Monthly Archives: November 2016

Final Official Candy Report: Civil War

I was officiating a wedding in 2007, the last time that the Beavers won a Civil War.  I had watched the first half of the game at a friends house, and after griping about the new “Catch through the ground” rule and some unfortunate turnovers late in the first half, what seemed like it could be a laugher turned into a nail biter.  Huddled with the groomsmen of the wedding, we listened to the game, through the bizarre “leaping and landing” call and the fourth down stop and Fire Arc Arizona, I was spent.

After that game, i thought that we were seeing the rise to dominance of the Beavers.  The following year, we would beat USC at home and while very injured going into the Civil War, I felt like we had an OK shot at winning.  I was wary of the ducks who had been surging of late, but I thought we had the defense to slow them down.

I also am wrong a lot.  And I mean a lot.

Every year since, I have been waiting for signs that we were returning to being a competitive rival for the ducks, and maybe sneaking in some multi season dominance. The first step to this was taken last Saturday.  Behind the legs of Ryan Nall, Marcus McMaryion and Artavis Pierce, the Beavers ran old school, smash mouth football on the ducks all the way to the first Civil War win in nearly a decade.

In this game we saw everything we have come to expect from a Civil War.  3 of the last 4 contests being decided by 10 points or less, the Beavers have knocked on the door a few times.  This year they blew through the door with a punishing ground game on a windy, rainy fall night in Corvallis, Oregon. Not to be outdone, the Beaver defense held the ducks to under 400 yards for the first time in over a decade, withstood a furious rush of points in the third quarter and maintained their identity of being the hammer and not the nail.

It was amazing for so many reasons, but also bittersweet for Peter Osborne (or Peter71 as many of you know me as).  Amazing because it was the first of what I think will be multiple Beaver Civil War wins.  As the coaching staff at Oregon begin packing their things at their office, or at least planning their next steps and freshening up their resumes, the Beavers are trying to channel the excitement of a two game win streak (first streak in the Gary Andersen era) and Civil War victory into recruiting wins as they try and improve on a very competitive and improved season by the men in Orange and Black.

Bittersweet because the last two weeks have shown me something that I have felt for a while but didn’t want to admit:  I cannot continue to write The Official Candy Report.

it is not that i have lost my passion for the Beavers (though it has changed a bit) but rather that life is too hectic all the time for me.  With each week being a challenge to carve out some time to write even this one single post, I just cannot justify the loss of time with a seeming mountainous list of other commitments calling for my time.

So it is with a sad heart that I step away from TOCR. I started this 13 years ago on Pure Orange because I wanted to have some fun with games and also to show my appreciation for the players that choose to fight for OSU, whether in good times or bad.  Ultimately, I did this for the players. As an ex-player (though not for OSU because they were never THAT bad) I know what goes into each game. The preparation, film study, practice, home work, study halls and somewhere finding time to be a 20 year old student.  The amount of time that student athletes have to commit to school and athletics is daunting. I wanted to write something that showed that I appreciated them even if the team wasn’t doing well.  With 11 different people playing at any given play, some of them are bound to be doing well.

Through this blog and postings on Pure Orange and people asking for Candy on Tuesdays if I was running late (really my favorite memories), I have met some amazing Beaver fans and players and player families.  I have tried to honor them by making sure I respect the work they put in and the people that love them and just wanted a break from fans who make personal attacks or go out of their way to throw barbs at young men from the safety of their laptops and sofas.  Sometimes knowing them was a blessing, and some times knowing what was going on in a program was painful.  Through it all, I would never change a single moment or stroke of the keys.  With every typo filled article I was able to be a part of people’s weekly Beaver media consumption and that will always be precious to me.

So thank you, thank you all for everything. Andy is going to take over the blog for me and I may post now and again, but for right now, I am going to take this time, following a huge Civil War win to say goodbye and to offer up my last Award:

The Peppermint Candy Ice Cream Award of Lifetime Achievement:
This award goes to Beaver Nation. Right now, you are needed more than ever to help promote a program trying to build itself up into a power.  The Beavers need you and you have always responded when asked.  While I may be moving on as a writer, I hope to move up as a donor and supporter of the program.  Continue to make citizenship of this exclusive group such a great thing.  Crank some chainsaw, explode some first down chants, Fight Fight Fight all the way to the Rose Bowl and stay classy along the way.  No one wants to be like duck fans.  Or Huskies for that matter…

Go Beavers!




