December 29, 2007

POST-GAME WRAP

SAN FRANCISCO - Mike Riley always seems to come up with the right game-plan in bowl games.

In this case, it was pretty obvious. Friday night at AT&T Park, Riley improved his postseason record at Oregon State to 4-0, as the Beavers beat the Maryland Terrapins 21-14 in an ugly - and at times, unwatchable - Emerald Bowl.

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December 28, 2007

BEAVERS WIN 21-14

SAN FRANCISCO - Final score here from AT&T Park: Oregon State beats Maryland 21-14.

I'll be back after post-game interviews to wrap this baby up.

WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDE LEFT

SAN FRANCISCO - The Terps had their best drive since the first quarter, but it went for naught.

Kicker Obi Egekeze shanked a 32-yarder wayyyyyy wide left.

Like the rest of this game, it was ugly.

BEAVERS TAKE THE LEAD

SAN FRANCISCO - Oregon State has its first lead of the game.

Mike Riley finally came to his senses and let Yvanson Bernard take him to paydirt - kinda.

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WHO'S STILL WATCHING?

SAN FRANCISCO - Is anyone still watching this game?

If you happened to flip channels or take a bathroom break or a run to the store, you haven't missed anything. And that's no joke.

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BREAK OUT THE PONCHOS

SAN FRANCISCO - The Maryland fans have stuck out a little more now - no, not because they're being louder; they broke out the color-coded ponchos.

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14-14 AT HALFTIME

SAN FRANCISCO - It's only fitting that this game is tied at halftime because neither team deserves to be winning.

Neither Mike Riley nor Ralph Friedgen can be too happy about that second quarter, which featured a combined five turnovers and some horrible decision-making.

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

SAN FRANCISCO - A couple more minutes and a couple more turnovers.

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TURNOVER CITY

SAN FRANCISCO - In a span of two minutes and two seconds, there were three turnovers.

Two fumbles by the Beavs, one interception by the Terps.

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WELCOME HOME

SAN FRANCISCO - The California kid is having himself one heck of a first quarter.

Maryland's quarterback Chris Turner has 154 passing yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter, the latest a 63-yarder to Darrius Heyward-Bey.

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(NOT SO) SPECIAL TEAMS

SAN FRANCISCO - Oregon State has just tied it at 7-7 and it has Maryland's Adrien Moten to thank for that one.

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TERPS STRIKE FIRST

SAN FRANCISCO - Well that's quite a way to start a ballgame.

Maryland's opening drive went 80 yards on 11 plays and lasted 4:39. It was capped off by a 9-yard touchdown pass by Chris Turner to receiver Isaiah Williams.

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Maryland vs. Orgeon State - Pregame Notes

SAN FRANCISCO - Welcome to tonight's live coverage of the Emerald Bowl, a game featuring Maryland (6-6, 3-5 ACC) and Oregon State (8-4, 6-3 Pac 10). We're about 15 minutes from kickoff here at AT&T Park, which isn't your typical (or for that matter, preferred) bowl game stadium. The San Francisco Giants play here, and other than tonight's bowl game, it is pretty much only used for baseball.

Something tells me Barry Bonds will not be making a guest appearance here tonight...

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November 04, 2007

Defense Leads Trojans Past Oregon State

LOS ANGELES -- USC wasn't very good on offense tonight. It didn't matter. When your defense logs nine sacks, scoring a bunch of points isn't necessary.

That's exactly what the Trojans did as they dominated Oregon State 24-3 to stay alive in the Pac-10 race.

"We had a terrible week getting yelled at all week," linebacker Keith Rivers said of USC's week of practice coming off a loss to Oregon. "Somebody had to pay for it. Oregon State was the team that had to pay for it."

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November 03, 2007

I'm Calling It: USC Still in Control

LOS ANGELES -- In what may be the most boring second half of football ever played, USC has maintained its 24-3 halftime lead over Oregon State. The clock reads 6:19 in the fourth quarter, so I'm going to head to the field to prep for postgame. If a miraculous comeback occurs between now and the end of the game while I'm away from my computer, I sincerely apologize for not bringing you the action. Don't hold your breath.

Another Big Play for USC Defense

LOS ANGELES -- With about five minutes left in the third quarter, Oregon State finally put together a drive that landed its offense in the red zone. But the Trojans defense stepped up again, forcing the Beavers to go for it on fourth-and-two at the four-yard line. This time the hero was Brian Cushing, who sacked Sean Canfield to force a turnover on downs and further crush the Beavers' hopes of a comeback.

Stats Tell the Story as USC Maintains Control

LOS ANGELES -- Ok. This game has officially become a snoozer as USC maintains its 24-3 lead with about seven minutes left in the third quarter; so I'll give you a breakdown of the pertinent stats.

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Trojans D Steps Up Again

LOS ANGELES -- USC just took a 24-3 lead thanks to -- yep, you guessed it -- a big play on defense. Defensive end Kyle Moore brought the heat on Oregon State quarterback Sean Canfield, who threw an interception to cornerback Terrell Thomas, who returned the ball to the OSU 14. The USC offense, faced with a short field once again, took advantage as John David Booty threw his second touchdown of the game, this time to Patrick Turner.

