The Official Candy Report: Hawaii

There is a saying that a win is a win.  This is true, and through history, we have perfect examples of this.  A Fiesta Bowl romp over Notre Dame is what flutters through our minds as we ponder the magical 2000 season.  Near losses to Eastern Washington and New Mexico don’t.  That year, it wasn’t until the San Diego State game that the Beavers were able to put together a complete game.  A trend I hope continues this year.

Or take the 2008 Season where a huge USC victory overshadows some other games, but we all remember each loss to Penn State, Utah, the crap sacks and ultimately, the game that kept OSU from the Rose Bowl, the Stanford game. We never wax poetically about a tight ASU game or Arizona game, or a masterful win over UCLA in Los Angeles. We just see those as W in the schedule of the past.

So should this season turn out to be a special one, we will most likely not look back at these first two games and nit pick them to death.

Unfortunately, they are all we have so the nitpicking has begun, and while some of it is overblown in my mind, some of it is legitimate. The gripes people have about this particular game circle around a 15 minute span. While many think it started in the 3rd Quarter, I would disagree with this. OSU’s defense was still dominating, and outside of a few penalties the Hawaii offense really did nothing to distinguish themselves. In terms of the offense, OSU still did quite a bit well.  The first drive of the third quarter was a TD drive that looked effortless, but the ensuing ones had issues.  Lets start with the first one.

1st and 10 at ORST 22    OREGON ST Penalty, Offensive holding (Grant Bays) to the OrgSt 12:
This was actually not a hold.  Bays had his hands in and was perpendicular to the defender.  While he was holding jersey, he had not extended his arms and when their player turned he let go. I have included an non-conclusive photo that only shows that he never extends his arms past his shoulders.   The other rough part of this is that the ref who actually threw the flag could not possibly have seen it because Bays back was to him (he was the ref that lines up facing the line of scrimmage behind the defense. He just saw a guy turn and fall.

This is not a hold

This is not a hold

It was a good block and by the time the guy realized Storm was there, he was too late to make the tackle anyway.  This cost OSU a 22 yard run and a lot of momentum.  The offense was still in synch at this time, in my opinion, but the penalty was hard to overcome.

3rd and 6 at ORST 29    Sean Mannion pass incomplete to Richard Mullaney
For many, this deep pass attempt was a poor play call when they needed a first down.  I tend to agree because my personal philosophy is to get the first down.  That being said, I understand the reasoning.  First, 6 yards is not an easy nab.  3rd and 1 you can do anything, but 6 yards was above their rushing average for the game and with the way their defense was set up that play, was going to take perfect execution by the Beavers.

So before the play, I am assuming that Sean saw Richard was going to be one on one and knew that it was the best route at the time.  In addition they had given up a lot bad plays at that time, and it was a chance that if they hit it, to turn momentum back to their side.

So I understand why they did it, but to be honest, I just think they could have ran a bubble screen or fly sweep or worked to hit the tight end in the seam on that one. Regardless, I don’t begrudge the pass.

And I think ultimately that is my feeling on this game.  The mistakes made were not chronic, though their timing makes them feel so. They were a combination of a lot of things, but Hawaii is not a terrible team and they are probably going to win a few more games this year than they did last year.  In all of Hawaii’s drives either they got the ball deep in OSU territory because of special teams, or they were drives that had failed but OSU got penalized and the drives continued.

But lets not forget two things.  First, these teams Oregon State has played would both finish last in the Pac-12 if they were playing in it. While I think both have some talent, there is just not enough for them to compete with a veteran team like the Beavers have.  So these games should not even be close.  Secondly, mistakes by the Beavers have forced them to make the first two games competitive, rather than blow outs.  There was improvement from game one to game two, but there were still too many mistakes.

So as we head into a bye week, OSU has a great opportunity to do what they do year after year, and that is improve.  We have only seen glimpses of what this team can do when they put it together and it is impressive.  Unfortunately, from the offensive line to the running backs to the receivers to special teams to the secondary there are a lot of things that need to happen.  Will they?  History tells us that with Mike Riley teams the best is yet to be seen, so my guess is we will see better before the season is over.  All that matters to me now is that even with big mistakes and struggles with focus, OSU is 2-0.  If they can keep winning, even with these kinds of mistakes, there is a good chance that when or if the get it nailed down, they are going to be a very special team.

I would still rather be us than any team in Washington.


3 thoughts on “The Official Candy Report: Hawaii

  1. Blowcheese

    Good perspective candy reporter. Sorry to reply with even more words than your column. No not really sorry.