Sean Harlow Named To All-Pac-12 Second Team

The Pac-12 All-Conference Teams were announced today, and Oregon State’s Sean Harlow wasy named to the second team. The senior left tackle was the only Beaver named to the first or second units by the conference’s coaches whose votes determine the awards.

Four Beavers did receive Honorable Mention, cornerbacks Treston Decoud and Xavier Crawford, running back Ryan Nall, and guard Gus Lavaka.

The Conference Offensive Player of the Year is Washington quarterback Jake Browning, and the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year is USC defensive back Adoree’ Jackson, who also was a receiver on the Trojan offense as well as being their kickoff and punt returner.

The Freshman Offensive Player of the Year is quarterback Sam Darnold, also from USC, and the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year is Washington defensive back Taylor Rapp.

The Coach of the Year is Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre, who led the Buffs from a 1-8 season a year ago, and last place in the Pac-12 South, to an 8-1 conference mark, and 10-2 season, and the South division conference championship. It’s the largest turnaround in the history of the Pac-10 or -12.

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Ryan Nall Named The Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week

Oregon State “Wrecking Nall” Ryan Nall literally ran over Oregon Saturday, carrying the ball for 155 yards and 4 touchdowns on 31 rushes, including the touchdown runs that capped the last 3 drives of the game that the Beavers won 34-24.

He also hauled in a pair of passes from Marcus McMaryion for 34 more yards, including a key 30 yard catch in the second quarter drive that eventually tied the game at 14 apiece. That also made him the team’s leading receiver, as well as the leading rusher in the 120th Civil War.

As a result, Nall is this week’s Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week..

(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)


Oregon State Douses Civil War Losing Streak

Ryan Nall Wrecks Oregon

Oregon State ended their season in a wet but winning way Saturday in the 120th Civil War, coming from behind to beat Oregon 34-24. The win, and the weather that was a factor in the win, also doused an 8 game losing streak in the Civil War by the Beavers, avoiding what would have been the longest losing streak in the history of the war.

And they did it riding the “Wrecking Nall”. Sophomore RB Ryan Nall, who had a breakout performance in a losing effort in last year’s Civil War, took over the final third of the game, doing most of the work in turning a 10 point deficit into a 10 point win.

Nall had gotten Oregon State off to a good start, with the game’s first touchdown on a 12 yard run not 6 minutes into the game, but Oregon answered, with a 3 yard scoring run by Tony Brooks-James that capped a 10 play, 75 yard drive.

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Final Thoughts On The 120th Civil War

It’s going to be a wet, dreary day, not unlike a number of prior Civil War games in the series, and as has been the case more often than not, it will be the end of the season for Oregon State, and possibly Oregon as well.

Fortunately, the combination of 2 teams that are relatively on the same level, and both coming in off wins (the first time since 2009 that that’s happened) might mean a better Civil War than many of those dreary affairs. It’s a 3-point early line (in favor of Oregon, but at least it’s expected to be competitive to the end), and a sell-out, the first one since the Ducks were last here 2 years ago, making a stop-off on the road to the National Championship game. Even in the rain, this should look and feel like a Pac-12 College Football Rivalry game should.

Unfortunately, it will be the end of the season for us Beavers, no matter what happens. There will be no bowl of any kind for the third year in a row, and 5th time in 7 years. Considering that ~2/3 of all FBS teams make it to a bowl, and about ¾ of Power-5 teams, that means average would be going to 5 bowl games in 7 years. Instead, we will again have to settle for watching others have the fun. When you are coming off an evening as fun as last Saturday night was, the last thing you want to see is the season come to a close.

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Oregon State Makes Football Fun Again

Beavers Beat Down ‘Cats 42-17

Oregon State made football fun again Saturday night, rolling to a 42-17 win that was easily the Beavers best game of the Gary Andersen era. Everything has to be taken in context, and the win was over an overmatched Arizona team that has now lost 8 games in a row. The ‘Cats are no where near what they were as little as 2 years ago, whey they played in the Pac-12 Championship Game and the Fiesta Bowl.

