Tag Archives: OSU Football

Oregon State Has A Stanford Problem

Oregon State had a Stanford problem Saturday night. Again.

For the 10th time in 10 years, Stanford found a way to win a game against Oregon State, and Beaver fans came away from the contest frustrated.

In the decade, Oregon State has had some good teams, some that were at least capable of competing for a while, and some that were flat out uncompetitive. Especially against Stanford. During that time, the Cardinal have had a lot of good teams, and some that were not as good as their record. This year’s Stanford squad looks like it fits in the latter grouping.

But as usual, Stanford was better when it mattered, even if not overall, and got the 31-28 win.

The game was delayed 15 minutes by a thunderstorm, and then the first quarter was played in a deluge. For some reason, most of normal warmups after the local lightning strike were skipped, as was the National Anthem. Despite the disruption, Oregon State started the game with a lot of energy. Perhaps because of the disruption, the Beavers played the first half, without  the focus to match that energy.

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Todd Stansbury Takes Off

Just as the Oregon State campus and community was getting settled in after the first day of fall term, Athletic Director Todd Stansbury shook things up by announcing his resignation.

Stansbury’s decision came as a sizable surprise, coming only a little more than a year after he took the job. Stansbury, pictured above with Oregon State University President Ed Ray at his introduction as Athletic Director, replaced Bob Decarolis, returning to Corvallis where he had previously worked for 9 years in the Athletic Department.

Stansbury’s abrupt and early departure isn’t a product of any problems at Oregon State though; Stansbury’s reason for leaving is to take the newly opened Athletic Director position at Georgia Tech, which is Stansbury’s alma mater. Stansbury also played football for the Yellow Jackets.

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Colorado Contest Another Day Game; Decoud Pac-12 Defensive Player of Week

The Pac-12, and especially Stanford and Utah, continue to have an exposure problem during daylight hours nation-wide, but lately its not an issue for Oregon State. For a time, the Beavers and their fans were as badly victimized by #Pac12[Long}AfterDark, which is becoming #Pac12[Just]BeforeDawn with California, as anyone. But everything in life and college football is cyclical, and with announcement of kickoff time in Boulder on Oct. 1, Oregon State will play 3 consecutive day games.

The Beavers and Buffs will kick off shortly after 12:30 PM MDT in Boulder, which is 11:30 AM PDT. With last Saturday’s home season opener having been a 2 PM tv slot locally, and a 12:30 tv window for this coming Saturday’s game against Boise State, it will be the first time since a series of games that spanned from November 2011 through September 2012 that the Beavers will play 3 games in a row with day time starts. It hasn’t happened on 3 consecutive Saturdays since in 2011.

The Pac-12 Network will have the coverage from Colorado. The “left overs” network could get a good contest that ESPN/ABC and Fox Sports both passed on, as the Buffs and Beavers have played very close games the last 2 years, with both prevailing in the other team’s stadium.

Decoud Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week

In other Monday news from the conference offices, Oregon State cornerback Treston Decoud has been named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Decoud had 2 interceptions against Idaho State in the Beavers’ 37-7 win over the Bengals, one a pick-6 that was the longest one by an OSU player since 2000.

Decoud also had 2 other pass breakups, and 4 tackles, in addition to his first 2 FBS-level interceptions.

Togiai Out Against Boise State

Oregon State TE Noah Togiai will miss the Broncos game. Togiai’s knee was injured on the opening kickoff of Saturday’s game, on a block resulting in a penalty against Idaho State. Togiai played only 2 snaps before being pulled from the game by the training staff, and was on crutches by the end of the first quarter.

Togiai’s knee was evaluated more closely today, after which he was ruled out for this week.

Linebacker and special teams player Landry Payne has also been ruled out for this week’s game, also with a knee problem.

Neither player was ruled out longer term though, and so relatively near-term recovery and return is a hope for both, vs. being out for the season. Togiai still being on crutches today makes it likely this is not a 1 week issue, though.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

 

Final Thoughts On Idaho State, And The Home Opener

The first final thought has to be “Finally!”

Oregon State finally will play a game at Reser. The combination of an early, Thursday first game, which was on the road, and a second week bye, has left the Beavers as far out of the college football picture as possible. This while we had the best opening weekend in college football ever, as far as “big” games that garner national attention goes. And then a second weekend that was initially panned, but still produced a number of close, exciting, and sometimes controversial finishes. And some other meaningful/informative games, nationally as well as locally.

It’s one reason why I’m not a fan of weeknight games, as a team gets forgotten about as the weekend unfolds. Follow that with this year’s early bye, on the opening weekend of the NFL season, and it’s hard to find anyone, even football fans in Corvallis, who has the Beavers even on the page of topics of even passing thought, never mind conversation.
Even Coach Gary Andersen admitted he spent all of last Saturday watching college football. And other college football teams.

