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Weekend Rewind: Nov 2-4

If last weekend was a perfect football weekend, consider this an extremely flawed football weekend. The Beavs showed fight, but had a TD take off the board and produced a clunker of a fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Seahawks gave up a fake touchdown to the Chargers in one of the worst officiating snafus I’ve ever seen. And outside of their opening drive, the Seahawks looked anemic until the usual too little, too late rally.

Here’s what’s swimming through my mind on a Monday Morning:

Beaver Football

  • Another slow start hurt this team as they fell down 21-0.
  • Once again they showed fight, and played USC much closer than the 38-21 final score.
  • USC won in the trenches. Completely overmatched Oregon State there. This is an area we all know Oregon State needs to improve, especially on the d line. Depth would go a long way.
  • On a related note, Jermar Jefferson was bottled up much of the game, until one drive late in the third quarter.
  • Luton shined again and threw some absolute darts. He was surgical for a big chunk of this game.
  • And of course Hodgins, Bradford and Hernandez all benefitted from the big fella’s arm. Really gives a glimpse of what this wideout group is capable of with a QB that can stretch the field.
  • I will never understand how a team could give up so many yards on 3rd and long. I’m not just talking about Saturday’s game… I’m talking about the entire season. 3rd and 19 should be an automatic punt. Instead it turns into a first down or 4th and so close that any coach with half a brain is going to go for it.
  • As Con pointed out, the Beavs had four possessions to tie the game at 28 and came up empty. That was killer. Had they tied it, I really think the Beavs find a way to come out on top.
  • This officiating crew made a horrendous mistake on the Matthew Tago strip play. He clearly ripped the ball out before the back was down, but even if the officials saw it as close enough to doubt, they have to let it play out. You never ever, ever, ever blow the play dead when it’s bang, bang like that. Yet this crew did just that. TD off of the board…Chalk up another one for the PAC 12 refs, Larry Scott and this conference as a whole. What a mess.
  • This defense needs to learn how to intercept a football. It is wild the amount of balls that should be picked, but instead end up fluttering to the turf. It feels like the beavers miss out on 2-3 interceptions a game. Those are lays that good teams make.
  • Overall, good fight and I think this thing can really turn next year. But I’d like to see more encouragement in the final three games.

Seahawks

  • When a player steps out of bounds three times while carrying the football en route to the end zone it shouldn’t be ruled a touchdown. I may sound dumb stating the obvious, but apparently the officiating crew on Sunday missed that section of the rule book. Poor officiating was unfortunately a major theme this weekend. Brutal, especially in a game that came down to a single score…
  • Russell Wilson had a ROUGH outing. Took killer sacks, missed some open throws and just looked out of sorts all afternoon. Hopefully he got that out of his system heading into the Rams game.
  • He threw an almost identical pick six to the one that effectively ended the Bears game earlier this year. That’s pretty wild to see him be fooled twice like that in crucial situations. Without those picks there is a real possibility the Seahawks could be sitting at 6-2 rather than 4-4.
  • Can’t put it all on Russell, he still had the Hawks in the game to the final play.
  • Would’ve liked to see David Moore catch that. It wasn’t easy, but it did hit him in the hands.
  • Still a lot of season left to play, but the Seahawks are going to need to find a way to win six of their final eight to have a legitimate shot at postseason play.

Trailblazers

  • 7-3 after a frustrating loss to the Lakers and a romp over the T-Wolves.
  • I’ve said it before, but they really could have 8, 9 or even 10 wins fairly easily.
  • Next up, the Greek Freak. This is going to be a tough matchup, but a game the Blazers need to find a way to win.
  • Yes I realize it’s super early, but it’s never too early to set the standard of taking care of good teams at home.

Beaver Basketball

  • It’s finally here, game 1.
  • Need to win by a minimum of 20.
  • How will this squad play together?
  • Are Tres and Stevie going to be the dominant forces we expect?
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Weekend Rewind 10/27-28

There it is! It finally happened! We got to experience a perfect football sequence. The Beavers and Seahawks both won on the same weekend. Oh, did you think I was going somewhere else with that? Because when I say “it finally happened” it could apply to many Beaver related things.

Let’s dive into the notes:

Oregon State Football

  • False start and call me Caleb Smith! The Beavs ended their 22 game road and 14 game conference losing streak simultaneously in Boulder, Colorado. I don’t know anybody who can honestly say they saw that coming.
  • The Beavs were trailing 31-3 in the third quarter.
  • Even when things were bleak, the defense stepped up and played their best game by far of 2018. Still a long way to go, but for the first time this season, I was encouraged by that side of the ball.
  • Jack Coletto got the start and played hard. I like having that kid on the team, but he was pretty overwhelmed most of the game and couldn’t get much going in the passing game. However, he might have nice role going forward as a bruiser on the goal line. He scored two TD’s on the day.
  • Enter Jake Luton. The Senior QB was nowhere to be found after the Nevada game due to a lingering high ankle sprain. For whatever reason the coaches decided it was time to roll the dice and give him a shot in the second half. Though still clearly hobbled, he put on a show and ignited the Beaver offense with over 300 passing yards and three TD’s.
  • Enter Isaiah Hodgins. Because we forget the guy is on the team when Luton isn’t in there. The pair picked up right where they left off in the Nevada game as Hodgins torched the Buffs secondary and pulled in what was probably the catch of the year in the corner of the end zone. Those two have undeniable Chemistry.
  • Jermar Jefferson is still an absolute beast. We are so lucky to have him. He has now eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season and there are four games to go.
  • We are left wondering what the final month could now bring. If Luton can stay healthy and the Beavers can be lethal throwing and running, this could get fun. Pair that with the defense showing life and we’ve got the opportunity to build a little momentum if things fall right.
  • Hamilcar Rashed Jr. This guy has been a force the past couple of games and things really seem to be clicking for him. I hope to see his growth continue.
  • Matthew Tago is another player that’s been standing out on the defensive side of the ball. He has not looked like a freshman the past several games and has the potential to be a big time player at OSU. If the size of his dad’s arms are any indication, this guy is only going to get stronger and scarier. LET THAT MANE FLOW!

Seahawks

  • A bunch of people wrote off the 2018 Seahawks. I wasn’t one of them. I said from the beginning 8-11 wins. I consider and still consider 8 the floor. For the dummies who picked them to win 4, you better hope they lose out.
  • Four wins in their last five games.
  • Russell Wilson was a stupid efficient 14-17 on Sunday.
  • Bobby Wagner had Golden Tate on a leash. It looked like he had a personal grudge the way he was abusing his former teammate.
  • Golden got traded to the Eagles earlier this week. I bet the first thing he did was look to see if the Seahawks were on their schedule.
  • The defense is continues to be really good even though they lost all these loud, injured, underperforming superstars. Imagine that!
  • I’ve said it from the beginning ,young and hungry beats old and disgruntled. That is the theme of 2018.
  • No disrespect to the guys that have gone elsewhere. I will always appreciate and respect what they accomplished in Seattle. But I didn’t appreciate the disruption they caused in the locker room the last two+ years.
  • Michael Dickson ran out of his own end zone for a first down.
  • There is no way we are just ignoring that last note… Again, Michael Dickson (THE PUNTER) ran for a first down from his own end zone to ice the game.
  • Chargers this week. Huge game. Schedule only gets tougher.
  • With every win comes more confidence.
  • This team reminds me of that 2012 team. Nobody outside of Seattle expected anything from them, but every week they battled and you could tell it was only the beginning. Fun times ahead.

