Tag Archives: beavers football

Oregon State Overwhelms UCLA

Oregon State got off to a fast start Saturday night against UCLA, and then the Beavers not only repelled the Bruins rally, they pulled away to win 48-31 in the Rose Bowl.

Senior quarterback Jake Luton was spectacular in leading the winning effort, throwing for 5 touchdowns and running for a 6th to cap a 14 play drive that burned nearly 7 minutes, and all 3 of UCLA’s timeouts, to seal the win. Luton also “ran” (got behind a pair of o-linemen and stretched out his 6’6″ frame) for a yard on a 3rd & 1 and a 4th & 1 to keep key drives alive.

Luton threw for 285 yards, completing 18 of 26 passes.

The 6 touchdowns accounted for tied the Oregon State game record, joining Sean Mannion, Derek Anderson, and Terry Baker.

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Time to Question the Process?

“Respect the Process.”

Since Gary Andersen was hired, that’s been a catchphrase we heard over and over.

While he was installing a new philosophy and system. While the coaching staff played musical chairs with the QBs. And while the Beavers suffered through some of the most horrible loses in program history

But after watching Anderson shake up his coaching staff and seeing Kalani Sitake and Ilaisa Tuiaki leave for BYU, I can’t bite my tongue any longer. At the moment, that “process” appears to be quite unclear.

Demoting your experienced and proven offensive coordinator to inside receivers coach coach after one season? A season that everyone knew was going to be struggle… What the heck? It’s not like Dave Baldwin had a surefire QB, a consistent stable of running backs, etc. You have to have some talent to execute your play calls well, right?

So while I am excited to see what Kevin McGiven and TJ Woods can do with the offense, I can’t help but feel Baldwin was given a raw deal, and it’s hard to imagine someone with his credentials sticking around much longer. Same with Brent Brennan who now will coach outside receivers and special teams.

And that’s a shame because after the disaster that was John Garrett, it seemed like the Baldwin was just what the Beavers needed. Someone who could put players in positions to succeed, while keeping defenses off balance with creative game plans, while Brennan helped bridge the gap between Mike Riley and Andersen.

I do know this, Andersen must hit a home run with whoever he hires to replace Sitake. The Beavers have enough talent returning to make big strides offensively next season, but the other side of the ball is where the questions are. They could use a coach who can make a immediate impact since we didn’t get to see the full Sitake effect.

Speaking of Sitake, as I mentioned in my last post, I don’t blame him for taking the BYU job. I also don’t begrudge Andersen for hiring him, even if it was clear Sitake might get snatched up quickly. You have to make the best hire possible.

But… here’s where I struggle with that. For some OSU players, this season will mark their third coordinator in as many seasons. When rebuilding a program, stability and continuity are important. That’s why the shuffling on offense, and the having to hire two defensive coaches isn’t ideal.

Don’t get me wrong, I think Andersen is capable of doing great things at OSU, but enough questions have been raised lately, that I think it’s fair to wonder if Andersen can get the program back to respectability and take it to the level Riley fell just short of reaching.

I’ve always been in “wait-and-see” mode with Andersen, and right now, I’m questioning the process…

Go Beavs! (RW)

Drumroll, please… Here are your 2015 MVPS!

To say the 2015 season was rough for the Beavers is a gross understatement. But even amongst 10 losses, there were bright spots. In the spirit of recognizing that, here’s the Official Candy Report’s MVPs for the season.

Offensive MVP. Josh Mitchell. The senior center helped anchor a unit that was beset by injuries. Despite all the shuffling that occurred, the line only allowed 19 sacks. The Beavers averaged 4.8 yards per carry this season, which wasn’t bad considering their struggles in recent years. More than that, Mitchell provided valuable leadership and toughness. He set a great example for the younger linemen, which bodes well for next season.

Defensive MVP: Kyle Peko. The JUCO transfer proved he was worth the wait during his one season. He was a disruptive force in the middle who commanded double teams. Due to the line’s struggles on the outside, Peko’s performance often was overlooked. But he made an impact just about every down, being the inside presence the Beavers lacked in recent years. His late season performance likely earned him a much-deserved shot at the next level.