USC has the ball again and looks content to go to halftime with the 21-point advantage.

Trojans Raging Against the Machine

LOS ANGELES -- Now this is a new one. I've been known to complain about the USC band's lack of diversity in song choice, which usually consists of alternating between two fight songs with an occasional radio hit thrown in.

But they just busted out Rage Against the Machine's 'Killing in the Name' during the last TV timeout, which totally caught me off guard. It's a pretty unorthodox and violent choice, but maybe it got the USC defense pumped up.

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Booty, Trojans Break Through

LOS ANGELES -- After threatening several times early, USC finally got through the Oregon State red zone for a touchdown. After fumbling to set up an Oregon State field goal, John David Booty battled back to lead a seven-play, 54-yard drive that ended with a one-yard Chauncey Washington touchdown run. The Trojans lead 10-3 and there are still no signs of live from the Oregon State offense.

Booty Sets Up Oregon State Score

LOS ANGELES -- While the USC offense has been lackluster so far, the defense has been great. But even a unit this stingy can't keep Oregon State off the scoreboard when the Beavers get the ball at the USC 17-yard line.

That's exactly what happened when John David Booty fumbled the ball under intense pressure from Oregon State lineman Victor Butler. Booty escaped an initial sack attempt, but started to pass the ball before changing his mind when Butler attacked. He lost the football and Oregon State recovered to set up a 21-yard field goal for a 3-3 tie. As with both their losses, turnovers are proving costly for USC yet again.

USC Gets on Board... Barely

LOS ANGELES -- Faced with a 38-yard field, the Trojans looked primed to break the 0-0 tie with Oregon State late in the first quarter. They did, but it wasn't impressive. They gained nine yards on six plays and had to settle for a David Buehler field goal attempt. This time, his 46-yard kick rang true.

The Trojans are averaging a paltry 3.3 yards per play on 23 plays from scrimmage, including 2.8 yards per rush. Thankfully for USC, the defense is keeping Oregon State from making any consistent progress. USC leads 3-0 after one quarter.

Bend, Don't Break

LOS ANGELES -- On two drives, USC's offense has looked pretty good -- until it starts driving into Oregon State territory. After stalling at the 31 on the first drive, the Trojans came up short on third and 10 at the Beavers 36 on their second drive. A questionable decision to run the ball up the gut led to a two-yard loss and a USC punt.

The Trojans just forced an ensuing three-and-out and start their third drive at the Oregon State 38. If they can't manage to score here, they may be in trouble today.

USC, OSU Both Stall on Opening Drives

LOS ANGELES -- It was an ominous start for USC, which looked ready to take an early lead with a solid drive that set up a first down at the Oregon State 31. But tailback Joe McKnight got crushed in the backfield for a nine-yard loss and USC stalled before David Buehler missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.

Oregon State found disappointment in its first drive too, wasting a 39-yard gain on a James Rodgers rush to the USC 31. The Beavers couldn't do anything from there as Alexis Serna matched Buehler with a 48-yard miss of his own.

Trojans Look to Stay in Pac-10 Race

LOS ANGELES -- After losing to Oregon last week, No. 13 USC returns home today to face Oregon State looking to avoid a third conference loss. With a 3-2 conference record, the Trojans are looking up at 5-0 Arizona State, 4-1 Oregon and 4-2 UCLA, which lost to Arizona earlier today.

With a win, it's an uphill battle. With a loss, USC is pretty much out of the race. The good news for USC: John David Booty is scheduled to return after sitting out three games with a broken finger he suffered in the stunning loss to Stanford. Some USC fans might not agree that his return is actually good news. If he can avoid the turnovers that doomed the Trojans in both their losses, USC should be fine. If not, Oregon State could seal the Trojans' Pac-10 fate.

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September 29, 2007

Who's kicking for Oregon? No one knows.

EUGENE, Ore. -- Seems the Ducks are trying to throw off the Bears by using multiple kickers. Luke Bellotti (yep, it's the coach's son) kicked off to start the game, then Morgan Flint, who's No. 23 on our rosters but is actually wearing No. 14 for this game, kicked off after the Ducks' score. I'm sure all of this is driving Tedford Bonkers. And you thought college coaches weren't full of trickery.

For the record, Oregon's kicker last year sucked. He sucked a lot. So much so that I don't even remember his name. However, after the Civil War (Oregon vs. Oregon State) I was walking into the press conference next to a shall-remain-nameless Duck player who screamed, "We need to recruit a %*&$ing kicker!" Seems (Coach) Bellotti heard him.

Oregon still leads 3-0. 9:30 left in the half.

August 31, 2007

Beavs win going away

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- I think MIke Riley's refusing to shave until he picks a quarterback.

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Moevao back in

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Moevao is back in, now that the Beavs have a nice 24-7 lead. They pretty much run one play, which is hand the ball to Bernard. It's a good play. It works a lot. 8:13 to go in the game and Utah doesn't really show any signs of pulling off a comeback. But when you consider they lost two of their top players, you have to respect the fact that they aren't getting blown out by 30+ points.

