Thursday, September 6, 2007



With Sammie Stroughter sidelined and questions at the quarterback position, the Oregon State Beavers surged late to get the win over Utah.

Oregon State Head Coach Mike Riley should be able to sleep a little better after the Beavers 24-7 win over Utah last Thursday night.

The Beavers went into their season opener with several questions that needed to be answered; in particularly on offense.

The first question of concern for Coach Riley and the rest of Beaver Nation was the ongoing saga regarding Stroughter. Stroughter missed nearly all of fall camp for personal reasons, but now it appears his return tonight is likely. Beaver fans can now feel hopeful that the All-American receiver will suit up once again this season after he was sited on the sideline wearing is no. 19 jersey last week.

Give credit to Riley for preparing the younger receivers to play, as they stepped up big in Stroughter's absense. True freshman wideout Darrell Catchings made two clutch receptions; including a fourth-down grab. Yvenson Bernard went on to score on the drive, running in from nine yards out. Catchings would show up big again in the second half with a six-yard scoring catch in the third quarter to put the Beavers ahead 14-7.

Perhaps the biggest mystery for the Beavers going into the opener, was who would claim the starting quarterback position. Quarterbacks Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevo battled all spring and throughout the fall camp for the starting position. While neither sophomore separated himself from the other, The Riley Experiment will probably last another week with Canfield getting the majority of the playing time.

Canfield completed eight-of-19 passes for 87 yards and touchdown, while Moevao completed 3-of-9 passes for 32 yards. Both quarterbacks threw interceptions.

Canfield appears to be the most comfortable with the offense. Coach Riley did a good job of keeping things simple for the young quarterbacks and letting them figure things out on their own. Canfield did a great job of spreading the football around to multiple receivers and if it wasn't for several dropped passes by the receivers, his numbers would be more impressive.

Meanwhile, Moevao came in to start the second quarter and his first pass was intercepted. He would redeem himself with a gutsy 17-yard pass to Catchings on fourth-down later in the game.

All in all, there is no quarterback controversy being brewed in Corvallis. At this point in the season, it's actually a good problem for Riley to have two quarterbacks that are capable of leading the Beaver's offense.

Also, give credit to the Oregon State defense for holding Utah's offense to only seven points and allowing it's own problematic offense enough time to get a feel for the game.

The Oregon State defense will have to play with that same intensity this week against a Cincinnati Bearcat team that scored 59 points against a second tier Southeast Missouri.