Coaching MVP: TJ Woods. The job Woods did with a unit that suffered injuries (Gavin Andrews, Sean Harlow) from start to finish was impressive. Despite all the new faces who made their debuts, the Beavers’ line was solid throughout the season. With Andrews back, transfer Brandon Kearsley eligible to play, and Blake Brandel coming off a redhirt, the line might not only be a strength, but also a deep position for the Beavers next season.

Do you agree with my picks? If not, who would your team MVPs be? Go Beavs! (RW)

5 Stats I Liked & 5 I didn’t Like: Oregon

What a game! A stop here or there, and that might have been a Civil War for the ages. Though the Beavers came up just short, their performance provided a much-needed glimmer of hope for next season. And as for now, it was a nice end to a tough season. So without further ado, here’s the my final “5 Stats I Liked…” post of the year.

5 Stats I Liked:
42… If you had told me going into the game, that the Beavers would score their most points of the season, I would’ve called you an idiot. But I am the one who is left awestruck. I loved the creativity of the play calling; it led to some big plays, something that was lacking all season.

174… Yards rushing for Ryan Nall. Welp, I think it’s settled. Nall should be in the running back discussion in 2016. We knew he was a bruiser, but he showed off some serious speed during his 66-yard TD run. Could he and Paul Lucas be our Reggie Bush/LenDale White combo?

3… Touchdowns by Seth Collins. The oft-maligned freshman returned to the lineup and proved why he has to be on the field, even if it’s not as the Beavers’ primary QB. He’s so damn athletic and explosive, he’s a big play waiting to happen every snap.

78… Yard punt return for TD. Victor Bolden’s huge run back with 10 minutes left  helped the Beavers get within striking distance. It was Bolden’s first punt return of the season and OSU’s first PR for TD since 2011. It was great to see from a player who was up and down this season.

7… Tackles for loss. The Ducks scored 52 points, which is never great, but that shouldn’t completely diminish the fact OSU’s defense played very well at times. Kyle Peko, in particular, helped lead the surge with 2 TFL, a sack, and a blocked field goal in his final game.

5 Stats I Didn’t Like:
52… Points allowed. Like I mentioned before, not good. But what hurt most was that the Ducks were able to score when they needed to, especially down the stretch. The Beavers just couldn’t get the stop they needed.

336… Yards through the air by Vernon Adams. Different uniform, same result. Two years after torching the Beavers, Adams had his way again, completing 73 percent of his passes, three of which were for scores. He had too much time to throw most of the game.

3… TDs for Bralon Addison. He made the Beavers look downright silly at times, seemingly able to get open at will. He’s been overlooked because of the Ducks’ powerful run game, but he’s a great athlete, and so I hope he leaves for the draft 🙂

308… Yards rushing for the Ducks. Yes, they were going to get yards no matter what. But what frustrated me the most was how easy their backs got around the edge. It highlighted the Beavers’ need to get faster. Taj Griffin is going to be a nightmare the next three years.

62… That was UO’s conversion rate on third down, and some were third and long situations, which made OSU’s inability to get some stops even more heartbreaking. But it’s worth noting that one of the few stops result in a punt return for TD.

So there you have it, quite a few positives to take from a loss, which I hadn’t been able to do well the past few weeks. It could be a long offseason for the Beavers, as there’s sure to be some turnover and recruiting surprises. But at least, they surprised everyone during the 119th Civil War and made it a fun adventure. Their effort and performance deserves huge kudos and a loud “Go Beavers!” (RW)

5 Stats I Liked & 5 I Didn’t Like: Cal

For about quarter and a half, the Beavers hung with Cal, and it seemed like they might have a fighting chance with a break here or there. But that never came and eventually Jared Goff and Co. got hot and never looked back as the Golden Bears cruised to an easy win. But amidst another blowout loss, there were some positives for the Beavs. Here goes nothing…

5 Stats I Liked:
204… Yards rushing for the Beavers who averaged six yards per carry! It’s great that they attacked Cal’s weakness and found success. But when you fall behind big, you usually have to resort to throwing the ball a lot to try to come back.

70… Yards rushing for Paul Lucas. The true freshman, who had played receiver up until Saturday’s game, rushed for a team-high 70 yards, highlighted by a 33-yard scamper in which he displayed his elite speed. Will he stay at RB?

