Oregon State Makes A Bad Facebook Video In Hawaii

The fact that Oregon State, as a Power 5 program, was reduced to being Facebook video fodder for coverage of their game at Hawaii was a harbinger of things to come Saturday night.

But even that didn’t begin to tell the tale of a game in which the Beavers, after scoring first, and putting up 28 points in the first half, and had twice taken 2 touchdown leads in the 2nd quarter, went scoreless in the second half, and ultimately self-destructed.

An inexplicable decision to try a fake punt deep in their own territory with just over 4 minutes left to go in a tied game resulted in setting the table for Hawaii’s game winning field goal. An inexcusable personal foul to follow sealed the deal, putting the Rainbow Warriors in close enough range that kicker Ryan Meskell, who had already missed 3 field goals, couldn’t hardly miss the 24 yarder that produced the 31-28 win.

That didn’t end the game though, and Oregon State drove into position for a game tieing 52 yard field goal attempt. Which Jordan Choukair hooked wide left, evoking memories of the last time he was put in position to make an important kick against a Mt. West opponent with the game on the line.

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Beavers Can’t Cowboy Up

Oregon State continued to show some offensive improvement, and that unit competed for a significant part of the game in Friday night’s season opener against Oklahoma State. But when it mattered, and all night defensively, the Beavers couldn’t Cowboy up, and the Cowboys rode out of Reser with a 52-36 win that kept them unbeaten in season openers against the Pac-12.

Oregon State opened the game with an impressive scoring drive, going up 7-0 less than 2 minutes into the game. After Oklahoma State answered, the Beavers took a 10-7 lead after the first quarter, and also had an impressive drive right before halftime that produced points (though not as many as it should have), and demonstrated the only way they were going to stop the Cowboys, leaving them with just 3 seconds to work with before the break.

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2019 Pac-12 Preseason Picks

The Pac-12 media poll comes out this week, a part of Pac-12 Media Day, which is (finally; the Pac-12 is the last of all the FBS conferences to hold theirs) tomorrow. It signals that football season is just around the corner.

To try to kick start the conversation towards football, I thought I’d share my preseason picks, and some context for them. There are sure to be some surprises (there always are with the diverse and competitive Pac), but its a starting point.

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Damaged Ducks Still Destroy Defenseless Beaver Defense

Oregon came into the Civil War wanting to run the ball, and wanting to shut down the Oregon State rushing game. Just like everyone has all season. Yet the Beavers weren’t able to do anything about it, and as a result, the Ducks became the latest in a long list of teams to have multiple backs have career days against them, as they rolled to a 55-15 win, which wasn’t as close as the score indicated, due to an Oregon State score with 16 seconds left. It was Oregon’s 10th win in the last 11 Civil Wars.

As usual, the Oregon State defense did not come out prepared to play, and Oregon built a 21-0 lead, on 3 touchdowns by C.J. Verdell, below.

This despite playing the first quarter without star WR Dillon Mitchell, who was benched by Oregon coach Mario Cristobal for being late to a meeting. Mitchell, arguably the most dangerous receiver in the conference, would finish with just 1 catch for 9 yards. Due in part to Oregon almost totally eschewing the air game after the break. More on that to come.

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Huskies Fast Start Leaves Beavers Behind

Washington got off to a fast start on Senior Day, and did what numerous teams have done this season; dump Oregon State into such a deep hole it was impossible to climb out. Despite out-scoring the Huskies over the final 3 quarters of the game, the Beavers fell 42-23.

The Huskies stormed 79 yards in 4 plays to start the game, the key play being a 64 yard run up the north sideline that set up Salvon Ahmed for an easy 4 yard run to start the scoring just over 2 minutes into the game.

Gaskin’s cut and run wasn’t the proverbial ankle breaker, but it was an ankle sprainer for Hamilcar Rashed Jr., who limped off, and despite a heavy tape job, spent the rest of the game pacing the Beavers’ sideline.

Oregon State responded with a solid drive, keyed by back to back runs for 23 and 14 yards by Jemar Jefferson, below.

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Stanford Destroys Defenseless Oregon State

Oregon State actually produced some offense, at least for the first half. Jake Luton threw for over 200 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Jemar Jefferson, above, had another game of over 100 rushing yards, leading the Beavers to more than 400 yards of offense.

And they still got steamrolled by 31 points by an injury riddled Stanford team that was coming off having lost 4 of their last 5 games. Also one that called off the dogs early and played nearly everyone in the stadium that had a red shirt. Players who didn’t see action against FCS Cal-Davis saw extended minutes. It was the only reason Oregon State held Stanford under 600 yards, and was only beaten 48-17.

