Posted: 11:03 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
By Michael Gooding
When: Saturday, Sept. 7th at 5 p.m. PT
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: ESPN 1420 AM
Oregon State 2013 record: 0-1-0, (0-0 in Pac-12).
Hawaii All Time Record vs Oregon State: 3-5-0. (0-1 in Corvallis)
Last Meeting: Sept. 13th 2008 at Corvallis. OSU won 45-7
Coach: Mike Riley (81-68) This season is Rileys 13th year as head coach at OSU including his 2 years from 97 and 98. This is his 10th consecutive year.
The Rainbow Warriors go on the road for the first time in 2013 against an OSU team that suffered a massive shock in the opening week against Eastern Washington. Despite this they open up as a massive 24.5 point favourite in this match up.
Following on from a disappointing performance against USC on his début, Taylor Graham will be getting at least one more chance as the starter at quarterback. Sean Schroeder continues to wait in the wings for any chance that might come if Graham doesn't improve on last weeks four interceptions which just so happened to lead to 20 USC points. For now he will be given the benefit of the doubt and he has shown well enough in practises to deserve a second shot. After all, an athletic USC defense was never going to be an easy way to start your career at UH.
OSU's Sean Mannion has a great week under center against Eastern Washington even with the final result. He managed stats of 37/43, 422 yards and 3TD's. Hawaii's defensive backs will need to be in fine form to stop the high powering Beaver offense from racking up the points.
There is a slight chance that Joey Iosefa will feature in this game after being named in the 64 man travelling party. Any time he does get though is sure to be limited and it comes as quite a surprise that he even travels to Corvallis. In Honolulu, Marcus Langkilde and Aofaga Wily seen the most touches at running back but both averaged a mere 1.5 and 1.6 yards respectively. That needs to change this week to give Graham a better chance at maintaining anything in the passing game. For OSU Storm Woods and Terron Ward will be hoping to kick on from good showings against Eastern Washington that saw them combine for 3TD's on the ground.
The wide receiver group remains a beacon of hope with several big plays last week with the stand out performers being Donnie King (3 receptions, 30 yards) and Keith Kirkwood (2 receptions, 84 yards, 1TD). In all ten players had at least once reception vs USC, a sign that there is the option of spreading the ball about. Billy Ray Stuntzmann will be missing again this week as he continues his recovery from his injury suffered before training camp.
In Brandin Cooks OSU have their own big threat at receiver. Cooks is rated as one of the most explosive play-makers in the nation. He possess's great hands and is an outstanding route runner. If he picks up 89 yards or more vs UH then he will crack the all time top 10 list in Beavers history. Richard Mullaney is another threat at receiver that will need special attention.
The offensive line continued to be a cause for concern in the opener and there have been some experiments taking place at practise during the course of the week. Leo Koloamatangi and David Griffin will see more time on the field this week. Both have long arms and agile footwork that should help bring more stability to the line. Left tackle Sean Shigematsu suffered a bone bruise against USC but should be good to go in time for this game. Its hoped putting an extra body or two in the line rotation will bring more punch and help maintain a freshness as the game rolls on.
Hawaii received a massive boost when Kennedy Tulimasealii recovered quicker than expected from a right knee injury and will be added to the rotation at defensive tackle. It was thought he was at least another week away but anything that he can bring to the interior of the defensive line will be of use. The freshman was named at #187 in ESPN's top 300 national recruits last year. Brenden Daley led the defense against the Trojans with 10 tackles and a sack to his name.
Up front OSU boast Scott Chrichton at defensive end. Chrichton has the ability to penetrate the offensive line, rush the quarterback and give his defensive backs the opportunity for interceptions. Seniors Mana Rosa and John Braun occupy the defensive tackle spots.
Art Laurel showed why he is one of the premium linebackers in the mountain west last week with four tackles and one sack that resulted in a safety. He led the mountain west in tackles for a loss last year and will prove to be a thorn in the side of OSU's line come Saturday. For OSU, Michael Doctor had 2 sacks against Eastern Washington and a total of 11 tackles. Doctor is a super athletic sideline to sideline play-maker that will make life difficult for UH in both the run and passing game. The lesser experienced junior Jabral Johnson with start on the strong-side. He got his first start last week but has been an exceptional special teams contributor through his time on the team.
Marrell Jackson had a great game in the opener at the safety position with five tackles, one interception and a pass break up. There are no new injury concerns in the defensive backs and there's hope for a better showing again. Ne'Quan Phillips and John Hardy-Tuliau will be the leaders.
The secondary for OSU is pretty amazing. They return three of the four starters from last year that managed 20 interceptions and allowed just 14 passing touchdowns. Giving up four passing touchdowns during the first weekend certainly wasn't part of the plan though and hopefully Hawaii will be able to draw some hope from this. The biggest worry is the groups knack of intercepting the ball, coupled with Grahams four give-aways last week.
With some luck the Rainbow Warriors will be able to feed off some of the good things that happened opening weekend and draw on OSU's loss as some sort of inspiration. On the flip side they could run into a team with a chip on its shoulder after last weeks surprise and get well and truly turned over. I'm going to go with what I said last week and pick UH to cover the spread.