But Saturday night’s Dad’s Night beat down was more about what the Beavers did right than what the ‘Cats couldn’t do.

For the first time, everyone saw what having a healthy Ryan Nall AND competent quarterbacking play AT THE SAME TIME looks like. Beaver fans liked it, and opposing defenses won’t.

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Final Thoughts On The Return Of The Cats

Tonight (late tonight), Oregon State takes on Arizona for this year’s Dad’s night game,which will also be the 300th OSU game played at Parker/Reser Stadium .

It will be cold, damp, dark, and generally miserable, especially for the desert dwelling Wildcats. It will be interesting to see if the ‘Cats even bother to try, and there’s history of them not under difficult circumstances, including as recently as last year in Seattle. In fairness, its impossible to prepare in Tucson for what football in November in the northwest can be like.

Further, Arizona is the one team in the conference that’s in even worse shape than Oregon State, as far as injuries, talent deficit, and lack of depth goes. It’s why the ‘Cats are also 2-8, the same sorry record that the Beavers have, and an even worse 0-7 in conference. And why the Beavers are 6 1/2 point favorites, the first time Oregon State has been favored in a Pac-12 game in the Gary Andersen era, or against any FCS squad not named San Jose State in years.

It’s also the first visit to Reser by the ‘Cats since 2011, when a 37-27 Beaver win set up Oregon State for a 3 win season (the same thing a win tonight could do), and led to the firing the first of the following week of Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Which led to the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, and bowl trips every year for the ‘Cats until this season’s injury induced collapse.

Unlike Stoops, Rodriguez won’t be fired should Oregon State win.

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Bruins Beat Beavers In Ugly Bowl

UCLA snapped their 4 game losing streak Saturday night with an ugly 38-24 win at the Rose Bowl over Oregon State, in a game that “featured” 21 accepted penalties, only some of which were bogus, 12 of which were on the Beavers, and a half dozen turnovers, 2 of which were pick-6s.

Oregon State fans fantasizing about pulling off the upset, never mind covering the game’s double digit spread, got their hopes up early, when Manase Hungalu scooped up Soso Jamabo’s fumble on the second play of the game, and took it back to the UCLA 4 yard line. 2 plays later, Artavis Pierce, making his first collegiate start in place of Ryan Nall, who was a pregame scratch, punched it in for a 7-0 lead not a minute and a half into the game.

Those hopes were quickly dashed, as UCLA proceeded to drive the field for a game tieing touchdown by Bolu Olorunfunmi, then capitalized on a Jordan Villamin fumble to take the lead on Jalen Starks’ score, and capped off the quarter by blocking a Nick Porebski punt, which Jordan Lasley took 53 yards the other way for another touchdown.

That made it 21-7 UCLA, and the Bruins kept the Beavers at arm’s length the rest of the way.

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Thoughts On Going To The Rose Bowl

Oregon State is going to the Rose Bowl tonight. Since the adoption of the Pac-12 9 game schedule rotation, it’s something every Northern Division school gets to do once in every 4 year schedule block.

Additional trips are possible, at least for schools not named Oregon State or California, though it was just 7 & 8 years ago that the Beavers were a play or two, never mind a game, away from earning an extra trip in back to back seasons.

So it’s a good opportunity to take advantage of, one at least some, and probably all, of the players won’t experience again, unless the increasing number of freshmen playing really do succeed in completely turning the program around.

At this point, getting a road win for the first time in over 2 years, in their last opportunity to do so for the season, would be a good place to start, and a better goal.

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The Official Candy Report: Stanford

Sometimes you can watch a game and say “Wow, that is the blueprint for doing ‘x'”.  I remember hearing that when Stanford beat the ducks a few years back and many thought that the Chip Kelly offense had been deciphered by the Cardinal.  And in a way it had been.  What was the answer?

Recruiting better players at every position.

Stanford as a team is disciplined and has sound schemes, But they are not clever or unique schemes. They are schemes based on age old defensive techniques and one other really important ingredient: Winning all the one on one battles.

When OSU played ISU this fall, Idaho State made some good plays and had some bright moments.  They left the game very happy with the results because they competed well against the Beavers. The reason was, they knew they were out-manned at every single position. They knew that if they lined up and tried to take the Beavers on 11 on 11 play after play, they were going to lose and lose big. Which they did. But that game for the Beavers didn’t feel great because ISU had success against us, and the Beavers are just too talented for a team like ISU to have that kind of success.