That’s about to change though, as Oregon State starts a run of 11 consecutive Saturdays of football. It’s been since 2012 that the Beavers have played 11 straight weeks.
The beginning of this run will be the easiest, taking on an Idaho State team that’s just lost to Colorado 56-7. And it wasn’t that close.

Contests against FCS schools from the Big-Sky have a growing track record for being challenging, and dangerous to Pac-12 teams. Beaver fans who have somehow successfully blocked out memories of Sacramento St. and Eastern Washington need only ask a Coug about it to refresh their memory.

But realistically, there is no reason this game against the Bengals will be an addendum to the list, brought up only to be something to talk about in addition to Andersen’s connection, having been the defensive line assistant coach in Pocatello in 1992 & 1993.

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Boise State Game Will Be A 12:30 Contest

Saturday night, we had a great opportunity to scout 2 upcoming shortly Oregon State opponents when Washington State visited Boise State. The Broncos won that one 31-28, leading all the way, but also holding on when the Cougars rallied late, with Luke Falk, who had his usual spectacular game (55 of 71 for 480 yards & 4 touchdowns) throwing 2 4th quarter touchdowns.

But despite out-gaining Boise St. by 100 yards, the Cougs Cuoged it, mostly due to more game and clock mis-management by coach Mike Leach that prevented Washington St. at least getting the game into overtime.

Boise St. will be the next Idaho team to come to Reser after this coming Saturday’s 2 PM home opener against Idaho State (The Cougs will come in a month later, on Oct. 29, for OSU Homecoming), and we now know the starting time for the Sept. 24 Bronco game.

Kickoff will come shortly after 12:30 PM, as Fox Sports 1 has selected the game for their prime early afternoon tv slot, and national coverage. It’s great exposure, especially considering the recent history for the Beavers, and the Pac-12 (consider that 40% of the conference’s contests were still in progress at 2 AM Sunday on the East Coast this past weekend). Oregon State hasn’t played consecutive home day games since the Civil War and the rescheduled Nicholls St. game at the end of the 2012 season.

#BeaversInBroadDaylight anyone?

The Official Candy Report: Minnesota

As I dust off the ol’ keys and prepare my review of the first game of the 2016 season, i am reminded of a few things:

  1. This is year two of a multi-year rebuild.
  2. The coaches are not letting that crap slide, so we shouldn’t either.

I doubt a single coach or player is sitting there thinking “it is ok if we lose now because in two more years we will dominate!”  They are doing what they can to win and the players are training like winners and coaches trying to coach like winners.

So I am going to blog like a winner too.

I had picked the Beavers to lose this game this year.  I thought they had too far to go to catch a team that was playing pretty well towards the end of last season. I thought a long trip to a hostile place week one with so many new faces and new coaches or coaching duties would hurt the Beavers too much to pull this out.

But I also thought that the coaches and players worked so hard that they would not go silently int the Minnesota night. And I was right. While I think that Minnesota did better than the score indicated, I think the Beavers showed they are fearless and adamant about not being losers this year.  They came to Minnesota to win, and they just about did it!

I can point out the line play (not awesome) or the receivers (see offensive line) and get all negative. I can also point out the secondary (pretty dang good) and the quarterback play (much improved for sure) and get too positive.  But we are of the championship mindset in these parts so here is what I saw:

I saw a team play their butts off, never back down and get very close to winning a game no one gave them a chance to win.  They beat the spread by almost half, making money for the faithful who thought that Vegas cannot measure heart. I saw them play cleanly and take care of some major details that have plagued us in the past.

So while I don’t like the loss, and moral victories are a sham, I can respect that this team followed through with what they were taught and that was to play hard.  No one can look at a guy like Devin Chappell or Manase Hungalu and say those guys didn’t give everything and ring some bells. They looked like the players Andersen has been talking about, and that was great to see.

That effort will get us a win in two weeks. I can almost guarantee it.  Whatever happens in the future, I think that this team did one thing very well.  They were the embodiment of what we had been told. They were hard working, non-quitters. That I can get behind!

Halloween Spice Drops Award of Awesomeness
I gave this away, but honestly, Devin Chappell not only played amazing, but he also was just impressive in how he hit people and played fast and fearless. For a guy that came here from Western Oregon because he knew he was good enough to play at this level, he sure as heck showed it.

