Tag Archives: OSU Beavers

Running with the Pac: Week 5

And we’re back with our rankings of who had the best week in the Pac-12. Remember, these aren’t overall power rankings for the season (those will come in a day or two).  They are just rankings of which teams had the best games and weeks.  Teams on a bye are left off unless something happens to warrant inclusion.

1. Stanford Cardinal beat WSU 55-17

I had doubts about the Cardinal before the season, and their first few weeks didn’t do a lot to quell them.  An offense already short on playmakers lost two excellent tight ends and a star running back.  A defense supposed to be among the best in the country looked a bit lackluster for the first couple of games as well.  Stanford has changed course in a hurry.  The defense pounded WSU, knocking Connor Halliday out of the game, and the offense has added a vertical passing dimension it hasn’t had in a while.  I’m still not a complete believer in Stanford, but they look like a completely different offense from the one the Huskies beat last year.

2. Arizona State Sun Devils beat USC 62-41

ASU badly needed a win to maintain any shot at challenging UCLA in the south, and they got it in unexpected fashion.  Everyone knows about USC’s offensive woes, but their defense had been excellent.  ASU showed all of their offensive weapons in an explosion that cost Lane Kiffin his job.  Giving up 41 is concerning, but the win is still big.

3. UW Huskies beat Arizona 31-13

It’s unclear how good the Huskies opponents have been, which makes it tough to know how the Huskies are.  Or maybe it’s the other way around.  Either way, the Huskies handled what looked like a solid but limited Arizona squad.  It wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t the blowout Dawg fans were hoping for, but I think that had as much to do with the first half monsoon as with anything the Huskies did.  There was a point where both teams seemed to give up on doing anything more than handing off, and that was a bigger detriment to UW than Arizona.  The defense was stingy all day, and the offense exerted its will most of the game.  It’s a big win for the Huskies, but it didn’t provide as much clarity on the Huskies ability as I’d hoped.  That’ll come soon.

4. OSU Beavers beat Colorado 44-17

After their well-documented slow start, the Beavers are rallying.  They haven’t beat anyone of consequence, but they’ve done what’s necessary to get their season back on track.  I still think their defense will keep them out of the top half of the division, but the offense is as dangerous as any.  Sean Mannion to Brandin Cooks is maybe the top duo in the country.

5. Oregon Ducks beat Cal 55-16

Oregon demolished another poor opponent.  The main reason they’re at the bottom of the winning teams is De’Anthony Thomas’s injury.  It doesn’t sound serious, but he’s likely out this weekend, and hopefully (for the Huskies) the one after.

6. Arizona Wildcats lost to UW 31-13

No one had a “good loss” this week, but Arizona’s wasn’t terrible: on the road, to a ranked opponent, competitive.  As I said, the weather made it hard to glean a lot from that game, but Arizona has a solid defense and an excellent running back.  Quarterback is what’s going to hold them down.  BJ Denker gave no indication he can be any passing threat whatsoever.  The Cats can beat the bad teams, but they’re going to struggle greatly against good defenses until they find a semblance of a passing game.

7. Colorado Buffaloes lost to OSU 44-17

The next three are all pretty interchangeable, but we’ll give the Buffs the top spot because we had low expectations of them and they didn’t suffer any notable injuries or embarrassments that I’m aware of.  The loss did show how far Colorado still has to go before they’ll be competitive.

8. California Golden Bears lost to Oregon 55-16

No one expected Cal to keep this close, but I thought they’d put up a few more points, or at least yards.  They now have a bit of a quarterback controversy as well, for reasons unclear to me.  They switched mid-game from starter Jared Goff to give Zach Kline some snaps.  Maybe it was just to protect the less mobile Goff, but if they were expecting more from a true freshman against Oregon, they’re crazy.  Goff was good enough before Saturday to justify the surprising decision to go with him to start the season, and to change now seems strange to me.  I’d expect to see Goff back in there throwing like crazy.  It might not get Cal many wins, but a dynamic passing game is all they have going for them.

