Return of Rodgers brothers quite a sight
CORVALLIS — The Rodgers brothers accounted for all of Oregon State's touchdowns in the opener, picking up where they left off when injuries struck last season.
In fact, as season openers go, Oregon State's 34-7 victory over Portland State on Saturday was as painless as possible.
There were no serious injuries and the Beavers even got to give second-team players some valuable game experience.
Best of all, both Rodgers brothers reported no pain after returning from injuries that ended last season and reclaiming their place as the backbone of the Beavers' offensive attack.
Pacific-10 offensive player of the year Jacquizz Rodgers ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns, including a career-long 43-yarder, and big brother James Rodgers caught an 87-yard TD pass from Canfield on the Beavers' first offensive play of the season.
James Rodgers nearly broke another touchdown with a 49-yard kickoff return. He missed the Sun Bowl last season with a broken collarbone, while Jacquizz Rodgers sat out the last two games of the season with a rotator cuff injury.
"Missing all those games — I even missed the Civil War — that hurt me," Jacquizz Rodgers said. "When I got on the field I was ready to go."
Both brothers acknowledged being so keyed up for the game that they didn't sleep the night before, but neither missed a beat, and together helped account for 253 of Oregon State's 373 total yards, despite sitting out most of the second half.
"I'm just glad we don't have to go against them in a game," cornerback Tim Clark said, shaking his head in amazement.
"It's awesome to have them back," quarterback Sean Canfield added. "It seems like it has been a long time. And we did a tremendous job with them."
Justin Kahut accounted for the rest of Oregon State's points with a pair of field goals.
While the Rodgers brothers cruised right through the opener, the Vikings' run-and-shoot offense was potent enough to provide the Beavers with some things to work on.
"They exposed us in a couple areas," said linebacker Keaton Kristick, who admitted to being impressed by the Vikings of the Big Sky Conference.
The Beavers' defense, with eight new starters including the entire secondary, yielded 351 yards but made no major mistakes and kept big plays to a minimum.
Overall, they had no turnovers and had five consecutive drives end with either a touchdown or field goal before pulling the starters.
Canfield looked confident and in charge and turned in a smooth and efficient 8-of-11 passing performance for 158 yards. Redshirt freshman Ryan Katz took over and was 7-of-12 for 124 yards.
Still, Oregon State should face an upgraded opponent next week at UNLV. The Runnin' Rebels dispatched Sacramento State 38-3 in their opener, and have a passing attack that should challenge Beaver defense as much as Portland State did.
"It helps to play an offense like that and get the kinks out," Kristick said.