Trailblazers

  • 5-2 and again, could be better.
  • I like the balance of this team. It’s early, but they are going to keep growing and evolving.
  • Zach Collins continues to improve and is becoming really fun to watch.
  • Like the Seahawks, there has been a lot of doubt with this team. But you look at what’s on the roster and you know they are going to compete each night.
  • As was expected, outside of the Warriors running away with the one seed and a guaranteed trip to the finals, everything else in the West appears to be wide open.
  • Meyers Leonard has once again seen his role diminish quickly. Nothing against the guy personally, but seven years in it’s pretty obvious to everyone (but Neil), that things didn’t pan out like we’d hoped.

Oregon State Basketball

  • This team needs to win 20 games. I’ll say it every day until forever.
  • They beat some obscure school in Montana by like 50 in an exhibition game, Saturday.
  • Should’ve beat them by 70.
  • Tres, Stevie, Ethan, and Alfred all look good to go. Again, those four should be enough to be an extremely competitive basketball team. No excuses.
  • I like the length on this roster. Lots of big bodies. Raw and lots of work to be done, but I like it.
  • At this point I just want to see how this team responds to real, meaningful games early. The goal should be to head into conference play undefeated. They will probably drop one or two, but any more than that would be a disappointment.
  • This season is the moment of truth. For the players I mentioned, for coach Tinkle and his staff, and for Beaver Athletics as a whole. It’s time to get it done.
  • Go Beavs!

Belated Weekend Rewind

FeaturedBelated Weekend Rewind

By Andy / 35th & Jackson

Even though the Seahawks were idle on a bye week and Oregon State football might as well have been, there were still plenty of items of note to go around.

 

Oregon State Football:

  • In a similar manner to their performance against Arizona earlier in the season, the Beavers took a golden opportunity in the friendly confines of Reser Stadium and promptly flushed it away.
  • A 49-7 loss to a Cal team that got trounced by a previously winless UCLA team a week ago was inexplicable.
  • It seems as though every time the Beavers have been set up for a mini breakthrough, they have failed fantastically.
  • The defense actually played decent early on. But of course, they happened to do so on a day the offense had absolutely nothing to contribute.
  • Artavis Pierce started in place of freshman phenom, Jermar Jefferson as he nursed a previously unmentioned hamstring injury. Jefferson did bust one 30 yard run, but unfortunately wasn’t able to go after that. People want to blame the poor offensive showing on Jefferson being out, but it was more than that. Pierce looked ok, but didn’t have a ton of room.
  • The other disaster was the inability to throw the ball down field. Whether it was the QB holding it too long, or the line not protecting, or a mixture of both.
  • Cal lived in the OSU backfield.
  • Conor Blount left the game with an apparent head injury after being the victim of targeting and remains in concussion protocol.
  • Jack Colleto plays hard, but as I’ve mentioned before, is a clear third option behind Luton and Blount.
  • Speaking of, is Jake Luton ever coming back? Things seem less optimistic  with each passing week. His high ankle sprain suffered in mid September is still bothering him. I’m thinking there might be more to this injury.
  • This now marks the FOURTH consecutive season that Oregon State has had to constantly rotate quarterbacks due to injuries. It’s unbelievable how many QBs see the field each year. It really paints a picture of just how rough this program has had it.
  • If Colleto has to start this week he will be OSU’s 7th or 8th starting QB in the last  four seasons. Others to start include Seth Collins, Marcus McMaryion, Nick Mitchell, Darell Garretson, Jake Luton, and Conor Blount. Let me know if I’m missing others.
  • Bottom line, Saturday was a bummer and to perform like that coming off of a bye does not boost program morale. I still believe they can get this thing turned around, but I wouldn’t dare put a timeline on it at this point.

Seahawks:

  • As I mentioned, the Seahawks were off this week but the chaos in the NFC is great for this team.
  • Sunday’s game in Detroit is massive. A win would really put the team in position for a nice run. The lions also come in at 3-3, winning three out of four games and looking like a contender. A loss would certainly hurt, especially on a schedule that leaves little room for error.
  • KJ Wright and Ed Dickson have returned to practice which could provide a major boost for this team on both sides of the ball.
  • It will be interesting to see if the running game picks up where it left off before the break.
  • Sunday will provide Seahawks fans a chance to think about how great it would be to have Golden Tate on this current team.
  • Speaking of receivers, will Doug Baldwin build on his strong outing in London after another two weeks of letting his ailments heal?
  • Speaking of receivers again, will Tyler Lockett continue to be a consistent playmaker? Let’s hope so.
  • Frank Clark and his agent say they are in no hurry for a deal. He has really performed well so far in what is a contract year and I can’t say with certainty that he’ll be here next year. Right now, Clark is the only threat as a pass rusher on this team. The Seahawks need to find some other guys to help in that area.
  • I’m as excited and nervous for this game as I have been in quite sometime. It just feels like a potential turning point. But on the road in Detroit has me worried about a last minute heart breaking defeat. It just feels like a scary game that comes down to a crucial play in the final moments.

Blazers:

  • They’re baaaaack!
  • I was pretty stoked about the 2-0 start especially after beating the Lebron led Lakers  who nobody outside of Portland seemed to realize… LOST!
  • Nik Stauskus has been a pleasant surprise so far. Sauce Castillo was trending on Twitter.
  • My excitement soured a little bit as the Blazers botched what should have been a 3-0 start. They couldn’t shake the Wizards at home and Dame and CJ were ice cold.
  • It worries me that both guards seem to be off at the same time so frequently. It made me shutter thinking of last year’s playoff series with New Orleans.
  • I really think this team can flirt with 50 wins if they play to their capabilities. A lot of people laugh at that, but really they should be able to come close to that.
  • But they can’t win 50 losing to Washington at home. That sucked.
  • I enjoyed the halloween costumes everyone wore. Especially Dame as Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Oregon State Basketball:

  • As we inch ever closer to the 2018-2019 season I’m making a conscious decision to demand more out of Beaver Basketball this year.
  • A team that returns Tres Tinkle and Stephen Thompson Jr. in year four,  and Ethan Thompson and Alfred Hollins in year two must win 20 games. Anything less is a disappointment. Some may be shocked by that statement, but it’s the truth. No more excuses.
  • BYU transfer Payton Dastrup has been denied immediate eligibility this season. That sucks as he would’ve been a nice veteran presence. But still… No excuses!
  • This is as much talent on the floor as there ever has been and I don’t care if the bench isn’t very deep. Four extremely good basketball players need to be able to carry a team. And trust me, it isn’t the players who should feel the pressure of these expectations…
  • Wayne Tinkle needs to prove that he can do it with this group right now. The tournament appearance three years ago was great, but let’s be honest… GPII carried that team far beyond what anyone thought and covered up for virtually every sin and shortcoming. His improv was incredible and helped make up for the fact that the team was in a state of constant confusion on offense.
  • They are still confused on offense and since Payton’s departure have tremendously underachieved.
  • I need to see clean, smart basketball. The talent is there, this coaching staff needs to show that they can get the most out of it. So far we haven’t seen that.
  • I know the PAC 12 is competitive, but this team should be fighting in the top echelon with the likes of Oregon, Washington, the Arizona schools, etc.. Not a team content finishing 8th or 9th in the conference.
  • Speaking of Washington, they have a second year coach with basically none of his recruits and are already in the top 25! I’m done with any excuses for OSU hoops.
  • Bottom Line: 20 wins is non negotiable.

