Beavers need a complete offensive game in Civil War

2010-12-01T23:45:00Z 2015-03-25T18:09:45Z Beavers need a complete offensive game in Civil WarBy Cliff Kirkpatrick, Gazette-Times Reporter Corvallis Gazette Times

Executing a technical game plan has been a problem for Danny Langsdorf.

The Oregon State football team's offensive coordinator tries each week, but must work around the breakdowns.

He's creative with the play calling when the Beavers perform the basics and build off their success. When the Beavers don't make plays his plans fly out the press box window.

What he wants is a running game, screen plays, play-action passes, the fly sweep and a deep threat to be working so he can pick and choose the right moment to make the call.

All those aspects of the offense will be needed Saturday in the Civil War against top-ranked Oregon.

"When we've been able to do it, when we do it well, we have a lot of success," Langsdorf said. "It's a matter of seeing what we are given and using it."

The Ducks have an underrated defense because the offense is so proficient. They are successful due to the overall balance of the team.

Langsdorf expects to see an aggressive defense that has a knack for big plays. He hopes to find weaknesses, and exploit them.

"We have a lot of different looks to deal with," Langsdorf said. "They have a similar defense as Stanford. That's good and bad. Good for preparation (due to familiarity), and bad because we didn't do well (in last week's shutout).

"So we have to do a good job blocking up front and handling the different pressure."

The Beavers must be able to pass the ball to help kickstart the lagging running game. Quarterback Ryan Katz is coming off his worst game of the season with three interceptions and a fumble.

Katz admits he needs to protect the ball and manage the offense better. Sometimes he does a good job, but needs more consistency.

"There are a lot of different reasons: protection, route running and the quarterback not getting rid of the ball on time," Langsdorf said. "We haven't been consistent in all those areas. It's all three of those problems."

Markus Wheaton tries to replace the injured All-American James Rodgers as the go-to receiver and fly sweep runner, but that's no easy task.

Other receivers are hurt. Jordan Bishop is nursing a lingering shoulder injury and tight end Joe Halahuni has been out of practice this week due to a concussion, but is hopeful to play Saturday.

The blocking hasn't been there for running back Jacquizz Rodgers. He has been breaking tackles in the backfield and averages only 99.7 yards a game.

"We have to consistently block the defensive line and get to the second level and block linebackers," Langsdorf said. "We've been up and down. It's hard to repeat runs and establish that. Some games we are behind we haven't been able to feature Quizz in the running game like we wanted to."

The two biggest things the offense can do when playing the Ducks is sustain drives and score on every opportunity. And not just field goals, but touchdowns.

If the Beavers can eat up clock and shorten the game then their defense won't be worn out and the Ducks won't have the opportunity to score as often.

"We have to put drives together and not shoot ourselves in the foot," Katz said. "It's all about getting the rhythm and put points on the board."

Coach Mike Riley doesn't want to be in a fast-paced scorefest with the Ducks, but will take quick scores or long drives, any way he can get them.

"We can't be overly conservative," Riley said. "We have to go. We haven't accomplished what we wanted to do in the games, but we are not stopping. We are still striving to do that. There's no finish line. Whatever we can get accomplished this week, we are going after that."

Bottom line, what has to be done to win this game on the offensive side of the ball?

"We have to play all phases: throw, protect and run," Langsdorf said. "When we've done that, we've won the game. We have to strive for great execution, for the quarterback to play a sound, safe game and manage the game. And then get Quizz going."

So, the Beavers need the perfect game.

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