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NEXT BOWL GAME: Las Vegas Bowl, Tuesday 12/22


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204.gif(18) Oregon State at 252.gif(14) Brigham Young


Oregon State offense vs. BYU defense

Sean Canfield is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country. At 6-foot-4, he has the height to see over his offensive line and to read the entire field. Canfield has outstanding touch as a passer and knows how to lead his receivers. If BYU is to limit this offensive attack, it must get pressure on Canfield with just four pass-rushers, and it also needs to limit the touches in space for WR James Rodgers (77 catches in 2009), who is clearly Canfield's favorite target in the passing game. The Beavers do an excellent job of moving Rodgers around and putting him in motion, which makes it extremely difficult on opposing defenses that want to press the pint-sized receiver at the line of scrimmage. Look for BYU to counter by playing a lot of underneath matchup-zone coverage, which allows for four or five linebackers or defensive backs to work the underneath zone. The rationale behind that plan is that if the Cougars can't take Rodgers out of his route with press coverage, they need to have as many bodies available underneath to help in the effort of limiting Rodgers' yards-after-catch opportunities. Loading up the underneath zone with defenders can also help to keep Jacquizz Rodgers (67 catches in 2009) in check as a receiver out of the backfield.


Another game that features a ton of fantasy stars is the Las Vegas Bowl, where you have the Rodgers Brothers of OSU on display, in addition to fantasy stars Max Hall, Harvey Unga, and TE Dennis Pitta on the other side for the Cougars. This game certainly may come down to whoever has the ball last.


Oregon State Player to Watch

While the Rodgers brothers are the stars of the show, Beavers QB Sean Canfield has been stellar, showing for over 3,000 yards while tossing 21 touchdowns to only 6 picks. While Canfield has played solid and poised during the Beavers entire season and is in store for a solid day in this bowl game.


Defensively, the big player that can cause problems for BYU is Stephen Paea. In only his 4th year playing football he is a first Team All Pac 10 player. He requires double teams constantly, and is in the backfield on a regular basis. Just to give you an idea, Chip Kelly was most worried about him for their game, and if you had a chance to watch, you saw him cause two fumbles. BYU's O-line must be strong and keep their leverage to prevent him from dominating up front.



BYU Player to Watch

Harvey Unga has not had the best season, but he can make up for it with a solid game in the Vegas Bowl. He does have 10 touchdowns and after watching Oregon rush all over the Beavers in the Civil War game, Unga must be licking his chops. If the Cougars are to stay close, they need a solid contribution from their running game, and that is in the hands of Unga. TE Dennis Pitta will be 25yrs old upon entering the NFL and could prove to be a mature contributor right out of the gate. Even though Denis Pitta was the nation's leader in all but two major statistically categories -receptions and touchdowns. However, the winner of the Mackey Award went to Aaron Hernandez out of Florida who was behind Pitta in all numbers except for catches which was only a difference of two.


2009 Receptions Yards Average LNG TD

Dennis Pitta 57 784 13.8 35 7

Aaron Hernandez 59 739 12.5 64 4

Dorin Dickerson 45 508 11.3 53 10


It is obvious that the reason Florida's Aaron Hernandez won is because he plays for a marquee name in Florida and is on either CBS or ESPN every week.


It's the ONLY game on Tuesday ... two mid-ranked teams go at it and plenty of prospects to watch and grade. Should be a fun night.

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Scout.com > Oregon State

Seven Beavers named Pac-10 first team

Story URL: http://oregonstate.scout.com/2/927015.html





BeaverFootball.com Dec 7, 2009


EAT YOUR HEART out USC. Sorry Oregon. Take a hike, Arizona and Cal. The Beavers placed a conference best seven players to the first team All-Pac-10 first team named today. It is the third consecutive year Oregon State has placed at least five players on the Pac-10 first team.



First Team Selections


QB Sean Canfield | Senior

One of the team captains Canfield has turned in a stellar 2009 thus far as he leads the Pac-10 in passing yards per game (254.3), passing touchdowns (21), passing yards (3,103) and completion percentage (.700).