Oregon State Baseball:

  • Still awesome! They win in fall, winter, spring and summer. Doesn’t matter, Wins on top of wins.

Mariners:

  • They never play in the fall.

 

Washington State:

  • Four straight, go Cougs!

 

Weekend Rewind

FeaturedWeekend Rewind

By Andy / 35th & Jackson

Beavs: It was a spirited effort for most of the game by our beloved Beavs. Wazzu jumped out to a 14-0 lead before I could say Gardner Minshew II. Here’s the thing, going into the game I thought this would be one of those weird games where the Beavers play a team close when everyone expects a blowout. I think I had this being an 11 (spread was 17) point win for the Cougs. After the blocked punt, I thought the Beavs would lose by 60.

What really happened was sort of what has happened all season thus far. I went into the game with higher expectations than most, because I feel I sensed what could be a trap game and that some weird stuff would happen. With a second half lead, I allowed myself to believe. They couldn’t stop our offense, but once again, our defense couldn’t tackle anyone. The Beavers did everything they possibly could. Trick plays galore, five fourth down conversions, and still it didn’t matter. It was an exciting game, don’t get me wrong… but they still lost by 19. It’s just a microcosm of the season. The Beavers come out and throw the biggest possible haymaker they can and they still get trounced in the end. All of that for a 19 point loss.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in where the program can get to and I believe Niner will take us there, but it’s hard to be encouraged by what we’ve seen so far. We need a defense. That’s on players, coaches and everyone involved with the program. I know we need more athletes on that side of the ball, but it’s more than that. You shouldn’t be giving up 50+ a game so long as you have 11 warm bodies and decent coaching. It’s unacceptable and it needs to be fixed. All I ask is for positive strides. If we can be a team that surrenders only 40 points a game in the final six games, I will be pleased.

This is longer than I anticipated, but my brain has been short circuiting over this stuff for the past few days. I leave you with this… Oregon State really is just a mediocre defense away from being a very difficult PAC 12 opponent. The offense has exceeded my expectations and then some. Sure there are mistakes and things to clean up, but the scheme is everything a fan could ask for. On that note, Jermar Jefferson makes a one win team must watch TV every week. So pumped we have 22 in the backfield.

Seahawks: I once again set myself up for failure with this one. Nobody thought the Seahawks had a snowball’s chance in the bad place of beating the Rams on Sunday. Nobody except me. I really thought they would find a way to come out on top and by golly they almost did. There was a lot to like as they ran all over the Rams vaunted D line and played very physical football all around. It was back and forth the entire afternoon, but unfortunately the Rams just made a few more plays. The defense got gashed by the lab produced Ram’s offense all day. They had their chances on some key third downs and just couldn’t get it done. And finally it all came to an end as the Rams converted a short 4th and 1 sneak to put the game on ice. Quick side note: A QB sneak from a yard out should always be automatic. I don’t know why we don’t see it more. It is almost impossible to stop. Once the Rams lined up after Pete Carroll’s much debated timeout (which I actually didn’t mind that much. I can see his logic and I believe the Rams would’ve rushed out and gone for it anyway with the offense huddled tightly on the sideline) I knew it was over. Properly executed sneaks are unstoppable.

33-31 left a sting, but I had to come away with a positive outlook. Other than the Rams running away with the top seed, the NFC is wide open. 2-3 isn’t ideal, but this team has shown they have found their identity again and I think they can make some hay in the next several weeks to be back in the thick of the playoff race. Other than the Rams on the road, I don’t see another game on the schedule that I immediately would consider a loss. I’m not saying they are going to finish 12-4 necessarily, but I wouldn’t count out 10-6 or even 11-5 just yet. Let’s see what this team can do going forward.

Mariners: It’s October, silly… A happy, merciful and well deserved offseason to all of the broken compass diehards. Go Ms!

Weekend Rewind: A quick look back at the sports weekend that was.

FeaturedWeekend Rewind: A quick  look back at the sports weekend that was.

By Andy / 35th & Jackson

It was a mixed bag of a weekend for the 35th crew. We saw the Beavers look foolish against a bad Arizona team, the Seahawks finally show up and the Mariners…ah, who the heck cares?

Here’s what I took away from the weekend:

Beavers:

Yikes. I’ve been more optimistic than most about this team’s ability to at least be competitive this season and with the exception of Ohio State, they have been. Saturday was a big step backwards. People can make excuses and say this thing will take time (I’m not referring to Coach Smith and the staff, just the general population), which is all fine and good, but there’s one problem… ARIZONA ISN’T FINE OR GOOD! In fact, they’ve looked pretty terrible. And after watching this game, I don’t think their success had much to do with them playing significantly better. This isn’t meant to be negative, I’m just being frank. The most concerning thing I saw was that they seemed to be content just letting things wind down in the second half rather than fighting to get back into the game. I hadn’t seen that up to this point and that is something I couldn’t stomach in the Gary Anderson era. I want to see a team that is out for blood and looking for a fight down to the last second, no matter the score.

I still think they can bounce back (especially offensively). However this game certainly left us with more questions than answers, some of which include the following:

-Why can’t this team tackle cleanly?

-What happened to the offensive execution?

-How does a 17 play drive end in a punt? *This hasn’t happened in college football in over 15 years.

-When a team has a kicker that has missed twice already, wouldn’t you at least consider the possibility of a fake the next time he struts out there?

– Is it realistic to expect to see any improvement out of the defense this year?

– Why is Isaiah Hodgins not targeted 8-10 times per game?

– Will we see a conference win this year?

– How will this team respond to its worst outing thus far?

-Will 35th and Jackson ever get suite access at Reser?

Seahawks:

What a circus this team is. They struggle enough as it is to be consistent on the field, they certainly don’t need all of the madness off of it. I’ve said this before but Earl Thomas is a strange individual. He doesn’t practice this week but not to worry… Mr. sunshine and rainbows, Pete Carroll took it all in stride. A player could hold Pete at gunpoint, rob him poor, punch him in the face and leave him for dead and I doubt Pete would press charges. He’d probably just say that it presented a unique opportunity to overcome adversity and that the player in question was only guilty of competing his tail off in a unique way.