9. WSU Cougars lost to Stanford 55-17

The Cougars go below the previous two because they actually had hopes of a win, hopes that Stanford tore apart and sent down the storm drains with the rain.  WSU’s supposedly improved defense was overmatched, and the offense did next to nothing.  I do think WSU’s better than last year, but their improvement has been overstated.  A big problem is the quarterback.  Halliday can do some things, but he balances his plusses with terrible mistakes.  Austin Apodaca looked decent when he came on for the injured Halliday, but he’s not going to be a magical cure should the Cougars go to him more in the future.  The Cougars might be on the right track, but Stanford showed it’s going to be a slower journey than Cougar fans had hoped.

10. USC Trojans lost to ASU 62-41

Let’s recap USC’s Saturday/early Sunday. They were demolished by ASU, giving up more points in one game than they had all season up to that point.  They lost multiple defenders to injury, depleting a roster already demolished due to scholarship sanctions.  All-world WR Marquise Lee, suffering a poor season due to inconsistent quarterback play, had a knee injury that looked bad, although it’s unknown how long he’ll be out.  And, to top it off, Lane Kiffin was fired as soon as the plane landed back in LA.  It’s been about as bad a week as USC could have imagined.  A few positives: USC still has plenty of talent, and it might respond to new coach Ed Orgeron.  The running game with Tre Madden and Justin Davis has been a solid plus for an offensive that’s struggled.  And whatever else one wants to say about Kiffin, his playcalling this season has been strange at best.  A new mind running the offense might get better results.  Or it might not.  It’s hard to know what the rest of the season will bring, but this was an inevitable move.  Let’s just say that as a fan of another Pac-12 team, I’d much rather have Lane Kiffin as USC’s coach than whomever they hire to replace him.

-Matthew

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UW vs. OSU Predictions

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.

Joe

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

Matthew

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

Dan

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

Andrew

There are a lot of reasons I think the Huskies might pull an upset this week. Here are a few:
  • 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.
With that being said, I’m not going to pick the Huskies. After last weekend, I don’t see how I could. That team will win two more games this season max. Now, I think the Huskies are better than that, but until they prove it, I’m not going to pick them.
OSU 31 – UW 20

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Huskies Release Depth Chart for BYU Game, Other Notes

UW released the official depth chart for Saturday’s game today.  You can find it here.  There aren’t really any surprises.  The back-up QB spot is listed as Price or Montana, so no answers there.  Not that an answer is needed until one of them has to play.  D’Andre Goodwin is listed as the third starting WR, a product of a good camp for him and James Johnson missing time with an injury.  Johnson will play, but might not be quite up to full-speed after missing parts of the last two weeks.  Some other notes about the Huskies and the rest of the Pac-10.

  • Sarkisian said that all 12 true freshman on the two-deeps would likely play, along with a couple more possibilities.  When asked about Josh Shirley and Sione Potoa’e, Sark gave an uncomittal, “Potentially.”
  • BYU is planning to play both quarterbacks after failing to choose between Jake Heaps and Riley Nelson.  Nelson is more of a scrambler, while local boy Heaps can throw the ball all over the place.
  • ASU decided on Steven Threet as their quarterback, although Brock Osweiler will get chances to play in the first few games.  Luckily for ASU, they play Portland State and Northern Arizona their first two games, which should give them a chance to test both quarterbacks while still winning fairly easily.  The Sun Devils are also breaking in a new spread offensive system.  There’s always the potential for new offenses to click quickly and surprise opponents for a while.  I’m not betting on it here, but ASU is a bit of a sleeper to me.
  • We’ll have a deeper look at this week’s Pac-10 games later this week, but there are some big ones, especially OSU at TCU.  OSU often starts the season slowly, so if they can come out and beat a top 10 team, it could get them rolling quickly.  It would also knock TCU out of a chance at the national championship, which would make me happy, if only because we wouldn’t have to listen to talk about it all season long.  We’ll get enough of that from Boise State fans, unless OSU can beat them as well.  In related news, I’m close to annointing OSU as my second favorite Pac-10 team, in case you were wondering.

That’s all for now.  Only 5 days till game time!

-Matthew

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