Well, football is here and that means we at The Official Candy Report are ready to bring you some candy. With Weber State coming to town, it was a great chance to see the new look Beavers and figure out what the heck they are going to be like this year. Unfortunately, there were two things hanging over this game:
- Weber State. My feelings were that the Wildcats were worse than any other opponent faced by any other Pac -12 team. So while I was expecting a win, I was also expecting it to be a slaughter and to not really be indicative of what we would see come Pac-12 play.
- Michigan. Because our opening day opponent was not a great opponent, and our second game was against a storied mid west power house. It hung over every play like a shroud for me, as I found myself being more critical of every play, using my “That poo wont fly next week” filter as I watched the game.
So what did I see when I turned on the TV and watched the game? Well, I saw a first half that looked like a bunch of guys that haven’t played in this offense for long against a team they should have been manhandling. I also saw a defense dominate pretty much ever phase of the game.
Offensively, there was a lot to be desired in the game. While the Beavers played well in the second half, there were a lot of little things that needed to be corrected. The good thing is, little things are easy to correct. On the first play of the second drive, we ran a fly sweep where the tackle blocked the wrong guy and the runner didn’t cut it up following his blocker. On a fourth and one, everyone west of the two tackle on one side jumbo formation blocked down and buried their guys. Unfortunately, with the lead blockers coming through, the outside tackle missed his guy and the blocker coming into the hole had to pick him up. Which left his guy free and closed what was actually a huge lane between the two tackles. One guy made one mistake and killed the play. That was the first half theme.
Defensively, we saw aggression, speed and guys not thinking but reacting. It was pretty great to see and I felt like the defense owned Weber State the way they should have. It is unfortuante that the coaches called a screen against man coverage, and that there was no call off, because that game should have been a shut out. Players like Mageo, Strong and Ugwoegbu all looked fast and decisive on defense. There was sure tackling in space, aggressive blitzes and players flying around ready to make plays. While Weber State will not pose the same threat against the Beaver defense that Michigan does, the aggression and speed are there to be disruptive to a suspect Wolverine offensive line and a QB with some accuracy issues.
For me, the game was 4 good quarters by the defense, two decent quarters for the offense and a lot to work on. This week, as they take on Michigan, they are going to face a tough front seven on defense and some bigger, faster backs and receivers with the Wolverines. They will have to shore up the mental errors on the offensive line, shore up the mental errors at running back and continue to try and play fats and aggressive on defense. At the end of Saturday, I saw a team that has a ways to go, but a lot to be hopeful for. While this season may not end how OSU fans want, it has a potential to be the launching point for something special. I am not sure that the Beavers will win in Michigan, but I do think they will do better than many anticipate. If the offense can put together a more complete game and convert on third downs, they have a shot.
And right now, watching the rest of the Pac-12 North implode, a shot just might be enough to steal a few this year.
Go Beavs (PRO)