For the record, I think Pete is awesome, and I think there’s more order behind closed doors than we realize. However, he is the most player friendly coach in the history of sports. This team has more drama than a Kardashian family Christmas and yet Pete always puts a positive spin on it. Take Doug Baldwin’s sideline outburst that was inexplicably directed at co-director of player personnel, Trent Kirchner. This is just the latest outside the lines, one-way scream fest that Pete Carroll classifies as “exchanging competitive thoughts.” That phrase cracks me up every time.

But of course, winning cures all. The Seahawks looked like the team I hoped for them to be in a 24-13 win over the Cowboys. They ran the ball, controlled the line of scrimmage and created timely turnovers. It’s amazing what can happen when they stick with the run.

I had to laugh at the fact that Earl had two impressive interceptions that killed the Cowboys. Every Dallas fan had to be ripping their hair out.

Let’s see if the Hawks can build off of this win and get a streak going against the hapless Arizona Cardinals. Braught and I will be in attendance (probably still licking our wounds from Saturday’s ASU game).

Mariners:

The annoying surge of useless wins is over. The Mariners are back to doing what they’ve done since July… losing… a lot. This team finally got what it deserved as it watched the A’s celebrate a playoff berth at Safeco Field. Why do we root for this team? Maybe a better question, why did we all let ourselves believe that this was the year they’d get back to the playoffs? June was a long time ago. It might as well have been 17 years ago at this point. Another year without postseason baseball in the Northwest. Maybe the Portland Diamond Projects will get there? Yes, I know that isn’t what the team will be named, but I think it’s a funny joke and I like it, so shut up!

Earlier this summer I swore I’d stick by the M’s even if Portland does get a team. Now, I’m not so sure. Ah, who am I kidding? I can’t help it. I can’t quit the Mariners. And at this point I’ve wasted too many years to jump ship now. I have a sickness. Man I hate this team. I want to have a beer with the guy that runs the mariner rants twitter account.  I’d add a link to his profile, but I feel like my computer might get a virus. I wouldn’t recommend anyone under the age of 23.5 read his tweets. His tweets go way too far, but the Mariners almost make them feel like they aren’t vulgar enough.

Hope springs eternal! Go Mariners!

Wild Card Wednesday

FeaturedWild Card Wednesday

By Braught / 35th & Jackson

Every spring I receive the text message that says “hope springs eternal” regarding the Mariners and their season. This year, I really couldn’t see it. I thought this team was destined for mediocrity. If I recall correctly, I predicted 82 wins, mostly because I didn’t want to think about them being .500 or below.

Then the Mariner’s went on a tear and won every close game. They played loose, fast, and fun. Even with all the data about run differential, one run games, and it all being unsustainable, you thought just maybe, maybe they could pull it off.  And with all the past trauma, you knew it couldn’t last, but you finally refused to believe that. SoDo MoJo was occurring. It was a great day to be a Mariner fan.

Well, it all came crashing down. The A’s somehow became good and refused to lose a series. The Mariners bats went cold, the pitchers had the injury bug, and it appeared that nothing could snap them out of it.

With multiple games against two of the worst teams in baseball, the Padres and Orioles, coming up, it was time for the Mariners to put up or shut up. Instead the Mariners dropped the first two games to Padres and played one of the ugliest games I have seen this season against the Orioles last night. They are 1 and 3 in those four games so far, with three more to go. The Mariners also have 11 games vs the sub .500 Rangers and Angels to go this season.

So where does that leave the Mariners chances at the playoff? Baseball Prospectus and fiveeightythree each put it at about a 3% chance, and fangraphs puts it at 5%. It’s not looking good for this year. But somehow, there still is hope. The M’s will need to win at least eight of those 11 games I mentioned, to have a chance in my opinion.

I will return next week with another Wild Care Wednesday and hope that the M’s have improved those odds. Back to the game for me.

Cheers!

Braught

Best Case/Worst Case: 2018 Beaver Football Preview

FeaturedBest Case/Worst Case: 2018 Beaver Football Preview

By Con/35th & Jackson

Our annual nod to the Ted Miller. Previously ESPN.

Here we will run our best case/worst case scenario for the 2018 Oregon State Football season. All very real possibilities but extreme in both cases.

PSA: We were not EXTREME enough last year obviously…that is saying something…we will try and take this to another level… for last years, see here: Best/Worst Case 2017

Here’s to 2018.

@ Ohio State:

Worst: It’s a new season, new year, new coach, new everything, or so we thought…

First play in the horseshoe, Arty takes the opening kickoff 94 yards for TD and drops ball at .5 yard line channeling his inner Chad Johnson. Refs review play, take away TD. Arty so disappointed in himself he says sorry to Coach Smith as he is mic’ed up. Coach Smith then punches Arty in the face on camera, Arty is out for the season with fractured jaw. Confused by what he has just done, Niner forgets to call correct play and runs a tight end middle screen at the .5 yard line… Isiah Smalls gets popped by Nick Bosa fumbles, and it gets housed 99.5 yards the other way. Niner gets taken off field by same police that investigated Urban Meyer, so all hope is not lost… Mike Riley is in attendance at the Horseshoe and walks into a decimated locker room at halftime and proclaims: “We are still in this. It’s only 79-0. We still have one half we can win.” Brian Lindgren takes over head coaching duties, Tim Tebesar quits, becomes interim head coach at Ohio State.

We lose 93-3 on a last second field goal by the ghost of Alexis Serna.

Best: It’s a new season, new year, new coach, new everything, and we are who we thought we were…

Niner is juiced pre-game. ESPN video shows him shaking every players hand in locker room and handing them each a small stone. Audience is confused, but players locked in. Smith pulls a slingshot out of his back pocket, “Let’s go slay the giant.”

We start with a steady dose of Arty trying to free up the long game, it pays off. 8th play of game, Timmy streaks free with shades of CSU, no one within 25 yards. 7-0 and the Horseshoe is silent. We trade a few scores, Niner calls a great steady dose of Arty who has 124 yards at half. We lead 17-14 at half. Kenneth Pancake starts salivating at the possible article he will write about the biggest upset in 2018 and that he knows some other writers who predicted it…

THE OSU comes out with fire to start the second half. Scores 28 straight. 42-17. One quarter left… QB throws pick 6 to Kee, he dances in. Beautiful onside kick executed and recovered by Andre Bodden. Jemar Jefferson rips off a 54 yard TD, 13 minutes left, 42-28… Hughes Murray comes up with a HUGE sack on third down, Trevon Bradford houses the ensuing punt. 42-35. But the comeback ends there as THE OSU bleeds the clock and eventually breaks the D’s back.

We lose 49-38.

Southern Utah:

Worst: With Niner suspended and future in question, Lindgren guides the team. Mike Riley is offensive coordinator. Promotes Jake Dukart to starting QB. Runs “pro style.” Everyone is confused, clamors of a Riley takeover are peppering Corvallis. Jake Cookus gets promoted for the second straight year to DC. Different tune this time around, he plays prevent… Southern Utah hangs 48 on us, but we hang 49 on a last second 2 point conversion attempt by Jemar Jefferson, Ice Blast 35… (Sun Bowl 2006)

We win 49-48

Best: Leading up to Southern Utah, the tune is buzzing like a week 1 victory, regardless of the outcome. Kee has game of his life, 3 sacks and a pick 6. Defense dominates, offense running like a well oiled machine, quick passes, slants, screens, occasional deep ball and steady diet of you guessed it, Arty.