It's about time to head down to the field, so the next post will be post press conference. Hopefully the players will be quotable and non-cliche-y. Cross your fingers.

Beavs pulling away?

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- This Grady kid is tall, but he didn't see that sack coming. Who could have? The OSU defense is coming out of nowhere on some plays.

Beavs lead 17-7. Yawn. Game isn't too exciting. I"m disappointed that Johnson's out (and I'm sure his team feels the same way) because I was really looking forward to him making things tough on the OSU defense. Some people who follow Pac-10 ball compared him to Dennis Dixon, the QB down at Oregon who can make mouths drop open when he's on his game.

However, right as I say that OSU freshman Rodgers (who Mike Riley decided to not redshirt at the last minute) had a nice 26-yard run up the sideline. He's got 60 yards on four carries. Oh and then Bernard, The Man Who Would Not Go Down, shouldered off about six defenders on a nice little run.

OSU takes lead

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Catchings is starting to live up to his name. Canfield just connected with him for a 10-yarder that gave the Beavs the edge, 14-7. Two plays before that, Bernard had the sweetest catch of the game: he had a defender on his right side and Canfield threw it a little to his left, so Bernard balanced on one leg, held off the defender and snagged it with his left hand. They only gained seven yards on the play, but it looked really cool, especially when they did the replay on THE BIGGEST VIDEO SCREEN IN THE PAC-10.

August 30, 2007

Johnson seperates shoulder

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- The guy to my left, who has someone on the inside, confirms for us that Johnson seperated his shoulder (a soft seperation which means ... crap, as far as I'm concerned. What on earth is a "soft" seperation? Does it mean it doesn't hurt as much? Something tells me Johnson would beg to differ.) and won't be returning. Also, Asiata is at the hospital getting X-Rays because they think he broke his leg. Not a good night for the Utes. Let's see what this Grady kid has up his sleeve though. I hardly think this game is over.

Also I was right: Riley went with Canfield. We'll see how long it lasts.

Halftime

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- That was pretty uneventful.

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Johnson gone for the Utes, too?

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Alright, to steal the cliche from my friend next to me, the Utes are dropping like flies. Johnson had to come out after a particularly nasty hit, though he didn't need any assistance walking off. At first we thought he might have just got the wind knocked out of him, but he just went to the locker room, so who knows what's going on. However, if Johnson is gone for the rest of the night, that might be the ball game.

Johnson's back up is Tommy Grady, a senior who is 6'7.

Beavs on the board

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Yvenson Bernard is little. Also strong. Because of this, he can plow his way through defenses and use some of his littleness to sneak inside, which is what he just did, breaking through the Utah D on the right side to get the Beavs their first score.

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Asiata gone for game

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Remember how I wrote earlier about Asiata, the JuCo tranfer that Utah was eager to get in the game? He was the player carted off the field awhile ago, and he just left in an ambulance. Not good news for the Utes, though they're still up 7-0.

Utah scores

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- So we were just sitting up here talking about how good the OSU defense is looking and then WR Brent Casteel sneaks away and Johnson tosses a 36-yarder for the game's first score. Utah 7, OSU 0.

Time for a new QB?

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- OSU coach Mike Riley said that after the first quarter -- no matter the score or situation -- he was going to switch quarterbacks. Sophomore Sean Canfield started the first quarter ... no turnovers, but no scores, either. The Beavs are in the middle of a drive (2nd and 7), but will Riley really pull Canfield and put in Moevao?

Looks like he's going to do it ... now let's see what this kids got.

Um, he through an interception on his first play. Alright, so is Canfield coming back?

Scoreless

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- No score yet in Beaver Nation. Johnson hasn't done much, but that's probably because OSU's offense isn't giveing hima lot of options. They're smothering his receivers (though Brian Hernandez did break out for one long catch early in the quarter) and rushing him before he gets the chance to scamper away. However, not all is great for the Beavs: Serna's first punt went a whopping 13 yards. Um, this might be a long night. (He next one was better at 37 yards but still, what the heck?)

We're in a timeout right now as a Utah player is carteed off the field ... looks like a knee,b ut he was pounding his chest telling his teammates to have "heart," so I don't think it's too bad an injury.

Kickoff coming soon

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- We are just 16 minutes from kick off and an alarming number of people are missing from the pressbox. I"m guessing it's the traffic. If you've never been to Corvallis, let me explain it to you: we are a small, family (read: farm) town. We are not equipped for heavy amounts of traffic. And when game day comes around it is absolute madness trying to drive around. I left my house three hours before kick off and it took me a good 30 minutes to get the 2.3 miles from my house to the stadium This also might be why most of the stadium is empty. That and it's a work day and sadly, not all bosses understand the pull that is college football.

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It's good to be back in the press box

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- It's hot. Really hot. Sticky and sweaty hot. But who am I to be complaining? I spent the the entire summer in New York City (how do you people live in humidity) and compared to the bad days there, this is like the tundra.

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