Also, his mom works at my favorite food cart in Eugene, so while she didn’t bribe me, I thought I would give a shout out to Lani Moku and their amazing food that can be found daily at The Beergarden!  (Hint, that place is rad and owned/operated by Beavers. I feel no shame in the plug)

JujiFruit Award for Improvement
I almost gave this to Hunaglu because he is amazing.  But he will win it later and I wanted to call out someone that was really, really good. Xavier Crawford was also a stud out there, breaking up a HUGE pass that would have been points for sure had he not.  He also was the hammer on a few Minnesota colored nails throughout the games.  The secondary showed the most to me in this game and they were ready and played hard and with passion.  Xavier and Devin both showed this to me and both deserved awards this week.

Good N Plenty Award of Shame:
I am going to give this award to something dumb that I have seen in college football lately.

It’s absence from February through August

This weekend has been a beautiful array of great football, huge upsets, Alabama flexing their muscles, huge questions about the football hierarchy out there and, of course, the Beavers. While I would have loved a Beaver win, and a duck loss for good measure, I take solace in the fact that football is going, the Beavers are playing hard and competing and I don’t have to hear the endless puke of prognostication that permeates our lives from about June to September.

Polls are shattered, pre-season picks dumped and new heroes arrive every week. It is the best part of the year and I cannot help but be excited about the next few weeks because as i get older, I am a fan of football, not just a team here or there, but of the whole dang game.

So thanks for coming back!  Oh and I mean College Football, not that crazy circus that they call the NFL.  That isn’t even really the same sport.

Three Match-ups to Watch against Minnesota

As we get ready for the first game of the Beavers’ 2016 season, I wanted to take time to accent some of the biggest battles for the game against the Golden Gophers:

  1. Beaver Guards and Centers versus Minnesota’s Defensive Tackles:
    Minnesota returns some pretty athletic depth at defensive tackle.  The Beavers return two very experienced guards in Lauina and Andrews, but also break in a brand new center in Yanni Demogerontas. Minnesota has some of the same names from last year like Stephen Richardson and Skott Expe, but also have introduced JC DT Merrick Jackson who has been impressive in practice.  Minnesota is so stacked at DT that they are toying with some 3-4 formations to get more of their DT’s on the line of scrimmage and utilize their depth at linebacker to get pressure on the QB.

    Minnesota is going to try and put a lot of pressure on the interior three linemen of Oregon State and hope they can keep them from getting to the second level with their double teams.  Or even worse, that they can get penetration with one or two players on the inside and ruin the read option mesh for our run plays.  Andrews, Lauina and Demgerontas are going to be asked to not just stop them, but move them and get them to pick a side.  Hopefully that side is their back side five yards down the field.

  2. Darrel Garretson vs the Minnesota Secondary:
    While Minnesota graduated two NFL draft picks in their secondary, they do return two of their top tacklers in the secondary and two corners that have game experience.  Currently 3 members of their secondary are on multiple award watch lists.  In addition, Minnesota has the most consecutive NFL draft picks in their secondary of any Division 1 school.  So their coaching is probably decent from technique to talent evaluation.

    On the flip side, Garretson should be playing catch with one of the deepest and most talented groups on OSU’s team right now.  Should the receivers be able to get open, how will Darrel do getting them the ball?  That is a huge question for the whole season, not just this week.  It is not going to be good enough to just improve on last year. This team will come at the Beavers and this secondary is a legit, Power 5 conference defense.  So we will see how well Garretson does. If he lights it up, it should be a great indicator of what our offense will look like this year.

  3. Tracy Claeys vs Gary Andersen
    Ask any Beaver or duck fan about the coach on the other team and you will most likely not hear nice things.  If Chip Kelly was coaching Minnesota, Beaver fans would have a different feel for the game.  Minnesota feels that way about Wisconsin.  Many in Minnesota remember the 2013 game for the West title that ended in a confrontation in the endzone during the presentation of the axe trophy.  While we don’t think much about it, and I am sure Coach Claeys isn’t putting a ton of stock in it, I also think that he will not be sad to come out and beat a Gary Andersen coached team.

    These two coaches respect each other a lot, which is why Coach Claeys is not about to overlook the Beavers because of what he saw last year.  In fact, he respects him so much, he actually had his players put the word ‘RESPECT’ on the helmets of the players they see as the biggest threats on the OSU team. This is not someone who is unfamiliar with what Andersen and his staff want to do at Oregon State.  They know it very well and are going to be as ready as they can be.

It is going to be a crazy season, and the first game is as wild as it gets.  We will see how the Beavers do on the road in a hostile environment.  If you want to get a good idea of what this season will be like, the first game is the perfect start!

Go Beavs!  Beat the Gophers! (PRO)

Who do you trust?