We win 55-3.

@ Nevada:

Worst: Lindgren playing ghost during the week. JS gets Urban’s attorney and THE OSU prez recommendation, gets 2 game suspension. Arty has transferred at this point to UO. Mariota center has secret, next gen, 3D bone printer and reconstructs his jaw perfectly and fit for Flex Friday. Arty gets a waiver to play right away because of his abuse. He becomes starter 3rd week as Tony Brooks James has broken back from Bowling Green. Vegas comes around, Lindgren meets up with Mike Leach on vacation, brings WR coach to “gentlemen’s” club. Tristan Gebbia gets out of limo, and straight into a craiglist escort aka a cop. Lindgren gets off scot-free, WR coach fired 5 years later, claims innocence, story to be revisited… Riley coaches game against Nevada, has fun handshake with defender who blasts Jake Luton back into Pullman. Colin Kapernick is shown on jumbo-tron ironically not kneeling as Luton is taken off the field on stretcher. Conor Blount refuses to play again, claims medical redshirt, Dukart is inserted again with Riley at the controls. Nevada pounces. Picks the freshmen off 5 times, routes OSU. Riley goes to In and Out alone. Brings Niner back a double double with animal style with fries. They eat alone in the basement of Gill. Jay John pats them both on the back.

We lose 38-10.

Best: 4-star Isiah Rutherford commits mid-week, says he “feels another stick will be added to the Dam soon.” Andrew Nemec writes headline of “UO pulls scholie of 4-star who has just been downgraded to low 3-star, commits to OSU reluctantly”

New beat writer Nick Daschel zones in the prophetic words of 35th and Jackson. Joins them at pre game HHPR tailgater. Dan Hoff gives Bob Lundeberg job as Chief Beaver Sports writer/Civil Engineer. Roth complains about “fairness.”

The actual game is an afterthought. Nevada still is the same Nevada as 2018. OSU is not. Defense dominates. Offense pounds the rock. Arty goes for 237 and 3 TD’s. Hits 600 yard mark 3 games into season. 7 TDs. JS says it’s too early to tell, but “we have something special here.”

We win 31-3.

Arizona:

Worst: Jesiah Irish gets the official start at receiver. Teagon Quintariano tries to hold his own at TE as Isiah Smalls is out for the season. Kevin Sumlin hatches a plan to get the OSU playmakers out of the game. Goes after Irish third play on a touchdown catch post play. James Rodgers cowers from the sideline. Irish out for season with broken fibula. With Arty, cranking out 200 yard games at UO. Jemar Jefferson gets his chance. Runs for 132 yards but it isn’t enough. Khalil Tate runs for 239, passes for 383. 8 total TD’s. Riley still running the team, leaves for Texas fake NFL job right on schedule. Says it was nice to “fill in for Jonathan.” JS can’t come back quick enough, sitting at 1-3, team in turmoil, his arrival back, even with charges pending against him, is a breath of fresh air.

We lose 59-21.

Best: Team is 2-1, feeling like 10-1. Playing their best football in years. Niner is confident, but trying to keep perspective for still a young team. Timmy Hernandez goes down in a crazy practice drill, Jesiah Irish and Champ must step up. Champ takes a fly sweep 43 yards for the score to take the lead going into half 23-20. Smith reminds the team, “We have to stay grounded. This is built stick by stick. One at a time.” Randomly, Kee puts on a new t shirt under his jersey for second half. D come out with vengeance, Luton throws 3 TD’s, two to Irish. A new combo is brewing. Beavs add another stick to the dam.

We win 37-30.

@ ASU:

Worst: The 35th and Jackson crew cancels their trip to ASU because Andy and Hai are homeless and living out of the side of a burrito food cart. Hai is making some paper though selling out of the back… Elmer Fudge pays a visit, Jay John buys a burrito from the truck. Still coaching with Sean Miller, he kicks back as Tres begins pondering a grad transfer to Arizona basketball…

JS is back at the helm and it is well received. Jemar Jefferson raises JS on his shoulders pre game as he proclaims “you got us here coach.” Herm Edwards tries to motivate his devils on the 118 degree afternoon in Tempe. Beavs come out hot for their new coach, Jefferson running hard. But Blake Brandel goes down on a nasty helmet to knee by Vontaze Burfict’s son. Because of depth and dehydration issues, Elu Aydon is inserted at left tackle. Elu blocks air for the first play, then is gassed, Quin Smith replaces as the makeshift line holds up. Luton is back starting with JS at the helm, throws 4 picks in an ugly game. It’s a battle until the end, but we don’t come out on top.

We lose 13-11.

Best: Arty is being touted as possible first round draft pick. His ability to run and catch sets him apart, with his football IQ making him above and beyond any other RB in the nation. Beavs feed him. Rips off 153 yards, 223 all purpose. Luton throws 2 TD’s on 5 passes. Jack Colletto running the OSU version of QB power, adds 2 TD’s on the ground. ASU keeps it close but Beavs squeak out a victory.

28-24.

WSU:

Worst: Good vibe on this Friday night in Corvallis. Halfway through the year and with a week of stabilization, OSU looks primed for an upset of the #22 Cougars. WSU starting QB gets knocked out first play by helmet to helmet from Jalen Moore. Unfortunately Moore is kicked out for game and next. A walk on QB torches the OSU secondary. But Conor Blount replacing Jake Luton won’t have another loss. He comes out of his fake medical redshirt, throws 4 TD’s, 300 yard second half, similar to another walk on QB. Game ends the same as that one did though, Niner goes for two but the slant to Jesiah Irish is knocked down by Desmond Trufant IV.

We lose 31-30.

Best: Mike Leach proclaims “Ryan Nall is so much better than Arty.”

You can guess what ensues. Arty officially cracks the top 5 Hesiman vote.

Adam Soesman is lost for the season with bruised thigh… go figure.

We win 27-14.

Bye Week:

Worst: JS investigation into punching former RB Arty ends, OSU is fined $5 million. Must ad back the “ad” section of the replay video board with Beaver Blitz advertisements. Oregonian is promised a full section. Dedicates it to “routine” background check information. Pat Casey has a stroke and dies. OSU women’s BB loses Destiny Slocum and Kat Tudor to season ending injuries. Scott Barnes receives community service award.

Best: Isiah Rutherford tweets out “Another stick!” The mystery builds on the recruiting trail. David Morris is cleared to play…

Cal:

Worst: Pre-game Beau Baldwin kisses Scott Barnes hand and says “thank you my savior,” as he smugly walks down the ramp from Gill. Phil yells “Hey Beau, I hate your name!” Cal gets out to a quick lead, their huge white RB having a game. Missed tackles plague defensive unit being coached by Cookus, prevent game is picked apart by the former Bear Raid. Beavs show fight as JS likes to call it, but it isn’t enough.

We lose 45-21.

