The Oregon State football team’s offense must continue to develop in order to win today’s nonconference game against BYU in Reser stadium. The Beavers continue to improve in Vegas, now favored by three point.
Read my main story in Saturday’s GT on the RB situation. They should all be available, and that includes Malcolm Agnew (hamstring) and Jovan Stevenson (concussion).
Check out my Game Day special section story on the BYU series. There are bad memories of the 2009 Las Vegas Bowl.
Here’s my players to watch. I pick OSU MLB Kevin Unga. He’s on his Holy War mission. BYU WR Cody Hoffman is a play-maker on offense and on kickoff returns.
The GT sister paper in Provo even did a story on Unga and his twin brother, who attended OSU and transfered to BYU.
Here are my three offensive keys for a Beavers win. OSU needs to score as much as possible.
No. 3 — Protect Mannion
BYU brings plenty of pressure on the QB with five sacks and 13 hurries. QB Sean Mannion has poise in the pocket, but needs time to get the ball to his playmakers such as WR Markus Wheaton. There have been eight sacks allowed this season.
No. 2 — Spread the ball around
There are plenty of options for Mannion, who continues to improve and feel more comfortable as the offensive leader. Getting the ball to WR James Rodgers and TE Joe Halahuni would help. He’s also learned to check off to his RBs in the passing game.
No. 1 — Run the ball
The balanced offensive approach of 35 run plays to 43 passes worked last weekend in the win over Arizona. So successfully running the ball helps in calling the play more. BYU also allows 151 ypg, so that’s area OSU can exploit.
Finally, my pick: OSU 21, BYU 17. The Beavers are at home and getting better. BYU has offensive issues.
The game blog will be up later. Remember to follow me at twitter.com/cliffgt and on Facebook.