Thursday, August 30, 2007

And So it Begins

Today the college football season officially kicked off. We still have to wait another two days for the Bruins to take the field but there was some action to help ease the pain and suffering of you die-hard football fans. The most interesting game tonight was Utah vs Oregon State. Both teams are on UCLA's schedule this year, so it is a great opportunity to see two opponents at one time.

Neither offense was particularly impressive but maybe that is a testament to the improved defenses on both teams. Yvenson Bernard had a big game as you might expect. The Beavers are going to rely on him to carry the load while their new quarterbacks gets some experience. Sean Canfield, who took most of the snaps for OSU, looked really shaky. His first pass was intercepted and he had a pretty low competition percentage, going 8 for 19 with 1 touchdown and 1 pick. His backup, Lyle Moevao wasn't any better; he had only 3 connections on 9 passes and an interception. Yikes! It doesn't look like OSU has solved their turn-over problems at the QB spot. The Beavers won the game but it wasn't pretty.

On the other side of the field, Brian Johnson (the Utah quarterback) left the game early with a separated shoulder. When he was in the game, he looked decent but he wasn't the huge threat that he was back in 2005. He threw fairly well but didn't do a lot on the ground. His replacement, Tommy Grady, put together a forgettable effort hitting on only 10 of 24 passes with no touchdowns. Utah had a hard time putting drives together and scored their sole touchdown on a big pass from Johnson to Casteel after an interception gave the Utes great field position. It is still early in the season, but their offense was pretty anemic today and it likely won't be much better if Johnson doesn't return. They couldn't run the ball at all against OSU's defense, only racking up 17 total yards for the entire game.

With the Bruins starting the year in the top-25 for the first time in a long while, other games with ranked teams take on a lot more importance. Not a whole lot on this Thursday, with just LSU(2), Louisville (10), Rutgers(16), and Boise State (24) in action. All of those teams won in almost embarisingly easy games. Louisville scored 73 points and Boise State put almost 50 points in the first half. Ah, college football. Got to love it.

In Bruin news, it sounds like Ben Olson is about as ready as he will ever be for this season. A lot of beat writers have been saying he has looked very good the last two weeks. The decisions are coming quicker and it looks like all the extra reps he got this fall are paying off. We'll get to see the new-and-improved Ben on Saturday up on the Farm.

I can hardly wait! IS IT SATURDAY YET!?!?!

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