Buffs Trample Beavers 47-6
Oregon State opened Pac-12 play at Colorado today, and the Buffs Ralphie-stomped the Beavers. Most of the damage was done in the 2nd quarter, when Colorado outscored Oregon State 24-3, taking a 37-6 halftime lead, but the Buffs dominated the game from the time Ralphie first ran.
Oregon State actually scored first, but characteristically, Darell Garretson missed a wide open Victor Bolden badly, and the Beavers had to settle for a field goal.
Colorado responded with 3 touchdown drives capped by touchdown passes from freshman Steven Montez, the reining Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week who was making his second career start, to Shay Fields.
The scoring throws covered 51 yards, 33 yards, and finally 63 yards, above, as Oregon State struggled to pressure Montez, and in turn, couldn’t cover Fields, or tackle him. Fields, above, finished with 7 catches for 169 yards, both game highs.
The Beavers finally recorded their other score of the day, a 40 yard field goal by Garrett Owens, but the Buffs answered with 17 more points, including a 54 yard field goal by Davis Price, and finally a pick 6 of walkon freshman Conor Blount, by Rick Gamboa.
Blount like last week, had replaced a totally ineffective Garretson. Only this time, the switch came with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the 2nd quarter, instead of at halftime, because Garretson completed only 5 of 16 passes, just 31%.
It wasn’t all on Garretson though, as he had multiple passes that weren’t way off target go off a receiver’s hand.
Last week’s Oregon State first half against Boise State was about as bad as possible, but the only think Coach Gary Andersen’s game accomplished in the first half in Boulder was make everyone forget about last week’s debacle.
The second half was “better”, in that Oregon State was “only” beaten 10-0, but the damage was long done. Colorado willingly went to their 3rd string quarterback Jordan Gehrke in the 3rd quarter, and Gehrke promptly led the Buff backups on a 15 play, 84 yard touchdown scoring drive, this still against the Oregon State regulars.
Or at least what were left of them; both Jay Irvine and Titus Faliauga left on the cart in the second quarter, Irvine with a wrist/forearm injury that appeared to potentially be something that may keep him out for an extended time. They followed starting guard Fred Lauina, who suffered a foot/ankle injury, to the x-ray room.
The long drive resembled earlier long Buff scoring drives that covered 75 yards in 7 plays, 86 yards in 10 plays, 87 yards (though that took only 5 plays), AND 66 yards in 11 plays. Even the 2 Colorado drives that resulted in field goals were 9 and 10 play drives.
It appeared that Buffs coach Mike MacIntyre drew up both the Colorado AND Oregon State defensive game plans, both totally to Colorado’s benefit.
Oregon State tried both wide and narrow splits with their 3 man front, and even some with a mix of both, but the linebackers were almost always lost in mid-range, rarely able to bring pressure or fill gaps, and as a result, Colorado continually picked gaps at will, and rarely met any contact until reaching the second level.
As a result, Colorado ran for 247 yards. Phillip Lindsay, above, led the way, and though he had only 90 yards, it was because he was just 1 of 8 Buffs to produce in the run game.
Meanwhile, Montez completed 19 of 27 throws, for 293 of the 316 yards Colorado rolled up in the air, making the Buff total 563 yards.
Garretson and Blount combined for only 100 yards in the air, and 56 of which went to Seth Collins. Collins had 5 catches, and no other Beaver had more than 2. Garretson and Blount were both sacked twice, while the Beavers never got Montez or Gehrke on the ground for a loss.
Freshman Artavius Pierce, above, led the Beavers with 8 carries for 61 yards, and those looking for any glimmer of hope can point to Pierce, who appears to be every bit a Pac-12 running back. But Ryan Nall was held to only 35 yards on 9 carries.
Defensively, Devin Chappell did have a couple of outstanding plays, and Treston DeCoud, below, finished with a game high 8 tackles.
Even that is exemplary of the problems with the Oregon State defensive scheme though. It’s not unusual for even teams playing well to have a safety with a high number of tackles. But a team’s best cover corner should not be in position to lead the game in tackles.
It’s also why today wound up being the Buffs’ most lopsided conference win in 24 years.
And if the defensive game plan made no sense, neither did the offensive game plan.
This team has no one capable of throwing an accurate deep pass, and so trying led to wasted downs at best, and Tedric Thompson’s interception, below, over Bolden at worst.
There was also a false start on 3rd and 1, a personal foul after another 3rd down, and a 3rd down pass completed to the primary receiver for half the yardage needed to convert, as well as poor clock management.
The best part of the Beavers’ game was punter Nick Porebski, who averaged 44.6 yards on 8 punts, with one that covered 66 yards.
It looked like Oregon State was rerunning “The Best of Pettibone”, except of course that is a contradiction in terms; “Best of” and “Pettibone” were never used in the same sentence prior to this.
We are reduced to finding individuals making isolated good plays, with none making a material difference in the game’s outcome.
However, its why the Beavers are now 1-4, and 0-1 in the Pac-12, and have lost 12 conference games in a row, and 13 in a row against FBS opponents, all but 2 by multi-touchdown margins.
And why Folsom field was only 1/4 full at the end of the game, as even Buff fans en masse felt there was nothing more to see, and that’s not common for a team that’s not in the habit in recent years of even winning, much less blowing an opponent out.
Meanwhile, Colorado improved to 4-1, and 2-0 in conference, and squarely in the middle of the Pac-12 South race.
Oregon State limps home to take on California next Saturday night. The Bears held off a Utah rally at the goal line at the end of the game to beat the Utes 28-23 today.
(Photos by Andy Wooldridge)