Guess what I don’t want to write today? This report.
Sure. the blog is named after it, but honestly, I have nothing to say. There is a lot of anger and disappointment that is too common these days in Beaver Nation. While the reality is that OSU needs a lot of changes to be an elite team, there is not a lot they can do now for that. As this year goes on, it still has the potential to be a decent year. 7 – 8 wins with a bowl game. The problem is, on a team with arguably the best quarterback in the history of the school, a slew of experienced defenders and the best tight end duo in OSU history, as well as experience on the line and in the backfield, the bar should be higher.
For this to happen, the coaches at OSU need to do something different. I am not a huge proponent of going straight spread option and abandoning what many defensive coordinators think is the best vertical passing game in the conference. What I suggest is this:
Create offensive options that work in less than optimum conditions.
We have the fly sweep, but really, we rarely use it to improve other plays. We have had some success running counters off fly sweep motion, but how about a bootleg? How about the option? What about going to Wildcat with it and put one of your less experienced receivers out there like Hawkins at QB? Or Dockery? How about doing what Cal does and have one of your faster quarterbacks like McMaryion or Mitchell work on a small package with spread option plays. Or a roll out package or whatever you can do to move the ball when things are not going right. Just because something looks open in the booth, doesn’t mean you can block for it.
OSU has payed the three most difficult defenses in the conference by far. They now have the five best offenses left. The Beavers should move the ball better in the coming weeks, assuming they have any healthy linemen left. Now it is up to their defense, who should be getting Grimble back soon. Hopefully that is enough to get a few more wins out. Unfortunately, a few more wins is not the ceiling of the program, the university or this team. This team has more in it and could be looking at two losses or less right now. I do not believe that the coaches are getting the most out of what they have, and that is the difficult part of this whole ordeal. This is not the best this team could be and that is on the coaches.
So if it means at the end of the year they shuffle coaches, bring in consultants or clean house a bit, it has to start with Riley and he has to be willing to do what it takes, even if that is stepping back and letting other people take over huge portions of the team. Because OSU will most likely never be able to pull in top 10 recruiting classes, so they better be able to get the most out of what they have. I felt OSU did that very well six or seven years ago. I have lost that feeling today.
This can still mathematically be a 9 win team, but I am not sure anyone feels like it will be. Every time I doubt the coaches they prove me wrong, so lets see if they can do it. It starts with Cal but carries on to the rest of the year.
Regardless, I will root for the players and the coaches and I will continue to be a Beaver fan, but the warts in the program are too obvious for even a Beaver-aide drinker like me to ignore. I hope when the season is over, someone at OSU makes the call to bring about new ideas and new changes to this program, and I hope it is Mike Riley himself.