Tale of the tape

SATURDAY, NOV. 17, 2007

When the Cougars run: No one runs against the Beavers. Except, maybe Cal, which had 184 of the 621 yards OSU has yielded this season. That’s just 621 yards in 10 games. The Beavers give up 1.9 yards per carry, which means, if you had five downs to run the ball, you still wouldn’t get a first down. So don’t expect much in the way of power running from the Cougars. EDGE: OSU
When the Cougars pass: Stopped at the line, most teams pass over the front seven. The target is even more inviting today, with the OSU secondary depleted and injured. But Oregon State’s rushing stats include 514 yards lost, most of that coming from a Pac-10-leading 39 sacks. So Alex Brink needs protection to find the holes. He gets it and WSU will move the ball. EDGE: WSU
When the Beavers run: Yvenson Bernard missed a game and a half, but he still is third in the conference with 963 yards. The stocky (5-foot-9, 204 pounds) running back is shifty and hard to bring down 1-on-1. He may not have breakaway speed (his longest run this year is 54 yards), but he chews up defenses 4.4 yards at a time. The Cougars’ defense has given up some key long runs. EDGE: OSU
When the Beavers pass: Don’t expect them to want to throw it much, with backup quarterback Lyle Moevao in charge. The ability to throw the ball accurately is not his strong point, with a 50.7 percent completion rate and five interceptions in 73 passes. The Cougars’ secondary has been getting tougher in each game, with safety Husain Abdullah clinching last week’s win with a 55-yard scoring interception return. EDGE: WSU
Coaching/intangibles: Having lost to Cal made it clear what needed to be done in the last three games. “We need to win all three,” Brink said. “That put a real focus for this team on what needed to be done.” EDGE: WSU
Animal husbandry: These schools have well-respected programs built around such areas as marine biology, veterinary sciences and animal breeding. If you want to work around animals, these are the schools to attend. Give WSU an edge if you want to study grizzly bears – there are at least four at the on-campus facility. EDGE: It’s a wash


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