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SOU faces former South star in Musser

SOU faces former South star in Musser

Former South Medford High quarterback Curt Musser will be at the controls of Linfield College's offense Saturday when the Wildcats meet Southern Oregon University at Maxwell Field in McMinnville.

Musser, 22, a junior, redshirted in 1998 to concentrate on baseball. He's a catcher for the Linfield baseball team.

Making his first start at quarterback for the Wildcats last Saturday, Musser completed 15 of 20 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns to lead Linfield to a 48-0 win over the University of Redlands.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Musser is the son of former Medford High head football coach Norm Musser.

Both teams take 1-0 records into the game, which is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.

I got good protection up front last week and our receivers had sticky hands, says Musser. I was pretty fired up.

Linfield has opened up its offense this season under offensive coordinator Ed Langsdorf, Musser says. The Wildcats operate out of one-back sets and the pro set.

We didn't know what to expect in that offense in the first game, but it worked pretty well, says Musser. I made some mistakes, but I'll be better this week.

SOU head coach Jeff Olson said Musser looked like an experienced quarterback rather than a junior making his first start.

He looked like he's been the starter for four years, says Olson. He executed well. He gets out of the pocket well and he's a good athlete.

Musser will match up against several former Southern Oregon Conference all-stars that he played against in high school. They include Raider nose guard R.J. Josephson of Eagle Point and linebacker J.D. Callicoatt of Grants Pass. Other former SOC players starting for Southern Oregon's defense are safety J.D. Jedrykowski of Mazama and Nate Williams of North Medford.

I know all those guys, says Musser. It should be fun.

Junior Marc Mattesen, a backup defensive cornerback for Southern Oregon, played with Musser for South Medford High four years ago.

Mark is one of my best friends, says Musser. I hope he gets in there. I hear Nate Williams is their best cornerback, so that will be interesting, too.

Linfield coach Jay Locey says SOU is a formidable opponent.

Southern Oregon will be a whole different test than Redlands, says Locey. They are a very physical team and they look good . We have some physical players, so we'll have to see how we match up.

We have to stop the run and Griff Yates, says Locey. It's going to take a team effort to control and contain him.

Linfield has defeated Southern Oregon seven straight times and 18 of the last 22 meetings.

The Raiders haven't won at Linfield since 1983.

Linfield owns college football's longest streak of consecutive winning seasons.

Yates rushed for 121 yards on 28 carries, accounted for 169 yards rushing and receiving and scored three touchdowns to lead SOU to a season-opening 34-2 win over Eastern Oregon State last Saturday at Raider Stadium in Ashland.

The Raiders, playing an independent schedule for the first time since 1953, will play traditional Northwest rivals Linfield and Pacific Lutheran University on the road during the next two Saturdays before returning home to meet Willamette on Oct. 2.

Southern Oregon will start Dan Walters, a junior from Jerome, Idaho, at quarterback for the second consecutive week. Walters completed 8-of-17 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown in the win over Eastern Oregon.

This team has a different mind-set than last year, says Walters. We have a lot more confidence in ourselves. Offensively, we need to concentrate on executing better and moving the ball.

Olson says he was pleased with Walters' opening game.

He worked within what we were asking him to do, says Olson. This week, we'll open things up more. We will have to, says Olson.