Canfield will most likely crush the school completion percentage for a season -- the current record is 60.6 by Matt Moore in 2006.


The California native has thrown just two interceptions in his last 250 attempts and has throw at least two touchdowns in five of the last six games.


His 5,802 career passing yards and 38 career touchdown passes both rank fourth in school history.


RB Jacquizz Rodgers | Sophomore

So much for the sophomore slump. Quizz, who was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2008, once again makes his way onto the first team after rumbling for 1,377 yards and 20 touchdowns, a single-season school record, at 5.4 yards per carry.


The dependable running back also chipped in with 74 receptions for 509 yards and one touchdown.


Quizz has a shot at tying or breaking the school record for the most points in a season. He currently has 126 points with Steven Jackson holding the record at 132 in 2003.


WR James Rodgers | Junior

One of Canfield's favorite targets Rodgers topped the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the first time in his career corralling a team high 87 passes for 1,004 yards and nine touchdowns.


Rodgers also added 54 carries for 289 yards and one touchdown on the ground.


The Texas product set the single-season all-purpose yards record for OSU in the Civil War (2,098) while his nine touchdown receptions ar the fourth most in single-season school history.


Rodgers was named a first team kick returner last season.


OG Gregg Peat | Senior

A mainstay on the offensive line and one of the team captains Peat has started a team best 26 consecutive games.


Peat is a big reason why the Beaver offense ranks near the top of the conference in almost every statistical category.


DT Stephen Paea | Junior

One of the strongest members of the team Paea has been an immovable rock in the middle helping limit OSU's opponents to just a shade over 100 rushing yards a game.


Despite facing double teams all-year Paea has recorded 41 tackles, including a co-team high 7.5 tackles for loss, and a team high four forced fumbles.


Paea was a honorable mention pick in '08.


LB Keaton Kristick | Senior

One of the team's emotional leaders and one of the top linebackers in the Pac-10 conference.


Kristick, who has started 26 consecutive games, has a team high 87 stops, including a co-team high 7.5 for loss, to go along with two interceptions and one recovered fumble.


The outside linebacker as a second team selection last year.


ST Suaesi Tuimaunei | Junior

After being supplanted from the top of the depth chart at safety Tuimaunei has shined on special teams as a gunner grabbing 10 tackles on special teams - good for the second most on the team.


Second Team Selections


K Justin Kahut | Junior

Despite being shaky at times Kahut delivered many times for the Men in Black as he connected on 22 of 27 field goals and 43 of 44 extra points.





C Alex Linnenkohl, Jr.; MLB David Pa'aluhi, So.; OLB Keith Pankey, Jr.; OLB Dwight Roberson, Jr.




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What BYU and Oregon State Must Do To Win The Las Vegas Bowl

by Nathan Bigelow



What BYU Must Do To Win


Offensively, BYU needs to take advantage of their athletes at the TE and RB positions. Dennis Pitta and Andrew George should have a big game, as they create a match-up problem for Oregon State in the passing game. McKay Jacobsen, I think, can cause a match-up problem for Oregon State as their corners are susceptible to being beat when in Cover 0.


Harvey Unga is a big bruising back that could cause a problem for Oregon State in the rushing game. In fact with Manase Tonga as a lead back in the I, I would look to pound the ball down the throat of Oregon State. Doing this helps the defense and keeps the Rodgers' Brothers off the field.


Max Hall, BYU's QB, needs to ensure that he doesn't force throws. There is nothing wrong with holding onto the ball and eating a sack, especially early on in the game. Additionally, Max spreading the ball ensures that Oregon State can't just focus on one receiver.


Defensively, people will say: well duh, stop the Rogers boys. This is a very true statement, as nearly 63 percent of the entire Oregon State offense runs through these two workhorses. However, I would first stop Jacquizz Rogers.


Just to give you an idea, Jacquizz has rushed for 1377 yards with a 5.4 ypc average, has 20 of Oregon State's 24 rushing touchdowns, is a good receiver out of the backfield with 509 yards receiving with a 6.9 ypr average and one touchdown. That leaves "Quizz" with 45 percent of touchdowns scored.


