Each week, CougCenter checks in with a blogger from the opponent to get the inside take on the upcoming game. This week, that honor goes to Building the Dam, and blogger extraordinaire Jake Bertalotto.
Here's everything you wanted to know about the Beavs heading to kickoff.
CC: I was pretty high on the Beavs heading into this year, but gave up on them a little bit after they started the season 0-2. Now, it's looking like I might have been right all along. What changed after that debacle at Penn State?
BTD: Well, the exact same thing has been happening for much of the current decade under Mike Riley: We start slow, finish fast. In 2004, the Beavers went 1-4 before winning five of their last six (losing only to USC), then beating Notre Dame in the Insight Bowl. In 2006, the Beavers went 2-3 to start the season (that's where we're at today), and went on to win eight of the last nine, beating Missouri on an inside run play at the end of regulation on a two point conversion. Last year, we also started 2-3, and things turned out all right.
So, back to the question... what changed? We really don't know. Penn State is legitimately good, but you could argue that the Beavers were not playing well at all, which, they definitely weren't. The Stanford game is like the big fish that got away, and the Utah game is like the even bigger fish that got away. Let's just say this... the Beavers are better than their record, but you never know how they will play on any given Saturday. In other words, OSU should be 4-1 right now with a loss to Penn State, but instead, we have a losing record.
CC: Can't mention Oregon State these without mentioning Jacquizz Rodgers, who seems to have captivated the country as much for his name as his numbers. Is his performance mostly on his shoulders, or is there some unsung being done by the offensive line?
BTD: Any successful running back needs a great offensive line. Player by player, Oregon State's line is probably at the bottom of the conference, but everything clicked that night against USC. We can't just give credit to Jacquizz, because the Offensive Line played outstanding, but we can't just give credit to the big dogs, either. Jacquizz was making people miss, there's no doubt about it.
Basically, it's a combination of both. Jacquizz is something special, no doubt, but he wouldn't be this successful without a trusty offensive line.
CC: How do you feel about being a 30-point favorite against another Pac-10 team? I'm pretty sure you never envisioned THAT when Jerry Pettibone was running the wishbone!
BTD: Ah, yes, you had to remind us of the time in which we were bazillion point underdogs every week. However, I must say: the Beavs won an average of 2.17 games per year under Pettibone, which is more than.....
Being favored so heavily is nice, I guess, but it doesn't really mean much. I'd be lying if I said I didn't pay attention to the point spreads, because everyone does, but really, it's not that big of a deal, unless you lose as a thirty point favorite. The fact that we're favored over another Pac-10 school is a bit disappointing, but what can you do. If it makes you feel better, Oregon State's basketball program can relate to what you're going through right now.
CC: Any truth to the rumor that Al Afalava will be on a personal mission on Saturday to make sure that Wazzu's new quarterback star, Peter Roberts, sees some action this season?
BTD: I'm almost positive the nation would love to see ex-architecture student campus rockstar Peter Roberts to get into a game. You're right... Afalava is the guy who could do it, but we don't like to think of our players inflicting pain on others. However, it's funny you bring this up, because earlier today I was thinking about the strip that Al Afalava had on Michael Bumpus (I think?) a few years ago in Corvallis as the WR was streaking up the sideline. Afalava just swung his arm around, punching the ball out for one of his teammates to grab. Then, it was Mike Hass improvising on an 8 yard comeback and turning it into a money TD route to seal the game.
Sorry for the biased rant, but it's one of my favorite Beaver memories.
CC: Finally, as the kid brother institution in our state, looked down upon by the arrogant and smug fans of our more well-funded counterpart, we Cougs feel like kindred spirits with you Beavers. Do you like us too? (Check yes or no.)
BTD: Kid brother institution? I dare you to ask CV3000 the same question. Um... yeah. We like you.