Monthly Archives: August 2017

Colorado State Second Half Rampage Overwhelms Oregon State

It was close for a half, and Oregon State led initially, and 3 different times during the early going. Colorado State took only a 4 point, 24-20 lead to the locker room, after Jordan Choukair connected on a 25 yard field goal as time ran out to cap a 9 play, 73 yard drive.

The Beavers got Ryan Nall going early, both in the rushing game, and the passing game, and the wrecking Nall finished with 115 yards on 15 carries, including a 75 yard touchdown, and another 4 catches for 30 yards.

Oregon State out-passed and out-rushed Colorado State in the first half.

Given that much information, most Beaver Believers, including head Coach Gary Andersen not only would have taken it, but felt pretty good about the Beavers chances.

That’s when Oregon State’s Pac-12 depth and experience, and the effects of the constant battering by not only Nall, but also Artavis Pierce and Thomas Tyner, was supposed to take over the game.

Instead it was Colorado State that made the halftime adjustments, and their Big Sky talent that wore down and beat up the Beavers, and set the stage for the Rams to pull away to a 58-27 blowout win in the 90+ degree heat to christen their brand new on-campus stadium, in the first football game played on campus in Fort Collins in 49 years.

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Final Thoughts Heading Into The Opener In Fort Collins

The early opener, the earliest ever in Oregon State football history, is finally almost here. And its a momentous occasion, not only helping Colorado State open their brand new on-campus stadium, but also, with the Rams, kicking off the college football season.

Portland State and BYU go a half hour later in Provo, but it is the Beavers and Rams who have the opening day honor of getting it all started. And in a completely brand new stadium. I couldn’t readily figure out when the last time that’s happened. (The opening of Parker stadium?) Can’t ask for more from game day.

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Oregon State’s Second Scrimmage Sees Some Setbacks

Oregon State fans who had taken in last week’s scrimmage at Summit High School in Bend were using it as a benchmark, and hoping to see areas of progress in today’s second scrimmage, and the final one before the season opener in now less than 2 weeks in Fort Collins against Colorado State, came away underwhelmed, as the Beavers seemed to take a step back in several areas.

Operating without slot receiver Seth Collins, the offense was even more one dimensional than usual, and didn’t stretch a defense at any point in the abbreviated hour and quarter scrimmage. The good news (at least for the offense; not so much for the defense) is the running game was effective, with both Ryan Nall and Thomas Tyner running well, and an array of backups including Atravius Pierce, and freshmen Calvin Tyler & B.J. Baylor all had moments of flash.

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Oregon State Scrimmage Shows Us Something

Oregon State’s first scrimmage during preparations for the 2017 season, and the first look we have had at anything meaningful about the Beavers since the Spring End of Winter Game,  was surprisingly informative. With all but a handful of players available and in action, a notable contrast from a lot of scrimmages and open events in recent years, the assembled crowd of nearly 4,000 at Summit High School in Bend, got to see a number of series with starters and, especially on defense, a lot of people who will be rotation players.

The turnout, made much larger by the sound decision to push start time back to 7:30 in light of the week’s heat wave, allowed a number of Beaver onlookers to make the trip over from the valley who would not have been able to do so on a weekday. It made the autograph session almost unmanageable, but that’s a good problem to have, and a welcome one when a team is coming off 3 consecutive losing seasons.

And even after the majority of the fans left early, used to a format that meant once the 3rd & 4th stringers appeared, nothing more of relevance would happen, we still saw useful series, as Coach Gary Andersen continued to rotate 1s & 2s in until the end of the hour and a half exercise, and even ran some kickoffs where returns actually were not whistled down. More on that, and special teams in general, later.

The first thing most fans were looking for was a look at 6’7″ transfer Jake Luton, who was named the starter earlier in the week. Luton was ill during the winter practices and game, and still established himself as the clear leader in the starting quarterback competition, which went on longer than it should have. Friday night established that Luton, who has gained all of the 30 lbs. he lost to the illness that he fought through earlier in the year, was in fact the right choice, leading multiple scoring drives, including a 70 yard march on the opening drive of the scrimmage.

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Jake Luton Named Starter For Oregon State

After practice today in Bend, Oregon State coach Gary Andersen made what was apparent last late winter official, naming Jake Luton as the Beavers starting quarterback.

After churning through a half dozen quarterbacks in his first 2 seasons in Corvallis, none of which were able to establish anything consistently resembling Pac-12 quarterbacking, the 6’7″, and back up to 235 lbs., Luton was brought in from Idaho by way of Ventura Community College. Luton then struggled through a digestive illness during winter practice, losing 30 lbs, but still established himself as the Beavers’ best option, showing strongly in the spring winter game.

After getting healthy over the spring and early summer, Luton needed less than a week since Oregon State started summer camp to seize the starting job, after both of last year’s part time starters, Marcus McMaryion and Darell Battetson and Luton all got some reps with the 1s & 2s.

The decision will allow Oregon State to focus on developing offensive consistency that has been absent in the Andersen era, in part due to the uncertainty that a revolving door at quarterback was bound to cause.

With a solid backfield comprised of a 1-2 punch of Ryan Nall and Thomas Tyner, Luton’s distinct (from the rest of the Oregon State quarterbacks since Sean Mannion graduated) ability to stretch the field with accuracy and see where his strong arm is sending the ball to (at 6’7″, Luton in Oregon State’s tallest starting quarterback ever).

The impetus on offense will now shift to a retooled offensive line that graduated 3 starters off last year’s unit that will have to get the blocking job done, but with the knowledge that they have a strong armed passer who won’t flush from the pocket at the first sign of pressure, and a backfield stable that provides a game-long rushing threat, at least they should know where they need to be at all times, which is no small detail for an o-line.

If / when the line can get their timing together, it should in turn allow what has been an underachieving receiver group the last 2 years to blossom as well. That, and routinely working with the same touch and timing of incoming passes.

We should learn more at Friday night’s scrimmage at Summit High School in Bend (which will be at 7:30 PM, not 4:30 as originally scheduled, due to impending hot weather), which will conclude the Beaver’s week long camp stay in central Oregon.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com