The offensive barrage by the Cardinal was so large, 558 yards by the end of the third quarter, the numbers surpassed anything Stanford had done offensively against Oregon State since John Elway was their quarterback, 36 years ago. And that includes several times when Oregon State fielded a completely non-competitive team against them, when it wasn’t as statistically lopsided as this one was.

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USC Was Just Better Than Oregon State

USC came to Corvallis for the first time in 5 years, and Saturday night, they were just the better team, from the better program, than Oregon State. The result was a 38-21 Trojan win that was closer for much of the game than that.

The game was determined by 4 key sequences, all of which worked out in USC’s favor.

Two of them were memorable. They culminated in long touchdown runs by Aca’Cedric Ware, one for 57 yards on the first play of the second quarter, and another that covered 62 yards early in the fourth quarter, when it had been a 1 score game. Those, and the fact that USC kicker Michael Brown made a long field goal and Oregon State kicker Jordan Choukair missed one that was long enough, but wide, provided the difference in the score.

Both came immediately after Oregon State had lost focus, while USC coach Clay Helton had taken advantage of an extended break to make a shrewd play call. Helton, notably, took over play calling duties from Trojan Offensive Coordinator Tee Martin this week, along with terminating offensive line coach Neil Callaway.

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Luton Leads Comeback In Colorado

Beavers Overcome 4 TD Deficit To Beat Buffs In OT

Oregon State started slowly in Boulder, not surprisingly, given they had 3rd string quarterback Jack Colletto making his first start. But so did Colorado, who was without star WR/RB Laviska Shenault for the second game in a row, and it was only a 7-3 deficit that the Beavers faced early in the 2nd quarter.

But it was only a matter of time, and the Buffs exploded midway in the period, when Colletto overthrew an open Timmy Hernandez, who was behind all Colorado defenders, and then on the next play, threw a pick-6 that went off the hands of Andre Bodden, who had come in cold for Hernandez, and directly to Dante Wigley, below.

Shortly thereafter, Steven Montez first completed a long pass to set up a short field, and then found an undefended K.D. Nixon for the touchdown that put the Buffs up 24-3 before halftime.

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California Obliterates Outmanned Oregon State

California came into Saturday having lost 3 games in a row, the last one a lopsided blowout loss to UCLA. Fortunately for the Bears, Saturday was their turn to draw Oregon State on the schedule.

The Beavers’ defense has been the antidote for anything that ails an opposing offense for some time now, and with injuries piling up, the Oregon State offense is losing its ability to present problems to any defense as well. Saturday was not only no exception, it was the Beavers’ worst outing of the season.

California controlled the first half, and opened a 21-0 lead that wasn’t a touchdown larger only because the Bears suffered an unforced fumble while knocking on the Oregon State goal line.

But the Bears remedied that on the first drive of the third quarter, going the length of the field on 4 plays to take a 28-0 lead, and the game was effectively as over at that point as it was when Josh Drayden snagged a pick-6, above, with 20 seconds left that made the final 49-7.

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The Washington State Experience Too Much For Oregon State

Washington State started fast Saturday night, and finished strong too, one last Oregon State rally (of 5) not withstanding, and as a result, the Cougars upended the Beavers, and headed back to Pullman with a 56-37 win. In between, all manner of chaos occurred.

It was #Pac12LongAfterDark (where anything can happen) game, a Coug game (where any number of weird things usually do happen), and a renewal of one of the northwest rivalry games (where literally generations of history have a way of bubbling up) all rolled into one.

Its a shame its the most lightly attended Pac-12 confrontation, in part because the teams have the 2 smallest stadiums in the conference, but then neither team consistently distributes all of its tickets, much less uses them all, because regardless of whether the Cougs Cuog it, or the Beavers do, something always seems to happen that no one saw coming. This was the case Saturday night, as though Oregon State managed to distribute 34,429 tickets, there were never 30K people in the place at any point. Those that were there saw plenty they didn’t expect.

Unfortunately for the Beavers, some things everyone did see coming also happened. The Oregon State defense struggled to disrupt the Washington State offense, missed more tackles than anyone will take the film study time to fully count, and watched their secondary get carved up. To the tune of 430 yards passing by Gardner Minshew, who completed 30 of 40 passes, and threw for 5 touchdowns. And the beleaguered Beavers gave up 100 rushing yards, this to a Cougar team that doesn’t run.

After routinely giving up program record rushing nights to start the season, 100 yards doesn’t sound so bad. But Washington State did that (and 10 yards more) on just 17 carries, as the final totals include 4 sacks of Minshew and the kneel down that ended it.

That as many stayed after the first 2 1/2 minutes as did was probably because not all of them had even made it to their seats from the beer line by then, and missed the explosive start.

Washington State went 3 and in, covering 75 yards on 3 passes for the opening score in a minute and 16 seconds. Oregon State went 3 and punt, which Washington State blocked, and covered for the touchdown that made it 14-0 2:24 into the game.

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