College Football Week 5: #18 Oregon State At Arizona
- CoachingJust when his proverbial seat started to heat up, Mike Riley has his team at 2-0 and ranked. The Beavers deserve it, too, as few teams have two wins as impressive as they do.It looked like Rich Rodriguez’s transition was going smoothly after a 3-0 start and consecutive 50-point games. Then the Wildcats were beat 49-0 by Oregon in their Pac-12 opener. Still, the spread offense guru should have Arizona competing for a conference title in the near future.
- OffenseThe Beavers have played half as many games as most teams, so we’re still learning about this offense. So far, they haven’t been able to get much on the ground but quarterback Sean Mannion has been efficient.The aforementioned 50-point outbursts had many thinking Arizona’s offense was elite. And it may well be, but it certainly wasn’t last Saturday when the Wildcats turned it over five times and failed to cash in on any of their drives.
- DefenseIt doesn’t appear the dominant defensive performance against Wisconsin was a fluke as the Beavers shut down UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin last week. If they can have another strong outing against a potent Arizona offense, it would solidify this unit as one of the best in the conference.Rodriguez’s teams often take some time to adapt to his preferred 3-3-5 defense. The two BCS conference schools Arizona has played this year have had no problem moving the ball.
- Special TeamsOregon State’s kicking and punting has been fine. The Beavers have only had a chance to return one kick and two punts so far this season.Arizona has made just half of its field goals so far and has been near the bottom of the country in kickoff and punt returns.
This should be a very competitive game, but the slight edge goes to Arizona—whose offense should get back on track, even against a stout Beaver defense—playing at home at night.