Best: Fresh off being cleared during the bye week, David Morris has 3 picks, defense leads the charge and shuts out Cal for the first time Beau Baldwin has ever coached in any football game as any coach. Offense does what it needs to, Gus Lavaka retires due to “personal reasons.” JS says post game when asked about amazing defense: “Tim Tibesar is great coach. He just does the things Kevin Clune and Gary Andersen didn’t. Same players, different coach. Thanks guys.”

We win 24-0.

@ Colorado:

Worst: The Buffaloes are coming off a huge win against USC. Ralphie is running and it’s homecoming for Brian Lindgren. He loses it. Tries to get cute. Switches over the the “better quarterback who the coaches were saving all along” in Conor Blount permanently. Jake Luton shuts it down for the season. Blount breaks wrist on zone-read running into Jemar Jefferson’s biceps. Jack Colletto comes in and looks like Braxton Brumiester. That’s bad FYI. Goes 2-17 for 8 yard and 2 picks. Buffaloes silence the momentum that Niner thought he had built with losses…

We lose 29-7.

Best: College GameDay appears in Boulder. Buffaloes are undefeated, Beavs at 6-1, already bowl eligible. Phil holds sign on GameDay: “Ucks Suck” Gets a laugh from Kirk and the boys. Ryan Simmons is the guest picker for GameDay as it started a new tradition of picking someone from a random city and state every week and it happened to be Redmond, Oregon. Simmons declines because he has to play “worship” the next morning. Guest picker ends up being Young Life’s former head of Human Resources. She picks the Buffaloes. Corso asks why. Response: “They are mentally capable. I’m not sure OSU is.”

Niner addresses team with a calmness like no other. Ends with: “FU$$ THIS ELEVATION!” TV station forgets to pre watch recording…

Luton having a solid season already, steals the show. Arty gets concussion in first quarter, knocked out for rest of game. Luton completes passes to 9 different receivers, Champ houses kick return to put the game out of reach late. JS proves he can adapt on the fly with an aerial assault. Isiah Smalls catches his 4th TD of the season, sets ball on top of pile of sticks on sideline. Makes ESPN Sunday morning. Simmons misses clip because of “worship.”

We win 28-19.

USC:

Worst: After a drubbing at Colorado, JS gets put on blast by the same Beaver Blitz crew who praised him. Says he has “lost the team and they aren’t having fun.”

Niner goes on the offensive. Literally. Jack Colletto being so bad that he gets kicked off the team mid game, Niner being a new coach and all thinks the new redshirt rule applied to him in college so he trots out for his 5th year. Throws 4 TD’s, can’t see over the O-Line still and the defense causes a few turnovers. USC can’t play in Corvallis…still! Beavs pull a massive upset, but the NCAA opens investigation into Niner literally playing QB and winning the game. Says it will take a year to resolve if it was legal or not. Niner claims he has been taking meds that make him think he is someone else… Uses same attorney as earlier in the year to fight case.

We win 31-26.

Best: It’s a black out in Corvallis. USC at 7-1. OSU at 7-1. Both coming off big wins respectively. Beavs come out of the tunnel to O-State Ballaz and Jeff Van Orsow and Greg Layborn lead the charge with a 10 foot log signed by each member of the 2007 and 2009 football teams that beat USC. The turns out to be a barn burner. Back and forth we go. Tie ball game heading into half. Niner calls Mike Riley on phone who is at this 4th home in San Antonio preparing for his fake NFL 3 month league… “Mike, I can’t shake these guys!” Response: “Then run ’em over Jonathan!”

The Beavers proceed to run the ball 39 out of 41 plays in the second half, including the last 30 plays straight. Niner turns the game into a grind. Timmy Hernandez out there making crack-black blocks on defensive ends. Clayton York’s cousin leading the way at fullback. OSU goes full jumbo at one point with Elu Aydon and Kalani Vakamaleo at TE’s. David Shaw watches film for pleasure…

We win 27-21.

@ Stanford:

Worst: Stanford doesn’t throw a pass. Runs 92 plays. Elu plays 3 plays. Fans throw their books on the field at Stanford stadium because they are bored. Game mercifully ends. OSU loses OLB commit Omar Speights. Sights “change of heart.” Andrew Nemec tweets about it. Speights upgraded to 5-star prospect. Tosh Lupoi flys to CV game vs CHS…

We lose 31-0.

Best: Power against Power. Billed as the RB show down of the century with Heisman front runner Bryce Love against runner up Artavias Pierce. Both have already eclipsed the 1200 yard mark on the season. Arty with 30 more catches and 3 more TD’s but Love with 300 more rushing yards. Both backs go for 149 but it’s the 149th yard that counts the most for Arty as he punches it in from one yard out on an inside zone behind Elu at full back to win the game in overtime.

We win 35-31 in OT.

@ Washington:

Worst: Sitting at 2-8, Niner tricks the media into believing they can finish 4-8. The sentiment is: “Well if Gary could do it, I can.” Canzano writes article detailing Smith’s involvement in abusing Arty and how Arty has recovered by running for 1539 yard and 30 TD’s for UO in 9 games… Danny Moran provides editing and sourcing for story. Game is an absolute blood bath for Niner and company. Aidan Willard is the starting QB with Matthew Tago as the emergency back-up. Kee Whetzel is lost for the season with broken arm, Isiah Hodgins torn ACL, Jalen Moore pre maturely declares for the NFL draft and Elu out for the year with “exhaustion.” The Beavs are depleted. Matthew Tago comes up with a pick and a sack. Brian Lindgren is seen laughing as he comes out of the press box. Niner says “trust the process and we will live in the hard.”

We lose 59-10.

Best: At 9-1 (7-0 in conference) and Washington at 9-1 (6-1) in conference, it is the first time ever that OSU has a chance to clinch the conference outright before the last game of the season. Tensions are high as Dawg fans are verbally abusing Niner pre-game wondering why Jake Browning never got any better during the 12 years he has played at UW. Niner doesn’t come out whole pre game on field. TV thinks he isn’t at stadium. No players warm up. No one can be found…

Orange smoke rises after the Dawg Pound quiets, an inflatable log seems to be holding the OSU players inside the smoke, Kee Whetzel leads the captains in front, they part like the Red Sea, and there is Niner in the Bobby Bruce Bunny Mask… Words can only show so much of this picture…

Timmy Hernandez scores twice early. Browning is on though…Myles Gaskin takes a screen pass to the house and Luton throws a late first half pick 6. UW leads 21-17 at half. The Dawg Pound trembles… Brian Lindgren needs a play… UW is stuffing Arty at the line so Lindgren dials up the perfect flea flicker and Luton throws a bomb on the pass back to Kolby Taylor streaking down the middle… Browning responds with a 12 play 88 yard TD drive. 28-24 heading into the 4th.