    I disagree about the running backs. They have maxed out on any possible expectations so far. Everything else is a question though:

    Defense: Who Are You?
    The defense has no identity yet despite whirlwind fast linebackers who have been around long enough to own some swagger. If the killer instinct doesn’t come from this unit i really don’t know if we will be able to close out quality PAC 12 teams.
    I feel the secondary is one cornerback short of being reliable. Nelson is lock down and is a physical presence but the other side while not totally unmanned at this point has a guy there who looks like he is filling in while someone is taking a smoke break. The coaches are leaving the door wide open for a redshirt freshman who hasn’t played in a game yet. That gives me an eerie feeling.
    The defensive line has a lot of guys. That is not damning it with faint praise because there have been years where there has been 4 or 5 guys. But I do not know if Gwach will have any more sacks this year or if Peko will play or why Grimble doesn’t start or why Wynn had that dumb penalty or if these guys will just simply be competent point of attack guys to free up or whirlwind linebackers to make plays or if they will make plays themselves in a real game.
    Again it is about forging an identity that stands up when it’s fourth and goal to go to keep the toe jams out of the end zone and preserve a fourth quarter lead. It’s the players on those units knowing their teammates are going to stone that guy running a sweep if they just do their job and turn him in. Can they get some of that please?

    Sean. Champion or Crumpler?
    I’m trying to not sound like jaded beaver fan here. I appreciate having the all time Pac 12 yardage guy (soon) as our qb I really do. But I think Sean is mature now and he isn’t going to improve in a couple of things by now and i just have to accept it. Sean will not escape the pocket unless somebody leaves the door open. Sean will not throw the ball away sometimes. Sean will take sacks. Sean will take sacks that are rather ugly because he is doing the smart thing and trying to protect himself or the ball and simply crumpling to the ground like he is one of those freaky inflatable arm waving things in front of used car lots and somebody unplugged the blower. Portland State, Hawaii, do the beavers play anybody else this year who rush the passer? Just have to get used to this by now. He is not Rothlesburger in the pocket flinging touchdowns with guys hanging off of him. Sean isn’t strong like that and will not be.
    But one thing i do not have to accept is even the occasional throwing to the first guy he sees who also happens to be double covered. Sean you don’t do this any more. Please.
    Sean can make as many throws as any qb we have had. I even think he is even a little sharper than Canfield with getting the ball in windows and has just as good a touch. If he has time he will shred defenses throwing to Bolden, Mullaney and Hamlett/Smith. PissU Hawaii doesnt disguise this news: there will be targets out there IF the mannion has time. Which goes to the next point..

    O-line. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to predict that if Mannion is throwing 50 times a game Riley has given up on the running game and the center’s buttcrack is getting cold because we are going shotgun 1st 2cnd and 3rd downs.
    Nobody here wants to see that, for all the TDs and yards this will undoubtedly yield it does not sustain. The good teams have good defensive ends. 4.6 guys who will turn Mannion’s personal starbucks into a telephone booth in 2.5 seconds. Mannion is a truly great college quarterback in his own starbucks. In a phone booth he is not a cunning deal maker, not a houdini. He is much worse than that.
    So let’s just see if Peter agrees with me if i say that if Terron Woods (yes i meant that) isn’t averaging 100 yards by the Washington State game we aren’t going any where great this year.

    In Game Coaching/Special Teams. Mike Riley teams develop their players, usually they improve over the season, and they sometimes challenge for Rose Bowl berths when they have senior quarterbacks starting. But I do not see improvement with getting the plays in, I do not see improvement with clock management. I don’t see great kick returning despite the presence of two pre NFLers Bolden and yes Rahmel Dockery. In fact i don’t think anything has changed to expect improvement. What does this mean? I don’t know but it spooks me out. Because this year i get the feeling mistakes in this area could feel like pissing away something special. We will see.

    Peter: Sorry for the verbosity Thanks for the space!


    1. OBF

      About Special teams…. We have had a long run of electric return men. From Sammie, to Lawson, to Wheaton, poyer, cooks, etc… and now Boldin and Dockery. Yet they seem to be getting less effective. The main thing that I think has happened isn’t that our return teams have gotten worse or the coaching has gotten worse, but that the kicking game in general has been changing greatly the past few years…

      With the 25 yard touchback, most of the time the RIGHT decision is to just let it roll into the endzone, and I can’t remember the last time we faced a traditional punter not a rugby, directional kick, let it go 20 yards in the air and then roll for 40 types… It is hard to set up a return on those types of guys. And of course we (correctly) coach the guys to not get anywhere near a rolling ball…

      I think this is just the way football (in general) is going special teams is getting relegated to nothingness. The rule changes and position specialization are making it much harder to make a difference as a return man…


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