Oregon State QB Ryan Katz has had his ups and downs as a first-year starter. The sophomore won games with ability and lost them by trying too hard, but always keeps coming back to try again.
Coach Mike Riley has been as high on him as he has been hard on him. Katz shows plenty of potential as he goes through a better-than-usual adjustment period.
However, he still has a long way to go.
“Ryan is basically going through the first-year quarterback situation,” Riley said. “He has had great moments, and even in the game (against Washington State) he had great plays. We just have to get him more consistent.”
Katz has completed 154 of 255 for 1,840 yards, 14 TDs and five INTs. His QB rating ranks sixth in the Pac-10. He’s using his feet to make plays with 214 positive rushing yards before sacks and two TDs.
The main thing that has given him problems in the last two games is the limited time to pass due to a lack of blocking. Katz is running more because he’s nervous in the pocket.
“There isn’t anything we’ve called that is unfamiliar to him,” Riley said. “It’s about getting reps and getting the best practice situations we can.”
The Beavers have been questioned about the leadership void on the team after veteran QBs Sean Canfield and Lyle Moevao graduated. It didn’t help that key starters such as WR James Rodgers and DT Brennan Olander have been lost for the season due to injuries.
However, they say there is enough vocal leadership on the team with RB Jacquizz Rodgers and CB James Dockery, and plenty of leaders by example.
“I don’t know how vocal that has to be,” Riley said of the leadership. “James was never vocal. He was a leader by example. I have faith in the older guys on the team who work hard, care and do the right thing. The leadership factor, the best way to do that is doing that by example. We have guys who do that.”
“All the elements are there,” C Alex Linnenkohl said. “There are guys there trying to inspire people. We are just scoring less than the other team. And it hurts.”