OSU at Arizona
When, where: 4 p.m. Saturday, Arizona Stadium,
Radio: KEX (1190 AM)
• Oregon State won all the Pac-10 player of the week awards, with juniors Sammie Stroughter (offense), Derrick Doggett (defense) and Alexis Serna (special teams) gaining acclaim for their play in a 27-17 win over Washington. It's the first time a school has swept the three awards since November 2004 - when the Beavers' Derek Anderson (offense), Bill Swancutt (defense) and Serna (special teams) were honored after a 50-21 rout of Oregon.
• The Beavers shut out the Huskies in the second half, contained mobile quarterback Isaiah Stanback, sacked Stanback and backup Carl Bonnell six times and registered a remarkable 13 tackles for loss - the most by a Mike Riley team in his six years as head coach.
'The pressure and cover packages were good,' Riley says. 'We played with vision and were able to recover on the plays we weren't perfect.'
• Doggett played the best game by an OSU defender all season. Several times he stalked Stanback and kept him from getting loose on a big run. The 6-3, 210-pound junior had a team-high 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
'It's an understatement to say Derrick is undersized for a linebacker, but he is quick and tough and gets to the ball and makes things happen,' Riley says.
• Two JC transfers played big roles on defense. Cornerback Coye Francies came on after the game's first play for injured Keenan Lewis and had five tackles, including a couple of jarring hits at the line of scrimmage. End Dorian Smith came off the bench for 2 1/2 sacks, three tackles for loss and seven tackles.
'Sometimes it takes a while for a JC player to adapt to the level of play,' Riley says. 'We're seeing a lot of growth from Coye and Dorian and (tackle) Gerard Lee.'
• Riley teams always have had a penchant for spreading the field with an air-out passing game, but the long ball had been pretty much dormant this season until the second half Saturday. In the first 20 minutes after intermission, Matt Moore struck for passes covering 51, 24, 80, 27 and 40 yards on his way to a 241-yard half.
In the first half, tailback Yvenson Bernard had busted for 106 yards on 17 carries against a Washington defense that continued to creep up to the line of scrimmage.
'They were really loading the box and blitzing to stop the run,' Riley says. 'We had been pretty conservative in the passing game in the first half. We felt like if we were going to win the game, we had to loosen the thing up and take some shots.'
The 80-yard bomb to Stroughter was 'Eight Apache,' and the junior receiver came wide open almost immediately, moving from the left side to where he finally caught the ball near the right sideline.
'The Huskies came with the whole kitchen sink (on the blitz), and our guys picked them up about as well as can be done,' Riley says. 'Yvenson had a great block on the safety, and Matt did a great job of getting rid of it. After Sammie caught it, Anthony Wheat-Brown laid a big-time block that sprung him. It was beautiful.'
• OSU coaches had scripted Sean Canfield's insertion as quarterback in the second quarter. More than anything, Riley felt the redshirt freshman had enjoyed two good weeks of practice and deserved a shot for some prime-time experience. In addition, Riley felt it would help prepare Canfield should Moore go down to injury later in the season.
Canfield did fine in OSU's first series, but then he threw a pass into triple coverage that was intercepted by Scott Lewis to set up a touchdown. The play is called 'Y sneak,' with Stroughter the first option but tight end Joe Newton the more obvious target on a delay route.
'Sean is supposed to look at Sammie, but mostly to draw the coverage,' Riley says. 'If he's open, Sean throws the ball. If not, he goes to Joe, which is what usually happens. I figured it would be a safe opening pass for Sean, but he didn't see the linebacker.'
• After Oregon State was penalized twice for pass interference against Washington State on what appeared to be uncatchable balls, defensive coordinator Mark Banker was told by a game official that a pass-interference penalty can no longer be waved off if the ball is ruled uncatchable. Not so, says Verle Sorgen, Pac-10 coordinator of officiating.
'If a flag is thrown and the ball is ruled uncatchable, the flag may be picked up and the penalty erased,' Sorgen says. 'If the covering official considers a pass uncatchable on a play that otherwise would be ruled interference, he indicates that with a waving motion above his head. If the covering official throws the flag but isn't sure if the ball is catchable, he may consult with other officials before making a decision.'
- Kerry Eggers