The offense is dynamic, and can beat you in many ways. Sean Canfield is right up their with Max Hall as one of the best quarterbacks in the nation, and he's done it by being accurate and making big plays. WR Damola Adeniji has been a big surprise this season and will do his best to keep the BYU defense honest as they look to key on the Rodgers brothers. Now, James and Jacquizz are probably the ones that Mendenhall and company are most worried about... they're playmakers. It's a good sign whenever Quizz and break into the second level with regularity, and as soon as safeties start keying on Quizz, James becomes a even bigger threat out of his flanker spot. And let's not forget about Joe Halahuni, who has become a big threat at the tight end position.
Damola Adeniji isn't a guy who is putting up huge numbers on the stat sheet, but his contributions to the offense and his rise to prominence make him arguably the most important player on the offense. After Darrell Catchings was injured early in the season, Damola has made Beaver Nation forget about what we lost in Darrell by providing similar production. He never expected to play football again after graduating from West Salem high school, but now he's playing in his final college game as a starting wideout for the Beavers. He's improved his route running and blocking, and is a big reason why this offense is so dynamic.
Don't forget that Beavers also struggled against Cincinnati, a team that finds themselves playing in a BCS game now but looked beatable on September 19 in Corvallis. What we repeatedly keep seeing out of these Mike Riley coached teams is these early season slow starts. The Beavers tried to buck the trend this year with a more manageable pre-season schedule, but still emerged from the month of September with a 2-2 record. The slow start is not something we saw for the first time this season, trust me. It's something we're starting to get used to.
I think it's games like tonight's that OSU fans and Pac-10 fans in general judge the Mountain West on. If the top tier MWC teams (TCU, BYU, Utah, etc.) can continue to do damage in BCS bowls and win games against the automatic-qualifying conferences, they'll continue to get respect. And obviously, the MWC is 7-3 against such teams since 2004, so they're well on their way. But Mike Riley and his team, as well as Beaver Nation in general do have a great deal of respect for this BYU team we'll be playing tonight. It'll be a great game, that's for sure. It's also interesting to note that Oregon State's next two games-- tonight's, and the opener next year-- will be against the best two teams out of the MWC, BYU and TCU. We'll see how that goes.