It wasn’t quite like taking candy from a baby, but it wasn’t far from it Saturday, when Oregon State easily took a 45-7 non-conference win over over-matched Cal Poly. The Mustangs from the FBS Big Sky Conference made a contest of it for a few minutes, but then the game looked so much like so many of the Beavers games in recent times, where one team at a wholly different talent level did mostly what they wanted against a game but out-manned opponent. But instead of being on the deficient end of the deal, Oregon State was the team that was clearly superior.
It didn’t even matter that the Beavers were without starting running back Jemar Jefferson, whose’ foot was in a boot much of the week, a fact the Oregon State kept under wraps until game day. Or that WR Tyjon Lindsey, who started the first 2 games of the season in place of still missing Trevon Bradford, was also not available.
Nor did it matter that starting left guard Gus Lavaka and rotation DB Kaleb Hayes had to watch the decisive first half from the locker room, serving suspensions after separate fist-flying incidents in Hawaii in last weeks’ game.
The absence of both inside linebackers Addison Gumbs and Matthew Tago, both injured in last lweek’s loss, with Gumbs lost for the season, were contributors to a bit of a problem the Beavers had with the Mustang’s triple option rushing game. But not to the point of it being anything other Oregon State players were able to eventually handle.
That’s not to say these issues won’t be a much bigger concern when the Beavers begin Pac-12 play in 2 weeks, after next week’s well timed bye, against Stanford. But against a Big Sky opponent that isn’t one of that conference’s best, the differences in size, speed, and depth across the roster were just too overwhelming.