Saturday, September 13, 2008

Beavers home against Hawaii

After road losses to Stanford and Penn State to open the season, Oregon State finally gets to taste the home cooking of Reser Stadium this afternoon, as the Beavers host Hawaii in a non-conference game.

Oregon State, 0-2 for the first time in four seasons, look to beat a 1-1 Hawaii team that has slipped further than most expected after the loss of Head Coach June Jones, now running the show at SMU. The Warriors lost at Florida in their opener, then had to mount a second-half rally to beat Weber State last week.

The Beavers have had more trouble than expected with the running game on both sides of the ball and were severely hampered by an absolutely atrocious effort by Freshman punter Johnny Hekker, who averaged just 27.2 yards on five first half punts, then watched from the sidelines as Oregon State didn't attempt a punt in the second half. Lyle Moevao has had some success throwing the ball in the first two games, but still isn't a threat with the deep pass. Jacquizz Rodgers was the lone bright spot offensively last week, rushing for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Hawaii may gain some momentum offensively this week, after finally choosing WAC Offensive Player of the Week Tyler Graunke as their starting quaterback.

For the Beavers to win, they must get a much better effort on specioal teams, ie: the punting game, give Moevao time to find some open receivers and take advantage of an at times over-aggressive Rainbow defense. If Oregon State can put their game together to the point where it somewhat resembles the 2007 team, they should have little trouble with a Rainbow team that isn't often seen on the mainland. Add in the fact that despite these two teams being in different conferences, not to mention an ocean apart, this is becoming a fierce and bitter rivalry, this should be a pretty entertaining game. And since Hawaii is one of my three least favorite teams, along with Oregon and Fresno State, I will calls it as I sees it: Oregon State 51, Hawaii 17.

Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00p.m. CDT. The telecast is on Fox Sports Northwest, with audio only available at


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