<
>

Three keys: BYU in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

12/21/2009

BYU (10-2)

1.Stop the run: It seems like a simple enough suggestion, but few have been able to stop Oregon State’s running game and most of the time it’s led to a loss. Jacquizz Rodgers is fast and he’s small, which makes him hard to find. He’s had a touchdown in all but one game and had seven 100-yard rushing games this season. BYU has been pretty stout against the run, allowing an average of 112 yards, and the Cougars allowed more than 200 rushing yards just twice.

2.Get Hall in a groove: BYU quarterback Max Hall seems to be at his best when he can get into a rhythm early and gain some confidence. That will be key against an Oregon State passing defense that hasn’t been great this season, but stiffened a bit at the end of the year. The Beavers allow 238.67 passing yards per game and they allowed two or more passing touchdowns in seven games this season. Look for tight ends Dennis Pitta and Andrew George to be top targets in this game.

3.Don’t forget the other Rodgers brother: Jacquizz Rodgers is a great running back, but his brother, receiver James Rodgers, might be the best player on the team, period. Rodgers ranks first on the team in receiving yards with 1,004 and nine touchdowns on 87 catches, and he’s second on the team in rushing with 289 yards and a score. He’s a great vertical threat and will be one of the toughest receivers (if not the toughest) the Cougars have faced this season. Look for BYU to double Rodgers and force quarterback Sean Canfield to find other options.