Saturday, November 8, 2008

Oregon State (4-1, 5-3) @ UCLA (2-3, 3-5)


The Bruins have been a very streaky team. Sometimes they can be very efficient and sometimes Rick Neuheisel’s squad looks like they haven’t played a down together in weeks. They’ll need all their ‘i’s dotted and ‘t’s crossed if they are to slow down a very potent Beavers team, which can smell the Pac-10 title.

The biggest challenge for the Bruins is slowing down freshman sensation Jacquizz Rodgers, who is athletic, agile, able to make tacklers miss and is very dangerous in space. His brother James Rodgers can run the ball as well, and is also an effective target for quarterback Lyle Moevao.

It will incredibly difficult to slow – much less stop – the Beavers’ potent offense, but UCLA will have to find a way to do it if they have any chance of pulling off the upset. One way would be to keep them off the field and that will require not only a solid game from Bruin quarterback Kevin Craft, but a solid ground game. That’s been almost nonexistent, as their lead runners, Derrick Coleman and Kahlil Bell, haven’t even reached 200 yards for the season. Bell has five touchdowns.

If they can’t, the Oregon State offense will have an excellent chance to go 2-0 against teams from Southern California.