3… Touchdowns by Nick Mitchell. The redshirt freshman rebounded from a rough performance against UCLA by accounting for three scores against Cal, two through the air and one on the ground. His 29-yard TD strike to Jordan Villamin was PRETTY…

8… Tackles for Gabe Ovgard. The walk-on safety from Klamath Fall shined during his first extended stint for the Beavers. He displayed the toughness so desperately craved by Andersen and Co., so it will be interesting to see if he continues to play more snaps.

0… Turnovers for the Beavers. Usually, this would be at the top of any list, but the Beavers still lost despite taking care of the ball. It’s another frustrating part of a very frustrating season. Usually, when a team wins the turnover battle, it wins, or least keeps the game close.

5 Stats I Didn’t Like:
760… Total yards of offense for Cal. I know it was facing one of, if not the best, passers in the nation in Jared Goff, but the Beavers defense got shredded. Adding to insult was that 307 of those yards came on the ground… WTH?

9.2… Yards per offensive play by the Golden Bears. Once they got rolling, they didn’t mess around. And as a result, it was tough for the OSU defense to even try to build momentum. When it’s nearly 2-and-1 most of the game, it’s hard to stop an offense.

4… Passing plays over 40 yards for Cal’s WRs. Yes, the Beavers’ secondary has suffered a ton of injuries this season. But man, what a difference nine weeks makes. At the beginning of the season, I thought this unit would be the Beavers’ strength. But Cal made them pay, BIG…

307… Rushing yards for the Golden Bears. Like I exclaimed earlier, “What the heck?” Tre Watson, Vic Enwere, and Khaif Muhammad rand wild against the Beavers. Each of them averaged more than seven yards per carry. And you thought Cal was just a passing team.

20… Scored in the third quarter for Cal. One thing the Beavers have been good at this season, most of it at least, was holding teams in the third quarter. But Cal broke the game open in that quarter and never looked back. Let’s face it, it was a rough night for the defense.

Just so I don’t end this post on a boo bird note, it was great to see Lucas’ performance. He looked comfortable at running back and could develop into a real weapon there if given the opportunity. I also liked what I saw from Mitchell; it just reaffirmed what I thought all along, he should’ve been give more snaps earlier in the season. Go Beavs! (RW)

5 Things to Watch: Cal

Oregon State (2-7, 0-6) at California (5-4, 2-4)
When:
 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/Beaver Sports Network
Series: California leads 35-32. Last season, the Golden Bears defeated OSU, 45-31, at Reser Stadium. Daniel Lasco rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns to lead Cal, while Jordan Villamin caught nine passes for 140 yards and a TD to pace the Beavers.  
California’s last game: Lost 44-28 to Oregon.
Notable: Saturday’s game will mark the fourth time Gary Andersen has coached against Cal coach Sonny Dykes. He has a 1-2 record against Dyke, when he coached at Utah State and Dykes coached Louisiana Tech.

5 Things to Watch:
How will they respond: 
The Beavers are coming off being shut out at home for the first time since 1997. They also are in the midst of the six-game losing street. While Coach Andersen stresses that morale is fine, actions speak louder than words. How will the players come out?

Who steps up at running back: Bruiser Ryan Nall is out for the season, leaving the Beavers’ already-thin group of backs even more depleted. Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin has hinted at a surprise. Will it be Paul Lucas?

Can they pressure Goff: Cal is struggling right now, having lost four straight games. But that doesn’t make quarterback Jared Goff any less dangerous. So the Beavers need to get pressure on him, otherwise OSU could be just what the doctor ordered for Goff and Co.

Keep the Cal receivers in check: OSU’s secondary has been hit hard by injuries this season, and the unit has went through a lot of different starters and lineups. Can they hang in there and at least slow the Golden Bears’ deep and talented group of wideouts.

Big plays needed: There’s no question about it, the Beavers are in desperate need of a spark and nothing gets things rolling like a big play or three. It would be nice to see the receivers have a good game, but at this point a couple pick-6s would be awesome, too!

