More perfect college football
- Billy Gates
- Madras Pioneer - Sports
Watching the Oregon State Beavers slug through a 19-6 victory against the Washington State Cougars was a little worrisome for me.
>In the Bleachers with Billy
What I, along with the rest of the TV audience, didn't know was sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion had hurt his knee during a handoff in the second quarter.
He played through the injury like it didn't happen, and when the news dropped Monday that an MRI revealed he needed to have surgery to repair, there was a collective shutter throughout Beaver Nation.
Mannion was on pace to have one of the best season a Beaver QB in recent history, but now he's out "indefinitely," according to head coach Mike Riley.
This will, undoubtedly, hurt the Beavs' chances against what seems to be an up and down BYU team next week. I'm still not quite sure how BYU scored just six points on Utah State, a team that has about as much national notoriety as I do.
But, I don't think Beaver fans need to put their heads in the oven or bail into the river just yet. They have a very capable back up signal caller in Cody Vaz, and Riley is confident in his ability to manage a game and lead drives.
This makes you wonder what this season could have been if Ryan Katz hadn't transferred to San Diego State.
I thought Mannion was always the right guy for the job by the end of last season, and with Mannion impressing coaches during camp, Katz just made it easier for Riley and the coaching staff to choose when he elected to leave.
With weapons like wideouts Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks, all Vaz has to do is throw it in the same area as one of them. They will do the rest.
The running game is also starting to surface, and it's not just freshman tailback Storm Woods packing the piggy. Malcom Agnew, who many thought would be the starter coming out of summer camp, has been working into the rotation and getting carries.
The Beavers will have to utilize both backs in order to give Vaz a chance to get the ball to his receivers. It has to happen, or else BYU will hand the No. 10 Beavs their first loss of the season.
The Beavs have been built on defense and I don't think that's going to stop this week. I like the Beavs to win on the road in Provo, 17-10.
The Oregon Ducks lit up the Washington Huskies in another impressive display of offense, defense and special teams.
The No. 2 Ducks hammered the puppies, 52-21, and made UW quarterback Keith Price look like a backup with minimal practice reps.
The defense held Price to just 145 yards passing and picked him off twice, and when an offense like the Ducks have build off the energy the defense gives them, teams better look out and pray for a mistake.
Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla caught three passes for 71 yards to lead all receivers, two of which went for touchdowns.
I covered Class 5A sports while in Hermiston, and had the chance to see Lyerla when he was in high school at Hillsboro.
He was enormous for a high school kid, and he was a tailback. Not a fullback that mainly blocked, a bonifide 25 carries per game tailback that punished everyone in his path. No one wanted to tackled the 215-pound hard, downhill runner. In fact, no one wanted to get near him.
The most impressive thing about Lyerla is that he has improved his speed, agility and quickness and put on about 30 pounds of muscle.
I wasn't sure he could get bigger and keep that athleticism that made him so good in high school. But he has, and I think he's added some moves, too.
Kudos are in order for the strength and conditioning coaches for the Ducks.
The Ducks will take the week off of Pac-12 play and prepare for an Oct. 18 (my birthday) matchup against the Arizona State Sun Devils.
With the way the entire Oregon team is playing, the SUn Devils shouldn't be a problem. I realize they are 4-1 and on the cusp of breaking into the Associated Press Top 25 rankings, but the Ducks have been embarrassing teams.
They put up three scores on Washington, then-ranked No. 23, before the Huskies knew what happened, en route to a 35-7 halftime lead.
They'll beat Arizona State the same way, I think by a score of 49-10, and continue their quest toward a national championship.