I have been struggling with something lately.  It is an unusual place for Orangey McOrange Pants to find himself, as someone that saw some good in Beaver Football from basically Kragthorpe on. It wasn’t always universal and it wasn’t always strong, but I always kind of trusted my assessments of the coaching staff, even before I really knew what I was talking about.  I always thought Kraghorpe needed just a bit better athlete and he could have done some damage at OSU.  I always thought that Pettibone just needed the offensive line and QB to run his offense. The injury to Tim Alexander against USC really crushed that team because he was the guy (and showing it) that could get it done for them.  Defensively they were there.

With Riley and Erickson, I knew we were always in it.  I had seen enough of both of them to know that they could get players, that they could evaluate talent, that they could develop talent and that they were going to be better than whatever you saw on paper.  More often than not, what was on paper was scary, yet they won a lot of games for Oregon State.

So with Andersen, I just instantly trusted him because of his reputation.  The three things I would attach to my opinion of Gary were recruiting acumen, defense and Intensity.  Wherever I read about him, I read about players loving him, about organized coaching systems and relentless recruiting. So I figured we would be fine with him and even predicted 5-6 wins last year, mostly because I thought he could do a lot with the offensive line talent we had (and because Coach Woods had crushed it in Wisconsin with similar talent).

Since then, things have changed. I have seen a lot and scratched my head a lot and been impressed a lot.  I feel like the three pillars of Gary Andersen that I felt coming in were his strengths have proven out. His players love him, he is relentless in recruiting and his whole organization is not only huge (31 staff members versus 20 for Riley) but a unified and efficient machine.  The thing is, if I am being honest, i didn’t really see the coaching or development aspect of his staff last year.  While there were tons of injuries and a modicum of internal turmoil and purging that needed to happen, I was left scratching my head on some of their decisions on personnel, on play calling and how the team just didn’t seem to improve, even individually.  Some will look at the duck game and say that was a huge improvement, but was it? I mean that was against the worst defense this side of Texas Tech and their specialty was the second half defensive melt down (see most of their games last year).

So now I find myself at a quandary.  it has been only one year and sheesh, I should get over myself right?  The thing is, i can’t.  Without the trust in their ability to develop talent and manage the game and make solid personnel decisions, i am kind of at a loss. I just have this kind of negative tint to how I view things.  Are the recruits we are getting going to be good enough for us to win in the Pac 12 if they are not going to be developed well enough or put into position to win? Are we going to be able to keep some of the position coaches we have if things go south in 2016?  Is the OSU job just too hard for coaches that don’t have a schtick that separates us from the rest?  Right now I am seeing a lot athletes with Beaver offers go elsewhere. Are we going to be constantly fighting the guys we initially wanted on Saturdays?

With coaches like Peterson, Leach and Shaw in the North alone, are we going to be able to get wins against them with less than stellar coaching?  Even Dykes has shown constant improvement, and that is a good place to start.  He cam into a Cal situation very similar to ours.  A program in disarray and with a mass exodus of players.  He promptly went out and won just one game in 2013, but then used a 4-1 start to go 5-7 and build some momentum. In that 5-7 campaign, they lost one game on a last second Hail Mary to Arizona (49-45).  In his third year the Dykes led Bears went 8-5 and had multiple draft picks and all conference players including the number 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft.

So are we going to be like Cal this year?  I am not sure.  Sonny Dykes has a proven offensive system that puts up tons of points. He is in a hotbed of talent at a school with an amazing academic reputation.  Dykes also inherited an amazing offensive arsenal with Lawler, Treggs, Goff and many others. Can OSU replicate that style of success without those advantages?  I am not sure.

With all of this in mind, i have decided to be Elsa and let it go.  To abandon my worries and fears and recognize that I cannot trust the coaches because I don’t know them yet. I don’t know how they handle adversity, how they prepare players and what they can do with their own, supposedly hand picked talent.  6pm on September 1st I will be able to truly start forming my opinion of this staff.  Whatever tsunami of terrible that washed over the team last year has passed and this year there is really no excuse to not see a good bit of improvement.  Two years of training, working, familiarizing and building of this team should show in the play on the field.

Just like any new relationship, I have to give it time to build that trust.  Just like every relationship, I cannot put too much stock in what other people say, but form my opinion with my own interactions with that person.  I cannot look at Andersen’s past and use that because each one of those coaching jobs were with another team with different needs, hurdles and advantages and staff. We had some rocky first few dates last year, now I am looking at going steady and I have to make sure I trust this staff enough to take this step because the implications will last for at least three or four years.

I mean, i am a precious flower after all.

What do you think?  Am I crazy?  Lonely? Both?