Call me crazy. Or maybe this losing streak is making me delirious. But you have two teams who are in a funk, so just maybe, if the Beavers come out swinging, they can upset Cal. They need to be aggressive and gain momentum early on. Go Beavs! (RW)

 

 

Michigan Recap: 5 Stats I Liked and 5 I Didn’t

Who knew the Beavers’ impressive first drive of the game that silenced most of the fans at the Big House would be their only highlight of the day? And well, we know the end result. Here’s a look at some of the numbers that stood out to me, good and bad.

What I liked 
7-79, 1:59… That’s how many plays, yards, and time it took OSU to march down the field and take a 7-0 lead over Michigan. Seth Collins completed four of five passes, including a 21-yard strike to Hunter Jarmon for the score. For two minutes, it appeared OSU had a great chance for an upset.

No. 8… Middle linebacker Rommel Maego continued his strong start to the season by recording eight tackles (one for loss), forcing a fumble, recovering a fumble, and intercepting a pass. Slimmed down and starting for sure, he appears primed for a big season. He’s always been solid, but he looks explosive so far.

25… For all the hype around Michigan’s standout tight end Jake Butt, the Beavers held him to 25 yards receiving. He was pretty much a non-factor, which was nice to see because the Beavers have a history of getting burned by TEs. So far, the OSU secondary has performed very well and are clearly the strength of the defense.

2… Despite being overmatched at times, and eventually worn down by Michigan’s front 7, I thought the Beavers’ offensive of line did a solid job in pass protection, and that allowing only two sacks (Collins and Marcus McMaryion were both sacked once) was pretty impressive. This unit should and will be better as the season goes along.

5… tackles is what shows up in the stat book for Kyle Peko. But what stood out to me watching the game was how powerful he played. There was a sequence of plays in the first quarter during which he blew up his man, either driving him back or knocking him over. It’s starting to become obvious he was worth the wait.

What I didn’t like
138… That’s the lowest amount of yards on offense in a game for the Beavers since a 2002 loss to Southern California. Making matters even worse is that means OSU gained only 59 yards after their opening drive of the game. And for someone who grew up watching the Pettibone era, it was as painful of a sight as ever.

9… completed passes isn’t going to cut it. The Beavers must be able to pass the ball better, especially as teams focus on stopping Collins from running. While they’ve battled inconsistency, the Beaver receivers are too talented not to see the ball more. Jordan Villamin and Jarmon both made some great catches, too.

5.5… As the OSU offense sputtered and the defense stayed on the field way too long, Michigan running back De’Veon Smith began to pound his away at the Beavers’ front 7, to the tune of 5.5 yards per carry. He finished with 126 yards and three touchdowns. His physicality and brusing style wore the Beavers down and chewed up a lot of clock.

1… Hate to harp on the offense, but one first down conversion on third down? That’s pitiful and played a big reason in the defense eventually wearing down and Michigan taking control of the game. And it sucks, because I think the OSU defense is pretty darn good. But if the offense can’t stay on the field and give the defense some rest, it’s all moot.

8-62… For all the talk about being disciplined and eliminating mistakes, the Beavers are still committing more penalties than you’d like to see. And with the OSU offense clearly a work in progress at this point, penalties are a killer, not just when it comes to moving the chains, but allowing the offense to get into a rhythm.

So there you have it… What stats jumped out to you? Are they painting a gloomy picture of the season, or do you see potential? Go Beavs! (RW)

Michigan: 5 Things to Watch

What: Oregon State (1-0) at Michigan (0-1)
When: 9 a.m. Saturday
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
TV/Radio: ABC/Beaver Sports Network
Series: 4-0, Michigan. The last time the two teams met was in 1986 at Michigan Stadium. Quarterback Jim Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 31-12 victory. Beavers QB Erik Wilhelm threw a then-OSU record 64 passes in that game.
Last game: Michigan fell on the road, 24-17, to Utah,
Notable: Michigan was OSU’s opponent in the Beavers’ last Rose Bowl appearance in 1965, which resulted in a 34-7 UM win; Jay Harbaugh, Michigan’s tight ends and special teams coach, graduated from OSU and served as graduate assistant for Mile Riley from 2008-11; Former OSU athletic director Bob DeCarolis now serves in an advisory role for the Michigan

5 Things to Watch:
1. Team composure. Michigan Stadium isn’t commonly known as the “Big House” for nothing — it’s the largest college football stadium in North America. So it will be interesting to see how OSU players handle the atmosphere, and of course, the crowd noise.

