Dam Shame: Oregon State Beavers Impressive Despite Loss to TCU

Todd Boldizsar@@toddboldizsarAnalyst ISeptember 5, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 04:  Tight end Joe Halahuni #87 of the Oregon State Beavers runs the ball against Alex Ibiloye #9 of the TCU Horned Frogs at Cowboys Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

On perhaps the biggest stage of Saturday's Week 1 games, Oregon State University showed Jerry Jones and the rest of the nation why they deserved to be on the same field with the nation's elite.

While TCU collected the victory 30-21, the Beavers' passing game was unpolished but showed signs of future dominance.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Katz only connected on nine of his 25 pass attempts, showing his inexperience. However, he was able to connect on deep passes downfield to wide receivers James Rodgers and Jordan Bishop

Although misfiring on several occasions, Katz was not intercepted. His passes looked sharp and crisp, and his quick release allowed more time in the pocket while looking downfield.

The young quarterback's misses were not solely to blame for OSU's demise in the Cowboy Classic.

Many viewers of the game are perplexed by the lack of touches running back Jacquizz Rodgers received in the game.

Head coach Mike Riley seemed to give up on the running game too soon, likely with the notion that TCU was keying on the Beavs' ground game.

Relying on Katz was projected as a sore spot, and the prediction held up. The Horned Frogs returned one of the best starting defenses in the country this season.

Their 4-1-6 style of defense is fast and swarming, but it has its weak spots against smashmouth rushing. Rodgers is a small back, and makes his living on the ground with shifty moves and sweeps to the outside. 

Oregon State's style of offense simply didn't match up well with TCU's defense, and when the running game returned mixed results, Riley and the Beavers looked to the passing game. Katz simply wasn't ready for this game, but he showed enormous potential.

For the TCU Horned Frogs, they move forward with a new resource: The video of this game. If not for senior quarterback Andy Dalton's ability to scramble out of the pocket to make something happen, the outcome of this game could have been very different.

On the positive side for the Frogs, the running tandem of Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker combined for over 200 rush yards, with Wesley claiming 134 of those yards on 17 carries.

TCU discovered the weakness in Oregon State's defense, the linebackers. The defensive line, led by Stephen Paea, had some success pressuring Dalton, but once the running game got past the line, there was no one to provide assistance, and it showed.

Going forward, OSU should focus offensively on timing in the passing game, as the main cause of Katz's inaccuracy appeared to be mis-communication with receivers.

On defense, backs and linebackers will need to step up their reads on the ground and move more quickly to the ball when the linemen fail.

The Beavers will now have two weeks to prepare for the Louisville Cardinals, their home opener on Sept. 18 at 2:30 pm PDT. Louisville lost a close game to the Kentucky Wildcats, and looked much improved over last season's sub-par campaign. 

Oregon State will likely be out of the Top 25 when the rankings are released at the top of next week. Look for the Beavs to be impressive, and watch how Katz has learned from the TCU tape.

For more insight on the game, read: Oregon State-TCU: Five Reasons Why Ryan Katz Is the Key To the Game


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