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Beaver QB battle will continue in spring ball

Canfield may have surgery, but could push Moevao for job
by: COURTESY OF OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, Lyle Moevao, who started OSU’s last four games, will enter spring drills as the starting quarterback, but coach Mike Riley says Sean Canfield is a contender.

When Oregon State begins spring practice in April, juniors-to-be Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield will renew their battle to claim the starting quarterback job. And Moevao — who started the Beavers’ final four games, including their Emerald Bowl victory over Maryland — will open as No. 1. The reason, OSU coach Mike Riley says, “is because of the way the season finished. That’s the right thing to do. That doesn’t mean it’s going to end up that way.” After a duel that extended through last spring practice and August training camp, Canfield emerged as the starter. The 6-4, 225-pound left-hander stayed there until injuring his shoulder in a Nov. 3 loss at Southern Cal. The 5-11, 230-pound Moevao took over and helped the Beavers to a 4-0 record the rest of the way. Canfield completed 65 of 286 passes (57.7 percent) for 1,661 yards with nine touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Moevao was 77 of 147 (52.4) for 876 yards and two TDs with six picks. Riley is comfortable enough with the pair that he hasn’t recruited junior-college help at the position. “We have a better situation at quarterback now than we did at this time a year ago,” he says. “Both of those guys played quite a bit of football this season and are capable of being the starter. The competition will be open-ended, but as far as who will take the first snaps in spring ball, it will be Lyle.” Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf like Moevao’s leadership qualities and his competitiveness. Canfield has a better arm and perhaps more upside as a prototypical QB, but must improve his decision-making and command of the OSU offense. Canfield says he will consult with a physician in his hometown of Carlsbad, Calif., about the left shoulder that still has pain from what was determined to be a shoulder strain. He might need surgery. “If that’s the case, he’ll get it done and hopefully be ready for spring ball,” Riley says. “The experience he got on the field this season will be a good kickoff for him into being prepared for (the 2008) season.” Brennan Sim will go into spring practice as OSU’s third-string quarterback. The 6-2, 200 sophomore-to-be from Sunset High shared duty with Justin Engstrom — a 6-5, 205 true freshman from Scappoose who redshirted — as scout-team QBs this fall. “Brennan has developed a lot physically over the last year, and he was impressive with the scout team,” Riley says. “Justin has great size and some snap to his delivery, but he’s behind physically, so it may take some time.” The other quarterback who will be on hand for spring ball is Zach Anderson, the 6-4, 220 freshman from Yamhill-Carlton who was the Class 4A player of year in 2006. He took some classes at Oregon State in the fall and will take on grayshirt status with winter term. Riley and Langsdorf will work on his development to determine if he has potential down the line. Sim, Engstrom and Anderson all are walk-ons. “I feel very good about our quarterbacks,” Riley says. “I love that we have two guys who have played a lot and will be coming off some success. I’m looking forward to their opportunity to make a big jump next season.” This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.