Beavs go three and out to start the 4th, Browning leads UW to another TD drive. Luton has the ball 8 minutes to go, down two scores. Screen pass to Arty and he spins off a defender, gets a blindside block from Trevon Bradford, Luton is leading leading Arty down the sideline like Sunshine in Remember the Titans. Get’s knocked out by UW safety. Arty scores though… Luton out for the game but Beavs only down one score. Defense forces a three and out and punt team takes the field. Beavs run a return reverse to non other then Champ Flemmings who was hidden behind Elu Aydon in the middle of the return team. He houses it for a TD for the Beavs first lead! BUT an offsides penalty by the nose tackle over the ball, gets it called back. 89 seconds to go, Beavs down 35-31 and need a TD. Niner inserts Jack Colletto instead of Conor Blount… Colletto shovel passes to Christian Wallace who then laterals back to Colletto and Colletto scampers for 42 yards to the Washington 5. Niner gets the play in, 6 seconds left. It’s a Timmy Hernandez WildCat Statue of Liberty to Arty and he gets the outside only to be stopped at the 2 by a UW linebacker. Game over. Coach Pete greats Niner at midfield and says: “Not my play against me…”

We lose 35-31.

*Ucks:

Worst: No comment.

We end season 2-10. Brian Lindgren leaves citing “stress issues.” Jake Cookus opens a donut shop in Eugene. Niner says he will stick it out… Now has to find new DC, OC, ST, and WR coach. With a depleted roster, Niner spends the summer working for free as the QB coach at Independence Community College where he runs into Simi Kuli playing D-End. Tristan Gebbia transfers there and gets signed the next year by UO. Smith returns to UW the next year as OC and says “OSU is impossible to resurrect. I have tried twice.” OSU hires Art Bryles. Mixed reactions from fans. Bob Lundeberg gets assigned to cover 2A 8 man football in Baker City. Gina Mizell gets hired as head of team Ideation at Oregon State. Scott Barnes gets contract extension and increases the fan experience committee to 50 people none of which are OSU grades. Cites “diversity.” Andy never comes back from Arizona, the rest of 35th and Jackson loses their jobs and are forced to work as redcoats. Scott Rueck leaves to be the coach at Baylor WBB. Kevin McGiven is hired as head football coach. Bruce Read is special teams consultant.

Best: With a win securing at least a tie for the Pac-12 North title, Niner locks himself and the team in the baseball teams “Omaha” room for 4 days leading up to the Civil War. “This is how champions are made.”

Beavs come out in all black unis for Mario’s funeral and honorary captains for game are Jacquizz Rodgers for OSU and John Boyett for UO. Jacquizz re-invents the bull doze of 2010… Boyett vaporizes into the November air… First play from scrimmage is a Isiah Hodgins slant that goes the distance. Justin Herbert gets knocked around by the Kee and Hamiclar who set the single season record for sacks with 18 each. David Morris picks off Herbert and knees the ball and just points at Mario Cristoballz… Beavs don’t have a third down on offense and Mario asks for Friday Night Tykes mercy rule…

We win 50-0.

UW loses on last second Hail Mary by Ortez Jenkins son at Arizona. Beavs win Pac-12 North outright. Play Utah in the championship. Gary doesn’t show. Neither does the Utah D-Line. Arty runs wild and finishes the regular season with 3429 all purpose yards and 41 total TD’s. Win’s the Heisman over Jake Luton. Niner wins coach of the year nationally and gets offer from Western Michigan. Turns it down. Kennesaw State offers $100 million over 4 years, JS says no. Beavs win Pac-12 championship. Play Wisconsin in Rose Bowl, beat Paul Chryst and the Badgers. Niner smiles and gets high five from his former OC. Beavs play Florida State in National Championship and blank Willie and boys 31-0. Niner says “the civil war ha ha ha ha.” Willie leaves to be the coach back at USF. Scott Frost takes FSU job. Mario Cristobal gets extended for life after a 6-6 season. Jim Leavitt vows to bring the “black shirts back” and accepts the HC job at Nebraska. Half of Cristoballz staff leaves, he wonders why… And finally, Isiah Rutherford tweets out “Dam built!” and simultaneously Michael Johnson Jr. decommits from Penn State and announces his commitment to OSU. States he was a silent commit and that “It just feels like home, it always has.”

Both scenarios are extremely likely to happen. Which one will it be???

Seahawks Update: Preseason reaches half way point.

FeaturedSeahawks Update: Preseason reaches half way point.

By Andy / PNW Sports

We are halfway through the ever painful tradition of preseason football. I shouldn’t be so down on it, as it is a good way to see what newcomers might contribute and sort out any position battles that may be up in the air. But even so, it does leave one longing for the real deal.

Through the first two games the Seahawks have had some good moments and some ugly ones. The roster is slowly starting to take shape (although there are big cuts still coming). After processing all that has happened over the last couple of weeks I’ve decided to share some of my thoughts and provide an update on the current state of the Seahawks.

Depth:

One of the main benefits of preseason football is that it allows teams to see just how deep they are? In the Pete Carrol era, depth has certainly been a strength. However with high roster turnover in the offseason, depth has to be a little bit of a concern for the 2018 Seahawks. The team definitely has young players who are capable of stepping up, but it might take a while for them to come along. Having bodies is one thing, but having a strong team requires a team full of guys that can come in and perform at a high level if a starter goes down.

Which leads me to my next aspect of the depth conversation. . . Injuries. Ailments are already starting to add up at this point. A lot of them aren’t thought to be too serious, but to have so many injuries this early on is certainly concerning. Perhaps the most concerning are two players who figure to be key contributors in Doug Baldwin and Rashaad Penny.

Right Tackle:

This position needs to be fixed. Germain Ifedi (now in year three) just isn’t a viable option as a starter. At some point the team needs to move on from the Ifedi experiment. I hear that he’s a hard worker and puts in the time, but the guy just isn’t a NFL starter. George Fant is someone I’d like to see get a shot, but at this point any type of shuffling along the line that helps get a better player at right tackle would be a good move. I want to believe that the coaches are going to put the five best guys on the field, but to this point, they haven’t. Let’s see if that changes this week.

Kicking and Punting:

Everything got sorted out in the “foot to ball” department. Jon Ryan was released this week after spending ten epic seasons with the Seahawks. I’m going to miss that guy. He really was a great punter, a pretty good athlete and an entertaining individual. Although, for being more athletic than most at his position, he did get blown up as much as any guy I can remember. The big three that come to mind involved him getting knocked into another dimension against the Bears on a punt return, the broken nose he suffered after trying to hurdle in the ten-below Wildcard game against the Vikings, and of course his 40+ yard dash against the Rams where he juggled the ball and then was practically beheaded. I’m not trying to be mean spirited. All of those things happened and were obviously memorable. But just to make up for it, who could forget his heroic touchdown pass that started the Seahawks furious rally against the Packers in the 2014 NFC Championship game? That throw on the run was a beauty!

Sorry, enough about Jon. He was cool, but it’s time to move on. Michael  Dickson ( the guy replacing Jon Ryan) is insanely good. I think he has a chance to become the best punter the league has ever seen. Not only can he casually bomb punts 60 yards with impressive hang time, he also can put a disgusting spin on the ball that opponents seem to have a hard time catching. When a punter is the MVP of a bowl game, you find a way to get him on your team. Pete and John did just that.