2. Michigan’s pass rush. Will the Beavers’ offense line be able to slow down Michigan’s front seven enough to enable Seth Collins and Co. to move the chains? It struggled at times to do so last week against Weber State, and the Wolverines should be much more of a challenge.

3. A Collins encore? He was dazzling at times last week, but will Seth Collins be able to find the open field like that against Michigan? Probably not, or at least not as often. So it will be interesting how he adjusts, both passing more and utilizing the read option.

4. Secondary concern. Remember during fall camp, OSU coaches were concerned about the secondary getting beat over the top? Well, it will be interesting to see how the defensive backs do against a team that won’t hesitate to go downfield. Are they ready?

5. Waiting on a big play… I think this one will be a low-scoring affair that could come down to one big play. Can the Beavers spring a kickoff return, haul in a deep ball, or break off the big run that was so elusive against the Wildcats?

Game prediction: Michigan 27, Oregon State 13

Go Beavs! (RW)

 

Weber State Recap: 5 Stats I Loved and 5 Stats I Disliked

A bit of time has passed since the Beavers’ 26-7 season-opening victory, so I’ll get to the point. I wanted to highlight numbers from the game that stood out to me, good and bad. Here goes nothing.

What I loved
0… That’s the number of points the OSU defense allowed (Weber State’s points came off an interception returned for touchdown). I don’t care if it was Weber State, it was an impressive feat for unit that’s playing in a new scheme. The way the defense swarmed to the ball and made clean tackles reminded me of the Erickson days.

0-13… Speaking of defense, that was Weber State’s conversion rate on third down. How many times during recent seasons did it seem that the Beavers got burned on third down? And it didn’t matter if it was short or long. So it was super refreshing to see the defense stand up and hold tough on third down.

281… It was great to see the Beavers rush for that many yards. It can be argued the past few seasons, they didn’t commit to running the ball enough, even though Storm Barr-Woods and Terron Ward not only churned out more than solid YPCs, but big plays here and there. And of course, QB Seth Collins led the way with 152 of those yards.

3-3… In the red zone. Coach Andersen and offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin have made no bones about it that they want the Beavers to convert inside the 20, by any means necessary. So far, so good. Points could be tough to come by this year, so it was nice to see OSU convert.

4-4… Garrett Owens was money against Weber State, converting all four of his FG attempts. Even more impressive was that three of them were 35+ yards, including a 45-yarder. After a yo-yo of freshman season that saw him split time with Trevor Romaine, the Beavers need the sophomore to step up, and his first performance was a great start.

3.3… Back to defense (what can I say, I was pleased), that’s how many yards per play that the Wildcats averaged against OSU. They didn’t have any big plays, or gains off silly busted plays — which all too often victimized the Beavers in recent seasons. That really prevented their offense from getting any momentum, much less settling into a rhythm.

What I disliked
22… This isn’t your father’s Beavers anymore. Long gone are the days of 40+ passes per game. And it was clear that the Beavers will be more of a running team this season, But still, I was shocked they went to the air so few times. It makes me worry how Seth Collins and Co. will fare when they can’t move the ball on the ground as well.

4… I was extremely disappointed that Marcus McMaryion didn’t get more reps. Yes, he threw an interception, but it wasn’t really his fault. He was backed up to his own 6-yard line and the play call didn’t do him any favors, either. McMaryion deserved another chance, and to throw more than just four passes. Hard to show what you can do, when you don’t get many chances.

0… That’s how many catches senior tight end Caleb Smith had against Weber State. But don’t blame it on him, he was barely even looked at. And that’s a shame, because his size, speed, and athleticism can make him a huge playmaker. In fact, Kellen Clute was the only TE to haul in a pass and unfortunately, it was for no gain.

12… Yards was the longest run by an OSU ballcarrier not named Seth Collins. While Storm-Barr-Woods and Chris Brown averaged a respectable 4.2 and 3.9 YPC respectively, they weren’t able to break away for big plays, and that was surprising to see against a FCS school such as Weber State. Is it an indicator that the OSU offensive line might have a ways to go?

