The Official Candy Report: Colorado

As I mentioned last week, to no one in particular, I was a bit worried about the Colorado game. The injuries, the rough game the week before, the second straight road game in the high altitude of Boulder Colorado against a team with a very mobile QB and high octane, fast paced offense.

While many may look at Colorado’s record and think they are terrible, they are capable of winning most games this year in the era of no Pac-12 defense. I was certain that OSU’s offense would improve over the week before, but would it be enough?  Starting 0-2 in the Pacific 12 would be devastating for a team returning so much talent and experience.

What I actually saw was a team that did what it takes to win. They ran effectively and enough to extend drives and give their defense a break. Their defense adjusted to changes the other team made and to the tiredness and injuries from the week before.  The coaches did a good job of bringing pressure when they needed to and held the Buffaloes to under their season average for yards and points.

The other side of the game that was intriguing to me was the way the offense basically imposed their will on Colorado early on and in the second half.  They ran with authority getting 40 yards more than their average and they passed where they could.  Players like Caleb Smith and Hunter Jarmon came up big at big times.  While there was still an issue getting separation or running routes correctly, there was a lot to be excited about the passing game.

Running the ball was especially effective.  OSU’s interior of their line was driving back the Buffalo defense four and five yards initially.  The first run after Alexander’s interception could have been a touchdown if he had cut behind the guard and center.  There were also a lot more cut blocks by the line, especially to stop the defender left behind pulling guards or tackles from getting upfield.  It looked very similar to what USC was doing to us last week.

The last huge piece was Sean Mannion.  While he is not able to get the eye popping numbers of Connor Halliday, he is getting the most out of what he has and showing amazing poise in the pocket.  His pull up toss to Jarmon, after eluding pressure and moving towards the line of scrimmage was a perfect throw (and amazing catch)  while on the run.  My confidence in Mannion has never been higher, and he is coming through in the clutch a lot.

There is a lot of work on still, but after five games, in the craziest year of Pac-12 football I have ever seen, getting a win on the road, and doing it after another tough loss is a big deal and I am very excited for the Beavers.  With just two road tests left this season, and more than 9 days between each of the next two games, I think the Beavers have a good shot agains a very good Utah team and the offensively challenged Cardinal.



3 thoughts on “The Official Candy Report: Colorado

  1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

    This team is as subject to what they believe, or more accurately what they are being led to believe, as any I’ve ever seen. Against USC, there was an organizational vibe that the Beavers probably couldn’t win, and would only if everything went ideally, and once something went wrong (the hail-Mary), the mindset immediately shifted to “we can’t win, so why try”.

    In Boulder, the feeling was always that even though the Beavs could lose, it was also apparent that the team felt they could also still win no matter what the Buffs did, if they would just go make the plays they have proven they are capable of. Part of that is the subtle message that having at least a segment of the band, and a supportive OSU contingent (which expected good results instead of a loss as was the case in LA) sends, and admittedly, USC is a better team than Colorado, with the better player at most (though not all) positions, but part of it is also play calling, offensively and defensively, that sends the message of “Lets DO this”, not “Lets TRY this” or “I have no idea if this will work or not”.

    I never sensed any panic, much less resignation, in Boulder, whereas that was very much the case in LA long before the game was actually out of hand. It translated into plays being made when they needed to be.

    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      I agree 100%, and I felt the same way as a fan. Even down 21-20, I was thinking that it was just a matter of time.

      The one thing about USC that really bothered me was that they were not winning key battles yet we went away from those. I don’t think USC is that much better at defense, but there was a lot that we did to make them seem that way. I also found it frustrating that there was a stubbornness to the USC game calling the belied what was really there. The passing game was going to struggle until they forced the defense to worry about the run. OSU did a beter job early on, but gave up on it too quickly. Ultimately, I think the interception at the end of the first half, a first down play that should never have been called with that much time left and knowing you were getting the ball to start the next half. I think once that happened, the pressure to score and score quick took over and OSU freaked out.

      Hopefully they can continue to react the way they did at Colorado. Colorado has some weak areas, but honestly, there are much worse defenses in the conference this year, but not huge improvements in offense than Colorado, so OSU should be able to score points on everyone left on their schedule, except maybe Stanford. SO there should be no reason to freak out, especially how well the defense is playing.

  2. blowcheese

    Both dudes above have good takes. And to add, Seanion has added a Rothlesburgian element to his game this year. He is getting the ball off with guys draped all over him this year and that was definitely not in his skillset previous years. 5th year senior now he has filled out into a pretty big boy at 6’5 and 230 or 240 and he is realizing he can shrug off some these pocket invaders and make a solid throw. This is good because his castle is still getting plundered round the clock unless beavs have max protect.
    One thing that still bothers me is it seems Sean throws a lot of near picks (or in the case of Colorado an actual pic that got bailed out by a bad call) when he throws into double or triple coverage. I have no idea if he goes through the progressions to get to that point but it seems like he is still locking on and staring down his primary receiver too much. Sorry I still do not have complete confidence he won’t throw an untimely pick. I want to believe he is going through his progressions faster than i can see but when his head never even turns to scan the the other half of the field it leads me to believe the pre snap read has locked him into a bad throw.
    Now that im gripping i also want to ask that he start throwing the ball away instead of taking sacks. I know this is not always easy as it looks and the grounding penalty is worse than a sack but a sack is usually worse than just airmailing the ball out of bounds or at somebody’s feet and saving those yards.
    Maybe i expect too much

    BuildingTheDam’s comment is interesting. You would expect an experienced, veteran team with the most senior coaching staff in the conference to out-confidence a Colorado. But do you expect them to out confidence a Utah in Reser? You better expect it. If you do not expect it then your standards as a beav fan are pathetically low in my opinion.


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