These are getting harder and harder to write as the Beavers continue to struggle — their latest setback being to Washington State, 52-31. And let’s not kid ourselves, the game wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate. It’s important to note that the players never quit and turned in a pretty strong second-half performance. Still, it’s clear that the team is in a rut right now.
5 Stats I Liked:
14-7… The Beavers played much better in the second half, especially on defense. They ended up outscoring WSU by a touchdown during the half. So hopefully, the team can carry that momentum into this weekend’s home matchup against Colorado.
100… One of the most disappointing parts of this season has been the return game. But Victor Bolden gave Beaver Nation a huge reason to cheer with his 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown early in the third quarter, during which he turned on some serious jets.
124 yards… There’s no denying that Seth Collins can move the chains with his feet, and he eclipsed 100 rushing yards for the third time in his young career against the Cougars, highlighted by 42-yard run. Now it’s just a matter of his arm catching up to his legs.
24… That’s where Jonathan Willis recovered a blocked punt by Chris Brown late in the fourth quarter. And two plays later, Brown finished what he started by scoring on a 3-yard run. It was another sterling play by the OSU special teams.
53… The Beavers picked off Luke Falk twice and had two nice returns off them totaling 53 yards, and establishing solid field position for the offense. Rommel Mageo rumbled 23 yards after his interception, and Brandon Arnold sprinted 30 yards after his.
5 Stats I Didn’t Like:
31… Second quarter points by WSU put the Beavers in a hole they were never going to be able to climb out of. And you have to wonder how demoralizing it was to the players. Coming off the loss to Arizona, that certainly wasn’t the confidence builder they needed.
78… Luke Falk had his away against the Beavers completing 78 percent of passes en route to throwing for 406 yards and six TDs, four of which came in that fateful second quarter. Most troubling was that like Anu Solomon the week before, Falk seemingly had all day to throw.
32… Surprisingly, the Cougars’ biggest play of the game went for just 28 yards, but they more than made up for it by converting a whopping 32 first downs — and in the process took control of the game.
7… WSU sacked Collins only once, but they did record seven tackles for loss, a shocking number considering the Cougars aren’t known for their defensive prowess. But then again, the Beavers have had a way of making defenses look stout this season.
2… How long of a day was it for the Beavers? They forced WSU to punt only two times. Let’s hope something turns around soon for the defense, because a strong start to the season, it has had a rough go of it lately.
This weekend’s game is looking like it could be OSU’s best chance at Pac-12 victory this season the rest of the way, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. The Buffaloes feature a solid QB, two good receivers, and an improving running game — meaning the OSU defense will be challenged once again. But hopefully, the offense can at least move the ball better and take some of the pressure off the other side of the ball. Go Beavs! (RW)