Far in the past, in the olden days of 2003, the Great Beaver Council gathered ‘neath the Wannahanatucket Dam. Times were dire. Beaverdom was in disarray, splintered and sputtering. There were not enough Dutch boys in the world to plug all the holes that threatened to drain the great Beaver nation of its peace and prosperity. Barring a miracle, the Beavers would disband this night, each going his own separate way. A beaver alone in the world amounts to nothing more than a pile of sticks.
Into their midst waddled one from the past. He was a quiet Beaver, genial but brilliant. Once he had led them, but his tail grew tired and his teeth longed for a harder tree to gnaw. He went searching for adventure. Stories of his time away were hazy, shrouded in wisps of rumor and awe. The newer beavers to the Council watched with eyes wide and teeth bared in respect. The quiet one began to speak, and the den grew still. He told stories of peaceful times past and yet to come. He talked of dams great and small, dams built to perfection, with a workmanship unshowy but stout and effective. The building would not be easy, he told them. He had seen a great many things in this world. He understood that beavers were not like the lions or elephants or the birds that flew over their dams. The beaver is a humble creature, noble in his own way.
To retain that nobility, to rebuild Beaverdom to the great society it once was, they would have to work, and harder than they had before. He spoke his vision of dams built far and near, with waters cascading down new pathways, bringing water to new lands. As he spoke, his fellow beavers began to nod. They would live this way; for the pride of all beavers, they would sharpen their teeth and pound their tails. They would draw together as one, and they would be unstoppable. They would not seek attention, but any who crossed them would know they were beavers. More, they would know what it means to be a beaver.
That day is long past, a memory for some, a myth for others. The quiet one still leads. No matter how wide the river or how thick the tree, he gazes calmly ahead, unbowed by the coming challenge. His beavers fall in line behind him. They know what they are and they know that behind their leader they will prevail. They are beavers. They build dams.
Last Saturday night was by far my most frustrating experience watching a Husky game since Sark took over. Words really cannot describe the level of frustration and anger I felt towards the UW. They got flat out dominated by a frankly mediocre Arizona club (I’m not buying UA overall, they have some nice pieces on offense but that’s it). I expected Arizona to move the ball on the Dawg’s defense, but the ease with which they did infuriated me. But the brunt of my angst was directed at the offense. If it wasn’t one thing, it was another. Poor pass blocking against a flat out terrible pass rush, poor QB play (I won’t rehash Price’s night here, just Google if you are a glutton for punishment), complete ineptitude by all receivers not named Kasen or Austin and poor play calling not getting Bishop Sankey the ball more kills me. I love Sark. I’m one hundred percent in his corner and have always been okay with his play calling. But this year it’s different. He’s off. His mojo is gone. Possibly not having old buddy Doug Nussmeier helping him call plays has handicapped Sark a bit. I think there’s a lot to it. If Nick Saban thinks you can run Alabama’s offense, you gotta be good. Sark must adjust. He must commit to running the ball. A lot. Now. The passing game is shot. Price is a total mess. If UW expects to beat Oregon State, they gotta toughen up and run the ball, then pepper in play action to Kasen and ASJ. That’s it, that’s all they have. The spread offense is toast for this year. Time to load up with all you have up front and play ground and pound three yards and a cloud of dust Woody Hayes ball. If it kills Sankey, so be it, he’s young and clearly is okay with contact. If Sark does this, I really think UW has a great shot to win. But it’s a long shot. OSU practically makes no mistakes, they play hard and disciplined. They play straight forward, basic football that just plain works, which will be enough to win on the road against a box of chocolates UW team that’s completely unpredictable.
Benny 22 – UW 13
It’s not impossible that the Huskies win this game. It’s not even crazy to predict it. For being undefeated, the Beavers are somewhat untested and unintimidating. Until they chew through the evergreen in your back yard and drop it through your bedroom window. The Huskies will have to play their best game since Stanford, and maybe their best of the season, to win this one. Being at home helps. Having Sean Mannion coming off knee surgery can’t hurt. What this really comes down to, however, is Keith Price finding his way back to enjoying football and trusting his teammates. Reports from practice this week have been good, but that only means anything if they play better in the game. I want to pick the Dawgs, and I think they could win, but it’s crazy to expect them to do so until they actually show something.
Beavers 31 – Huskies 17
WARNING: HOMER ALERT!
Apologies for the late entry. Let me start by saying I’m not an OSU believer, I’ve seen a lot of Beaver football this year and nothing stands out to me that would suggest they really are a top 8 team. They don’t beat themselves, granted, but I can’t imagine this same team which struggled against Utah last week is really going to stay undefeated until the Civil War. Tonight will be the first loss of what I expect will be a 2 or 3 loss OSU team by seasons end. UW is desperate, they are one uppercut from being knocked out, and people are questioning their heart. That’s a scary team to face at home on a Saturday night. I have a good feeling about tonight, for no good reason, except that OSU is due to lose, we are due to win, and my wife will be in attendance. The last 3 times she’s gone to a game which UW was the dog, they’ve won.
Huskies 31 – Beavers 17
- The Huskies are a different team at home. All in all, they’ve been a pretty good team at home. No, the offense hasn’t been up to par at home but they have done enough to win.
- The Beavers are undefeated but they aren’t dominant. They’re a very good team who doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. But, the Huskies have been able to win close games under Sarkisian and at home I think the Dawgs have enough to take a win.
- The offense can’t get much worse. Sooner or later, they are going to have a decent game where they score over 24 points. It’s bound to happen.
- The defense is going up against a pro-style offense. The spread has caused them many problems but they’ve done pretty well against pro-style.
- Matthew sent out an email asking for our predictions and he wrote, “Tonight, be brave and full of courage. Write like your fingers are afire with the flames of wisdom. Don’t let the man get you down. Send me your predictions.” That fired me up.