Arizona comes to Reser with new QB
CORVALLIS — Oregon State will face a transitioning Arizona team Saturday at Reser Stadium in the Pac-10 opener for both teams.
Sophomore Nick Foles will make his first start at quarterback in place of Matt Scott, who struggled last week at Iowa when he went 4-of-14 for 50 yards and an interception. The Wildcats (2-1) lost 27-17.
"Matt is a very competitive player, and I'm sure it will hurt Matt not starting, but he has to do the things necessary, like everybody else on this team, to work to hold his position," coach Mike Stoops said. "We want our players to compete at every position."
Foles, a transfer from Michigan State, played a total of four series for the Wildcats against Northern Arizona and Iowa. Foles is 12 of 19 for 99 yards, with two touchdowns.
"It's exciting to get the chance to be the starter at a great school, but at the same time, you feel for the other guy. I'm excited," Foles said. "I know we can do great things here."
The 6-foot-5 Foles is more of a prototypical dropback passer than Scott, who is faster and likes to run. Scott is the team's second-leading rusher with 170 yards on 23 carries.
Arizona's spread offense has struggled without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is out for the season with a back injury that requires surgery.
Foles, who broke some of Drew Brees' passing records at Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, appeared in one game for Michigan State in 2007, attempting eight passes. He sat out last season after transferring.
Oregon State linebacker Keaton Kristick says the Beavers (2-1) are prepared for whatever the Wildcats throw at them.
"We've played quite a few different types of quarterbacks so far. We played the running quarterback at UNLV. We played Tony Pike, last week, a taller quarterback who just launched the ball. We're prepared," he said.
Foles says he is, too.
"I know it's going to be crazy. Iowa was a tough atmosphere, and I think it's going to be even crazier now that we're in the Pac-10," he said. "Mentally, you just have to be confident."
QUIZZ OK: Running back Jacquizz Rodgers' ankle appears OK after admitting it was "tender" last Saturday following Oregon State's 28-18 loss to Cincinnati.
Beavers coach Mike Riley said Quizz, as he is known, looked like his usual self on Sunday.
Rodgers, third in the Pac-10 with an average of 114 rushing yards a game, needs 93 more yards to break into the top 10 on Oregon State's career list — and he's just a sophomore.
Rodgers rushed for 73 yards and a touchdown against Cincinnati.
EXTRA POINTS: Oregon State has lost its last five Pac-10 openers. ... Arizona leads the series 20-11-1, but the Beavers have won three straight and nine of the last 10. ... Wildcats running back Nic Grigsby is averaging 133.3 yards a game, just a few yards behind Cal's Jahvid Best. ... The Beavers have allowed 10 sacks, most in the Pac-10.