5… That’s the average yards per pass attempt for the Beavers. I’m a fan of putting players in position to get a lot yards after the catch, but it would be nice to see that number increase as the season goes on. As the Beavers face stronger defenses, the offense is going to have to stretch the field somewhat.

As you can probably tell, I have some concerns about the OSU offense. And I won’t sugarcoat it, it could struggle this season. But the good thing is I think the defense will be much improved. Of course, this weekend will tell us quite a bit more about this team.

What stats from the Weber State game jumped out to you? (RW)

Prediction Time!

“What’s the Beavers’ record going to be this season?”

Without a doubt, I’m not the only Beavers fan hearing that question a lot these days. And for good reason. Something about a new coach, right? 🙂 My on-the-fly answer has been 5-7. The realist in me says 4-8, the optimist in me says 6-6, and the homer in me says, if everything goes right and with a little luck, 8-4. But what happens when I actually sit back and think about it? Here goes nothing!

Game 1 – Weber State. Weber State finished 2-10 in the Big Sky last season, and has struggled in recent years against FBS teams. While the Beavers have a lot of unknowns heading into this game, they should be able to beat the Wildcats soundly. Verdict: W, 1-0

Game 2 – Michigan. On the road in one of the biggest and most storied college stadiums. Against Jim Harbaugh. That’s two tough factor’s right there. The good news is I wouldn’t be surprised if this a close one. But I think the Beavers come up short. Verdict: L, 1-1

Game 3 -San Jose State. The Beavers should win at home against this Mountain West team that only won three games last season. The Spartans were on the losing end of quite a few blowouts, so OSU should strike fast and hard. Verdict: W, 2-1

Game 4 -Stanford. I am not buying the Cardinal hype this season, and this is the game I think OSU has the best chance for an upset. That said, what a tough game to open Pac-12 play with, and a short rest. Verdict: L, 2-2

Game 5 – Arizona. On the road against a squad that has a good running back, a bevy of strong running backs, and a stout defense. That’s a tall order, and I don’t even think the fact that I’ll be in the stands will matter :p Verdict: L, 2-3

Game 6 – Washington State. By this point, I think the OSU secondary will be rounding into form, and can slow down the Cougars passing attack. But will that be enough for the Beavers to get one on the road? Yes, if they run the ball. Verdict: W, 3-3

Game 7 – Colorado. I like the Buffaloes’ offense a lot — and WR Nelson Spruce is a load. But their defense is still lagging. Combine that with the fact that the Beavers will be in the friendly confines of Reser… Verdict: W, 4-3

Game 8 – Utah. Emotions will be running high for this Halloween weekend matchup. Unfortunately for the Beavers, I think Utah will come out swinging and DeVonte Booker will be tough to stop. Verdict: L, 4-4

Game 9 – UCLA. This is a nice game for the Beavers to have at home. And I like their odds against a Bruins squad that could be starting a true freshman in Josh Rosen. However, Beaver Nation needs to be loud and disruptive. Verdict: W, 5-4

Game 10 – Cal. Not to be a negative Nelly, but Jared Goff and his endless stable of fast, athletic receivers will probably overwhelm the Beavers, and eventually allow the Golden Bears to run the ball. This could be OSU’s first out-of-hand game. Verdict: L, 5-5

Game 11 – Washington. They’ve owned the Beavers the past two seasons, but that should end this year — the Huskies might very well be the worst team in the conference with their losses to graduation and injuries. If they win, something went very bad for OSU. Verdict: W, 6-5

Game 12 – Oregon. Upset city? Not this year, unfortunately. At this point in the season, the Ducks will be humming along with Vernon Adams, Royce Freeman, and Co. However, I expect the Beavers to make it close this year. Verdict: L, 6-6.

So there you have it — 6-6… which I think most Beaver fans would be pretty happy with. And if the Beavers get an upset somewhere along the line, just like that, they could go 7-5. But they could easily slip up against UCLA or stumble against UW again, and go 5-7 or worse. I will say this for certain, barring injuries, I don’t see them finishing last in the North like so many pundits.

Go Beavs! (RW)