James Rodgers is the main receiving threat for Oregon State with 1,004 yards receiving at 11.5 ypr and nine TD's, 289 yards rushing at 5.4 ypc and one TD on the season. He and his brother account for 67 percent of all touchdowns scored. It is important that BYU swarms and are sure tacklers in this game, as these two players are small, quick, and shifty to avoid tackles.


Sean Canfield has grown as a QB this year. In fact, he is the first team All Pac-10 QB for 2009. BYU must get pressure on him or he will sit back and pick them apart, even if the Rodgers Brothers are covered. As a senior he is a seasoned QB that doesn't force passes. He has passed for 3103 yards; a 70 percent completion avg, 21 TD's, and six INT's on the season. His passer rating is 148.3 on the year. BYU must change up their coverages to confuse him, so that the pass rush can get to him.


Defensively, the big player that can cause problems for BYU is Stephen Paea. In only his 4th year playing football he is a first Team All Pac 10 player. He requires double teams constantly, and is in the backfield on a regular basis. Just to give you an idea, Chip Kelly was most worried about him for their game, and if you had a chance to watch, you saw him cause two fumbles. BYU's O-line must be strong and keep their leverage to prevent him from dominating up front.


What Oregon State Must Do To Win


Feed the Rogers Brothers!!!! Yes, I know I said BYU needs to limit the Rogers Brothers, but if you are Oregon State you have to ride what got you here. I expect Oregon State to figure out ways to get the ball to these two and cause problems for BYU defensively.


Protect Canfield and you win. I think that the dark the horse in all this will be Canfield. If Oregon State protects Canfield, even if the Rodgers brothers are limited, he can lead the Beavers to victory. Protect him so he can find his receivers, and you will win.


Someone needs to step up. Someone besides the two main offensive weapons needs to have a big game. If that happens, look out BYU, 'cause you could be in trouble for this game.


Defensively, Oregon State needs to get to Max Hall, who has thrown for 3,368 yards with a 67.5 completion percentage, 30 TD's, and 14 INT's this season. His current passer rating is 160.9 and he is Second Team All MWC for 2009. He has a strong arm and spreads the ball well, though he does tend to favor Pitta when he needs a big play. However, his major weakness is that if you get in his face, he starts to force throws leading to turnovers. In fact, in the first five games of this season, he had 11 TD's and 10 INT's.


I would use the speed of the defensive line, if I was Oregon State. BYU's offensive line is strong and big, but they struggle with speed. I would also study the game played between TCU and BYU this year. BYU should run behind their big strong line to neutralize Oregon's speed. However, if the Beavers can get BYU into passing downs, I think they can cause problems.


As for players I would neutralize? Harvey Unga as a back poses a real problem. I think the only player that would compare to him, in size, is LeGarrette Blount. Unga has 1,016 yards rushing with 5.5 ypc and 10 TD's on the year. He also has 109 yards receiving and one TD. Oregon State must have great play from Stephen Paea in the middle to disrupt the running game. I would look for a way to confuse the offensive line on who to block to disrupt the running game.


Finally, I would find a way to neutralize Dennis Pitta. He is a First Team All American and has 784 yards receiving this year, with seven TD's on the year. The most important stat though, is his 57 catches, more then the next two receivers combined (McKay Jacobsen and O'Neill Chambers). You limit his catches and you will limit the BYU offense. If BYU needs a big first down with the passing game I would look to cover Pitta.


Coaching match-ups, I would give the edge to Mike Riley of Oregon State. If you have had a chance to watch them you know that his teams tend to get better as the year goes on. I believe that he is a great game-planner and will have his team prepared.


Too often BYU coaches seem unprepared. If this holds for this game, look out 'cause the game could get out of hand.


Finally, the last area I want to cover is the kicking game. So often games come down to the kicker, so lets compare.


BYU's Mitch Payne is nine of 13 for FG's on the year with a 69.2 percentage. However he is only 50 percent from 40+ yards. If it comes down to it, BYU must get inside the 30 to have a fair chance of making the FG.


