The celebration was immediate and intense. As the Beavers’ last ditch hook and ladder play came to a thudding halt, the Washington State players erupted in joy and ran around in excitement of winning the game. On the other side, the Beavers felt the gut punch of a tough loss sink in. While many (including Las Vegas) had the Beavers as two score losers in this game Oregon State came out punching, trying to change the narrative of their team and their season.
Up 21 – 0 in the first half off of huge plays by Ryan Nall, Victor Bolden and Marcus McMariyon and a suffocating defensive effort by the Black Curtain (or whatever we want to call this hard hitting, tenacious group of never quitters that make up the Beaver defense) the Beavers felt like they were on the verge of showing us what the process we were respecting was going to look like.
And honestly, despite the finish, I feel like I respect it more now than I did on Saturday at 7:49pm.
A lot of teams that have gone through what the Beavers have would have mailed in that game. Tough consecutive losses, tons of injuries and a ranked team that is undefeated in conference play (who also crushed them last year) coming to town. But the Beavers came out tough and fast and made a ton of plays. Don’t let the slow start to the season by WSU fool you, this is a tough, violent team that has really done a great job on defense against a ton of teams and has scored points on everyone. Stopping them for two halves would have put them in rare territory (meaning the only team to do so in the last two years) so the fact that WSU came back is no slight on the Beavers.
Saturday was, in my opinion, a big indicator that the process is working. I feel like OSU has a team that can win at least 2 of their last four games and maybe could get all four. They are not the extra bye week for opponents they showed last year, but a team you have to be ready to play and that is a tough out. I love that. I love that the Beavers are fighters. I love that they make no excuses and force teams to be ready. Yes, I want to win, but I also picked this team to win 4 games and my mantra before the season was “I want them to compete.” They are exceeding my expectations right now, and are still potentially bowl eligible this season. They have to win out, but the fight I have seen in this team leads me to think that even if I think they are underdogs next week, I will not count them out.
Vegas will take notice too as they have been spread busters all year.
It wasn’t a win and it shouldn’t feel like a win, but that WSU team is the only team left that can challenge UW for the title in the North. They are maybe the 3rd or 4th best team in the whole conference, and they needed a huge effort in the second half to squeak by with a win. I don’t think any of the four teams we have left to play are as good as WSU. I think two of them are not even close. So the Beavers have a shot and that is better than I thought they would.
And when you are in a rebuild, being surprised by positive play is a big deal!
THE HALLOWEEN SPICE DROP AWARD OF TRIUMPH
I don’t want this to become an offensive only award, and I don’t want to just add the same names, but honestly, this game would have been a blow out had it not been for Victor Bolden Jr. The senior wideout had one of the best catches I have seen all year and his first run for 17 yards that should have been negative 2 was amazing. Bolden has become a legit, all conference play maker. He has become one of the best and most explosive players on a very explosive team.
Well done Mr. Bolden Jr!
THE JUJIFRUIT AWARD OF GETTING BETTER
This award is also easy. Jalen Moore getting 10 tackles and a blocked extra point put his name on the map of players to be excited about for the future of the Beavers. Not only did he have a huge game, but he also had a pass break-up and was just all around the field for the Beavers. When we look at where the team is going, performances by guys like Moore are what give me hope. He is a player and is making the most of his opportunities against one of the better teams in the conference.
THE GOOD N PLENTY AWARD OF SUCK
There is no game related event that I want to talk about, but rather a life one. Long time Beaver fans, parents and supporters Mark and Cindy Kuykendall have a grand daughter who has severe food allergies that require she purchases six Epipens twice a year (I believe). Rather than feel bad for herself like many people could, she is taking control of this and working hard to help people with a similar allergy to herself. Here is her website for her fundraising efforts through the organizaiton FARE that helps provide treatment and monetary support for people that cannot afford the extremely expensive Epipens and other treatments.
The Kuykendall’s are not the Good N Plenty award winners. Anyone that knows any member of Mark and Mom K’s family know that they will kick the ass of anything that comes their way. What sucks is that Lauren and her family has to do this and raise this money because of the messed up way our whole healthcare system works. I am not going to turn this into a political or medical discussion. All I will say is that there is a young girl doing everything she can to help people that she can empathize with because of her situation. She is bravely taking on something that people older and more influential should be taking care of. So the award of suck goes to the adults that have created a scenario where a young girl has to do their work for them.
I encourage anyone of you that read this to donate to Lauren via her website. She is very close to her goal of $7000 so anything will help.
I know this is a Beaver blog, but this is a Beaver family that I value that have given their sons to our Beaver football program and their time and money to Beaver sports. They are also the very best type of representative of our program and some of my favorite people. This blog would be far less grammatically correct if it wasn’t for Mark and I would have far less Lemon based humor in my life. I felt that the least I could do for them is to help out their Granddaughter with her quest to help those in need.
Go Beavs! (PRO)