2003 Las Vegas Oregon State 55, New Mexico 14
2002 Insight Pittsburgh 38, Oregon State 13
2000 Fiesta Oregon State 41, Notre Dame 9
1999 Oahu Hawaii 23, Oregon State 17
1965 Rose Michigan 34, Oregon State 7
1962 Liberty Oregon State 6, Villanova 0
1956 Rose Iowa 35, Oregon State 19
1941 Rose Oregon State 20, Duke 16
BYU Bowl History (9-17-1)
2008 Las Vegas Arizona 31, BYU 21
2007 Las Vegas BYU 17, UCLA 16
2006 Las Vegas BYU 38, Oregon 8
2005 Las Vegas California 35, BYU 28
2001 Liberty Louisville 28, BYU 10
1999 Motor City Marshall 21, BYU 3
1998 Liberty Tulane 41, BYU 27
1996 Cotton BYU 19, Kansas State 15
1994 Copper BYU 31, Oklahoma 6
1993 Holiday Ohio State 28, BYU 21
1992 Aloha Kansas 23, BYU 20
1991 Holiday BYU 13, Iowa 13
1990 Holiday Texas A&M 65, BYU 14
1989 Holiday Penn State 50, BYU 39
1988 Freedom BYU 20, Colorado 17
1987 All-American Virginia 22, BYU 16
1986 Freedom UCLA 31, BYU 10
1985 Citrus Ohio State 10, BYU 7
1984 Holiday BYU 24, Michigan 17
1983 Holiday BYU 21, Missouri 17
1982 Holiday Ohio State 47, BYU 17
1981 Holiday BYU 38, Washington State 36
1980 Holiday BYU 46, SMU 45
1979 Holiday Indiana 38, BYU 37
1978 Holiday Navy 23, BYU 16
1976 Tangerine Oklahoma State 49, BYU 21
1974 Fiesta Oklahoma State 16, BYU 6