Oregon State's Justin Kahut is the Second Team All Pac 10 PK for 2009. He is 22 of 27 on the year for 81.9 percent made. However, he is 21 of 24 from inside 50 yards. I have to give the edge to Oregon State.


So to recap, BYU must: Slow the Rodgers brothers down, limit big plays, force Oregon State to settle for FG's, protect Max Hall, and run the ball with Unga.


Oregon State must: Get the ball to their big playmakers, Protect Canfield, slow down Pitta, get to Max Hall, and stop Unga.


Simple, right? I do look forward to a great game.


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Canfield's good, but his lack of mobility is troubling. He'll need to pull a Tom Brady and simultaneously bulk up & get quicker during his rookie year, then play behind a very good o-line that includes a right tackle who can protect the southpaw's blindside.


Denver would make a lot of sense. Cleveland? I'm not sure.

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Yep, it's been a pretty awful night for Canfield, and it's reinforced some of my thoughts about how he needs to be shielded from pressure.


Here's something I wrote about Canfield's play in a game earlier this year:


I got a chance to watch the Arizona game (09/26). Unfortunately, it only reinforced some of my concerns about Canfield's pocket presence and mobility.


The guy's got an impressive arm: it might be the best in the senior class, if you factor in accuracy as well. And that showed up in the Arizona game, even though he missed on a few throws and couldn't hit the deep ball.


However, his game wasn't as impressive when he faced pressure. In the red zone, he floated up a ball just before getting hit; it should have been picked, but it somehow made its way into the end zone for a TD. He also threw two picks, including one on the would be winning drive with less than two minutes left in the game.


His lack of mobility showed up as well. Though he did do a nice job evading a rusher and picking up the 1st on a 4th and one, he didn't have similar success in other spots. On one play, he tried to escape the pocket by running forward, only to get the ball stripped. And because he holds onto the ball too long, he takes more sacks than necessary: when the Beavers got the ball back after his second pick, Canfield promptly got sacked for a safety.


He's got the tools to be a nice developmental QB, especially on a team with a great offensive line. But it's unclear to me whether he's gotten over some of the decisionmaking issues he exhibited in the Arizona game. The Senior Bowl will give teams a chance to see whether he can adjust to new circumstances and remain poised, like he'll have to do at the next level.


And while he's not a statue in the pocket, he doesn't have the type of mobility seen in most of the young successful QB's in the league. He's got Matt Leinart's feet, which could be an issue when he's dropping back from under center on every play while facing a feisty rush.


I'd still like to see more of the guy, and the Senior Bowl/Combine could swing his draft stock. But as of now, I'd grade him out as a 3rd round pick.


I might drop that grade a little bit after tonight.


On a more positive note, you gotta love BYU TE Dennis Pitta. He's not the most explosive guy, but he's got nice length and super-sticky hands. He'd look good in a Holmgren-style WCO.

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I thought Canfield tried to get too cute tonight with 'touch' passes against the strong wind. I thought he should have used the rifle much more than he did. He got the bqall there by touching it in, but most times it was too soft to field.


Yeah Pitta has NFL TE written all over him.


Unga reminds me of one of those big High School backs.


Stephen Paea made a great play showing his speed early on, but I lost him at other times. Please tell me he's not one of those you rev's up the motor than coasts through a series or two?


OSU certainly wasn't ready tonight and BYU got all the breaks. Looks like OSU hit the strip a bit later last night.

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I didn't see Paea slacking off. In fact, I noticed him a couple times trying to chase down plays in pursuit.


Overall, I thought it was a pretty good game for him. He's quick off the snap and uses his strength and natural leverage as a short guy to knock back o-linemen. He sometimes struggles to disengage from blocks but looks to be a perfect fit for a penetrating one gap 4-3 defense. He could use another year of grooming but might sneak into the 1st round if he decides to leave for the NFL.


Paea's said that his plan is to stay in Corvallis, which would be the best decision: with some more bulk and better technique, he could be a top ten pick in 2011.

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