2010 Oregon State Football: Keys to the Game Against TCU

Todd Boldizsar@@toddboldizsarAnalyst IAugust 30, 2010

2010 Oregon State Football: Keys to the Game Against TCU

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    TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 03:  Runningback Jacquizz Rodgers #1 of the Oregon State Beavers rushes the ball for a 32 yard touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first quarter of the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on October 3, 2009
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    We are now under a week away from the Oregon State Beavers' season opener against Texas Christian University in Dallas, TX at Cowboy Stadium.

    As the 2010 season approaches, both teams are focusing on weak points in the offense and defense, attempting to patch minor flaws with repetitions.

    Some of the Beavers' strengths from last season may turn into weaknesses this year, but Oregon State has plenty of weapons to be confident in and the talent to make an impact in the Pac-10.

    Kickoff for this game is set for September 4 at 7:45 pm EST on ESPN.

    For more on this game and Oregon State, read: Oregon State's 2010 Non-Conference Schedule Nation's Toughest?

Inexperienced Quarterback Must Step Up

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    LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Ryan Katz #12 of the Oregon State Beavers scrambles away from Vic So'oto #37 of the Brigham Young University Cougars during the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Coug
    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    The main concern for OSU with be the inexperience at quarterback. Having seemingly won the starting QB job, Ryan Katz has had to learn quickly in the absence of Saints quarterback Sean Canfield. Katz will have to blend well with the Beavers' fast-paced offense. 

    Passing precision and accuracy will be a main indicator of the season for Katz and Oregon State and will pace the offense for them against the Horned Frogs.

The Art of Disguise Will Be a Must

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    EUGENE,OR - DECEMBER 03:  Wide receiver James Rodgers #8 of Oregon State Beavers makes a catch in front of Cliff Harris #3 of the Oregon Ducks for a touchdown during the second quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on December 3, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon. (
    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    In addition to passing accuracy, the Black and Orange will have to find a way to effectively disguise Jacquizz Rodgers in the backfield and their intentions to hand him the ball. The Beavs will mix situational running in with timely short yardage passing attempts and the fly sweep to James Rodgers. TCU will be keying on handoffs to Jacquizz, so catching TCU's strong rush defense off-guard will be crucial.

    Texas Christian is returning the majority of their starters on defense, and that defense is one of the best in the nation. They will have to read the Beavers' offense well, while OSU will attempt to confuse TCU's defense with advanced play-calling.

Defense Will Have To Cover a Lot of Ground

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    EUGENE, OR - DECEMBER 03:  Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks rushes with the ball past tackle Stephen Paea #54 of the Oregon State Beavers at Autzen Stadium on December 3, 2009 in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
    Tom Hauck/Getty Images

    For Oregon State's defense, they will have to shut down quarterback Andy Dalton and his array of available receivers. TCU's offense is anchored not by one stand out, but by several talented receivers sharing catches and yardage nearly evenly.

    Look for the passing game to increase for the Horned Frogs. They finished 59th in passing offense last season while finishing fifth in rush offense. 

    Joseph Turner, TCU's leading rusher last season with 754 yards, has graduated and is no longer a factor in the offense. Young backs will have to step up to cover the slack, and OSU should key on their inexperience. 

    Defensive lineman Stephen Paea will key on the lack of game experience at tailback for TCU, and the multi-award candidate must start the season off with a strong performance in Week One to make his case for a full trophy case.

    No matter how you slice it, this game will likely be the most exciting matchup of Week One, and it will certainly kick off the 2010 season with strong implications of how the Pac-10 will shape up and how the Top 10 will look weeks down the road.