Go Beavs (PRO)

Banner Tuesday Propels 2017 Class Forward

A trio of 3-Stars provided OSU’s 2017 recruiting class a much-needed boost Tuesday.

David Morris, a LB from Sherwood, verbally committed to the Beavers early that morning, followed by Illinois OL Fabian Kratz in late afternoon. Kolby Taylor, a WR out of Beaver-friendly Chandler High in Arizona, pledged to OSU that evening to cap off a banner day for Gary Andersen and Co.

Their commitments increased OSU’s class to six so far, by far the most the program has secured before June 1. But beyond the numbers and rankings, the three signings gives Beaver Nation something to cheer about, especially in wake of Derrick Bruce leaving the hoops teams, 2017 commitment Xavier Davis getting in trouble, and the baseball team being snubbed from the NCAA tournament.

Morris is a stud who could push for playing time sooner rather than later. Plus, to beat out Cal and WSU for his services is a coup for the coaching staff. Morris also appears to be a standout person who I could see becoming a leader down the road for the Beavers. He’s arguably the second best defensive prospect this year in the state. Landing him is the first step toward Andersen’s goal of keeping in-state talent at home.

The Beavers have known about Taylor for awhile, due to the Chandler pipeline. And while he was overshadowed last season due to the likes of Chase Lucas, some say Taylor might be more polished and has greater upside. He’s also a high-character kid. At first glance, he reminds me of Sammie Stroughter. Not a burner, but can create in space after the catch for big gains. Also, he’s a returner like Stroughter was. I don’t think any Beavers fans would complain about having another Stroughter-type player!

Kratz is more of a wildcard. He’s only been playing football for a year. He’s got the size and mean streak to succeed. But he will need to work on his technique. I think it’s safe to say that he’s a project and should redshirt, with the hope being he could be starter his junior or senior years. The main thing is the Beavers need OL badly in this class, and if they can land some of their bigger targets, Kratz will be a nice piece, at the very least for depth.

It’s early, there’s a lot of work remaining, and it’s not over til LOI day (sometimes, even after that point), but Tuesday marked a huge step forward for the Beavers in recruiting and building for the future. Remember that, as the Beavers embark on what could be another tough season. Sometimes, it’s really about baby steps.

Go Beavs! (RW)

Spring Game Thoughts

Sorry for the delay with this post. Then again, you always have to take Spring Ball with a grain of salt, and the Spring Game is no exception. With so many key players sitting out and several potential defensive starters not arriving until fall, it’s important to not too read too much into what you saw Saturday. So, I thought I’d sum up my thoughts by answering the three questions I posed heading into the game about the Beavers.

1. Granted it was against a defense that has many questions, but Darrell Garretson looked solid, completing 21 of 32 passes for 263 yards and three TDs. Most impressive was his willingness to go downfield, something that the offense sorely lacked last season. He showed good touch on his two TDs to Jordan Villamin. That said, I would like to see him pushed into fall camp as well. If the Beavers want to surprise this season, the offense has to be way more consistent. The good news is Garretson looks like he will move the offense down the field with more variety. But again, it will be interesting to see how he fares against stronger defenses.

2. There’s been a lot of concern about the WRs lately, as it can be argued they were inconsistent last year, but there’s no denying that Villamin (4 catches, 108 yards) can be one of the Pac-12’s best if he gets the ball thrown his way. His two receptions were beauties. I also liked what I saw from Hunter Jarmon. I hope him getting looks (5 catches) carries into fall camp and the season because he’s good in space. Early enrollee Trevon Bradford showed some great athleticism and speed. He could be a Stroughter/Ja. Rodgers-type player down the road. But the star of the game was TE Noah Togiai, who hauled in seven balls for 107 yards. He could be the breakout star this season for the offense.

3. There’s still a lot to be settled defense-wise by the start of the season, but Treston DeCoud and Dwayne Williams did nothing on Saturday to make me think they shouldn’t start at the cornerback positions this season. Williams displayed great explosiveness on his 46-yard interception return for TD, Meanwhile, DeCoud broke up several passes. But I think Kendall Hill and Jay Irvine will get plenty of reps this season. Safety, however, could be up for grabs, and don’t forget, two 4-stars will arrive on campus in the fall. So this unit is still a work in progress.

All in all, I think I walked away from the Spring Game thinking that if the line can come together and Garretson adjusts well to Power 5 football, the offense could be markedly improved from a year ago. Maybe fall camp will provide more confirmation of my gut feeling. Of course, you never truly know until the real games are played. And who knows, maybe this week, other players will make a push and we will see them emerge in a few months.

Who stood out to you on Saturday? Go Beavs! (RW)