That was this week.  Stanford was just too talented. Our line couldn’t sustain blocks and the Cardinal were getting pressure rushing 3 and 4 players.  Our receivers had a hard time getting open and our QB had a hard time standing upright.  On defense, we had no answer for their run game.  Their passing was horrendous and they really only passed a few times because most of what they wanted to do on the ground worked.  In fact, had it not been for bad snaps by Stanford’s first year starter at center, the game might never have been as close as it was.

For Beaver Nation fans, we shouldn’t leave that Stanford game thinking we blew it. We should be excited at how well we really did against a team that is finally healthy and is honestly the most talented team in the conference.  Maybe even more so than Washington. This was not a blow out and it was never going to be because Stanford has a terrible offense.  This was also a Stanford defense that has been mired in injuries and young new starters going through growing pains and is now finally healthy.  Look at this injury report for their WSU game. Not a stellar look for a team that was playing a high octane offense.

I left the Stanford game and my recent reviewing of it impressed with some of the play by the Beavers.  I also left a little concerned about some of our position groups and how we are going to respond to some of the injuries and dings from this weekend as we prepare for a road game against equally dinged up UCLA.  All I know is that this game was the litmus test of where we are at in terms of talent and the answer is not quite there.  Good things and bright spots, but we still have a lot of recruiting upgrades to make before we can turn this game around and make a boring  but talented Stanford have to work hard to stay in the game.

I tossed and turned on this one a bit.  I wanted to give this player the Jujifruit Award to be honest, because of their limited time on the team and limited reps in the field.  But Andrzej Hughes-Murray really was just a beast all game and deserves an award for excellence.  His 9 tackles were tied for the lead and his one tackle for a loss was a huge play for the Beavers.  He also was instrumental in a lot of plays that forced Stanford to go away from the goal of the play.  Andrzej is tough enough to take on blockers while being athletic enough to get around them.  He is a part of a nucleus of great players that Andersen and his staff have brought in on the defensive side of the ball. Great work Andrzej!

This one I am going to give to Blake Brandel.  The Redshirt Freshman right tackle has been been thrown into the fire this year and for the first few weeks, it was hard to see a lot of improvement.  The last three weeks it has been very visible.  Blake has improved on finishing his blocks and his intensity from snap to whistle. As this rebuild continues to take shape, Brandel is one of the cornerstone’s of the future for the Beavers. Great work Blake!

I waited until today to post this because I didn’t want to post the Candy Report on election day. Not because of ad clicks or media cycles, but because I knew what was going to get this award, no matter what the result of the election.  This award of the worst in football is actually more about the worst in society.  While I know I am setting a precedent of using this light hearted section for political or social reasons, I felt that nothing in football compared to what I was going through in the election.

We have a new president.  Our system of electing presidents resulted in a winner in Trump and a loser who conceded in Clinton.  But what happened around it was the worst.  Not because of the candidates, they are who they are and we put them there.  No, it is because of the way we were with each other.  It was because people lost respect for family because of a barrage of memes on facebook (something I hate yet begrudgingly use so I really see no need to capitalize it because I don’t respect it or my own use of it). It was because my seven year old daughter came home in tears because of what was said to her at school.  It was because I would look at a huge portion of the country that I love and think of them as idiots. Or worse, as un-American.

Today I am not happy and I was never going to be happy, because now I have to live with the feelings I have gained from the election cycle. I have to repair relationships or end them because they are beyond repair. I have to start to love again, because despite what I have seen recently, history has taught me that love always wins.  It’s just that sometimes the battles are very, very bloody.

So this week, the winner of the award for being the worst is me.  Because I let this election not be a discourse of ideas and compromise but instead a reason to hate. As I try and fix that, I hope that I can see others do the thing.  Winning and losing are both things that can be done well or poorly.  My hope and prayer for this country I love is that we do both of them well, because we are going to need each other to make sure that our ideas, dreams and goals don’t get lost in the noise, but instead enhance the message of what America really was meant to be:

A place where dreams come true.

Sorry modern election process, but you get this award because you do everything to destroy what you were meant to preserve.