Scouting Brigham Young and OSU on offense
JAMES RODGERS Correspondent
Posted Dec 21, 2009

AN OPENING WEEKEND win over Sam Bradford and then-No. 3 Oklahoma, and an overtime thriller against conference power Utah in the final week highlighted Brigham Young's 2009 campaign. Ranked just above Oregon State in the BCS (14 vs. 18), they’re making their fifth consecutive trip to Las Vegas in hopes of finishing in the Top 10. Here's who looks to have an advantage in the offensive schematics.

Oregon State, meanwhile, had highlight wins over Stanford and California, and with the Rose Bowl up for grabs, fell four points and two fourth down stops short of beating No. 7 Oregon on the road in their regular season finale.

There should be offense a-plenty in this one -- Max Hall and Sean Canfield combined to throw for 6,471 yards and 51 scores in '09. Ground men Jacquizz Rodgers (OSU) and Harvey 'Unga (BYU) both went over the 1,000 yard mark this season and both are drive sustainers who move the chains with tough running.

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Offensive Line: For Oregon State, this is the story of the season. A struggling group who allowed 22 sacks in the first seven weeks has allowed just seven since. As the group has progressed and played better, Canfield has gained confidence and it has shown in his statistics as well as Quizz’ second straight 1,000 yard season. BYU has allowed only 21 quarterback sacks and has given Max Hall plenty of time in the pocket to pick apart opposing defenses. The ground game has been effective and gained over 1,000 yards on the season.

Advantage: Push -- Both units are playing solid football, protecting their signal caller, and creating holes for both backs to get their yards.



Quarterback: Sean Canfield in ’09 solidified himself as the Pac-10's best, earning First Team All-Conference honors. His 69.95 completion percentage is best in school history, but across the field will be a gunslinger who is just as accurate. Second Team All-Mountain West quarterback Max Hall has completed 67.54 percent of his passes and has more yards (3,368) and touchdowns (30) than Canfield. Canfield is playing the best football of his career and his confidence shows through the 300-plus yard performances in four of his last six games.


Advantage: Push -- Some could consider quality competition, but compare Oregon, USC, California, and Arizona to Utah, TCU, Oklahoma, and Florida State -- and the defensive competition is pretty close. Both QB’s are red-hot and whomever can keep his cool and deliver as he has all season will give his team a considerable advantage.



Running Back: While stature certainly isn't what would be used to compare the two lethal backs, production is. BYU's Harvey Unga (6-0, 239) has 1,016 yards on the ground and 10 scores, and on just 184 touches. Meanwhile, first team all conference pick Jacquizz Rodgers for OSU has 1,377 yards and 20 touchdowns on 255 rushes, and is listed at 5-7, 191. Unga is a Toby Gerhart style runner with deceptive quicks for his size. Unga gets yards between the tackles and can bounce it outside with a surprising burst around the edge. Quizz does it all and is at least as effective, but the surprise with him is the ability to run between the tackles considering his size.



Advantage: OSU -- Hear me out BYU fans. Unga is a great back, but Jacquizz Rodgers is in the elite category. Deciding factor here is Quizz' added 509 yards receiving and a score. Unga has just 106 yards receiving.



Tight End: All-America tight end Dennis Pitta leads BYU in all receiving categories with 784 yards for seven scores on 57 catches. Pitta is the real deal with the ability to create mismatches against linebackers, soft hands, and tackle breaking ability getting yards after the catch. Add in second option Andrew George's 362 yards and five scores and the tight end position is lethal for BYU. Oregon State hasn't used the tight end position much as of late, taking what the defense has given them. In the last three games, Joe Halahuni has caught just eight passes for 64 yards. Three of his eight, however, have been for his only three scores of the year.

Advantage: BYU -- What Halahuni, Howard Croom, and Brady Camp have produced is comparatively less than Pitta has himself, and not even including George's output. It will be interesting seeing how OSU chooses to contain Pita.



Receivers: BYU quarterback Max Hall is an equal opportunity thrower and the air attack of BYU epitomizes the term "spread the wealth." Four BYU receivers have 20 plus catches and over 250 yards receiving. Leading the group is deep threat McKay Jacobsen who has a long of 80 and scored four times on his 21 receptions--good for 529 yards. Not to be outdone, James Rodgers shined bright in the season finale and thrust himself over the 1,000 yard mark with his 87 receptions and nine scores on his way to First Team-All Conference. Right behind him is fellow wide out and departing senior, Damola Adeniji. Adeniji, a former walk-on, has emerged this season and has been a big target for Canfield. Adeniji in ’09 has gone for 701 yards and four scores headed into his final collegiate game.


Advantage: OSU -- Strength is in numbers, yes, but when on the field you have a limited number of wide outs and you can't tell me Pitta and Unga will both be out allowing all four BYU wide outs to be in. Meanwhile Rodgers and Adeniji are constants and have put together 1,705 and 13 scores in 2009.

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