Ok now on to my favorite part of the whole thing. The Seahawks kicker will be Sebastian Janikowski. This is the kicker Seahawks fans deserve. He has been in the league for 19 years, is listed at 6’1″ 260 lbs and is still splitting the uprights at age 40. YES PLEASE! Even if he misses a few here and there, he’ll still be lightyears better than what we had to endure last year. The guy makes kicks. Simple as that. And I really like the thought of having the most unique kicker in football on the roster. He even wears the baggy sleeves!

Russell Wilson:

One quick note here: This team is screwed without Russell Wilson. I know most of you are smart enough to realize that, but yikes. If the team had to turn the keys over to Austin Davis or Alex McGough (though he threw some nice balls last week) I shutter to think what might happen. So here’s to hoping Russell somehow finds a way to play in every game, once again.

Bonus Thought:

I really haven’t thought about Earl Thomas much. I hope he shows up eventually as it would give this defense a much needed boost. I have a feeling he’s sort of feeling forgotten about at this point. I imagine it’s killing him to be away. I think Earl eventually caves and shows up.

Eyes on the Hawks: Five things to watch for as preseason football gets underway.

FeaturedEyes on the Hawks: Five things to watch for as preseason football gets underway.

By Andy / PNW Sports

If you’re a Seahawks fan reading this, you’re probably wondering what in the world we’ve been doing for the better part of a year. Yes, we are supposed to be covering all things sports in the Pacific Northwest and the Seahawks are a major part of that landscape. However, I failed you. I’m just going to own it. I haven’t given you the coverage and content you deserve (all 3 of you).

So I’m here to make amends. Let’s get this season started out right. Im going to give you a quick rundown of five things to watch for as the Seahawks take the field for their first preseason game against the Colts tomorrow evening.

  1. Offensive Line– Tomorrow isn’t going to tell the whole story, but I would hope we see some encouraging signs for the big fellas up front. It starts with them. They need to give Russell more time than a quick “one two step” (yes that was a shameless Ciara reference) on pass plays and they need to make holes big enough for some of these young running backs to “level up” (oh, there I go again). The unit returns a healthy Duane Brown at left tackle, Ethan Pocic and DJ Fluker at the guards and Justin Britt at center. Oh yeah, as of now the human penalty flag, with feet ever submerged in concrete, Germain Ifedi will get the nod at right tackle. I don’t say that to be overly harsh. I hope he is a new player this year. I just want to see him be smart and show progress. If he doesn’t, expect a very short leash this season. I like George Fant to take over the right tackle spot at some point this season. It all begins tomorrow for a unit that just wasn’t good enough a year ago.
  2. The young secondary- I’m excited for these guys. The Legion of Boom is gone. It was the gold standard and an era we’ll never forget. But it’s time to start anew. I want to see young and hungry this season rather than old and disgruntled. Shaquill Griffin showed flashes last year, but he now faces a new challenge of sliding into the number one corner spot. It’s a task I believe he’s up for, but there may be some growing pains along the way. Aside from Griffin the other established player in the secondary is Bradley McDougald. His versatility is a huge asset for this team as he can play both strong and free safety positions. After those two guys, the secondary is a bit of a question mark. Keep an eye out for who seizes the moment tomorrow and weeks to come. At corner I’ll be looking to see who challenges incumbent starter, Byron Maxwell. I like Tre Flowers and Justin Coleman to be hot on Maxwell’s heels for reps. Coleman will play a lot in the slot regardless, but I think the guy has the capability to be a hard nosed defender on the outside too. It will also be important to see who pushes for the free safety position while Earl Thomas continues his hold out. Some popular names so far in came have been Tedric Thompson and Delano Hill.
  3. Kicking and Punting– I can’t believe I’m including this, but this will be one of the more interesting things to watch throughout preseason. Who wins the kicking battle between 40 year old,  Sebastian Janikowski and 4th year pro Jason Myers? Janikowski has a long, decorated resume, but can he still kick at a consistent high level? That remains to be seen. I just want to see someone who is better than Blair Walsh. At punter we have fan favorite, Jon Ryan and 5th round pick Michael Dickson. A good ol’ fashioned Canadian, Aussie showdown. Truthfully, it looks as though the Seahawks feel like it’s time to move on from Ryan or else they wouldn’t have drafted a punter. But you have to hand it to Jon for going down swinging and forcing the Seahawks to stick to to the “Always Compete” standard. Speaking of Dickson, that dude has some insane film. He could change the punting game forever. I think he’ll be a huge weapon for the next ten-plus years.
  4. New Coaches– Pete Carroll cleaned house last winter. See you later Tom Cable, Darrell Bevell and Kris Richard. Nice to meet you, Mike Solari and Brian Schottenheimer. Welcome back, Ken Norton Jr. Having that many new coaches on a staff is a big deal. I think the shake up was for the best, but it will be very interesting to see how the team performs with new blood on the sidelines.
  5. How close are we to flag football?– Everyone was panicking after the Hall of Fame game a week ago. I didn’t see much other than some of the highlights. I am definitely concerened as to where the future of football is headed, but I’m going to wait and see before I hit the panic button for 2018. Oftentimes, the officials call things much tighter in preseason as they try to emphasize rule changes. If these ticky-tack calls are still drawing flags in week three of the regular season, I’ll be concerned. I’ll be interested to see how tomorrow nights game is officiated.
  • Go Hawks!

Calm Before the Storm: 2018 OSU Football Overview; Fall Camp

FeaturedCalm Before the Storm: 2018 OSU Football Overview; Fall Camp

By Con

Fall camp is upon us. The weather is turning already, thanks Oregon…I walked into work today with a morning mist on my face and a breeze in the air. The time has come. The Return.

This will be some quick comments and overview of each position group and key players to watch out for. Let us know your thoughts and what you are looking out for or want us to report on more.

Offense: We will be watching the  creativity and play calling closely. Coaches are preaching: “we will do what fits our personnel.” However, we don’t know and I don’t know if the coaches know what that means yet. With questions on our o-line, will OSU be able to run the ball? Protect the passer? It all starts up front. A good o-line can hide a lot of other issues and make everyone better. However, it can go the other way just as easily with a bad one.

QB: Our pick to start is Jake Luton, but end of the year Conor Blount. I don’t see JS being afraid to yank a guy after a few games or mid game. Despite what other reporters say, Luton is NOT a statue behind the line. He can scramble a bit. Not like Blount but he isn’t inept. Will be interesting how much read option game OSU really runs. See JS at UW…basically ran a fake read option with Jake Browning for the past three years and Browning maybe kept the ball 5 times a year and still produced. Luton could be in that same mold. Blount seems to be a gamer and a gun slinger. Luton safer pick but Blount could be the playmaker and leader the offense needs.

Grade: C

RB: Arty has this locked up and for good reason. Seems like a stouter Yvenson Benard. Look for him to have a big year and many touches out of the backfield and carries. JS has also mentioned Calvin Tyler consistently as someone to look out for. Kick returns, third downs Tyler could showcase. Chrisitian Wallace wildcat package. Mark my words.

Grade: A-

WR: Timmy, Trevon and Hodgins look like locks to start. Kolby Taylor will be a regular guy and can go over the middle and take a hit. Has been mentioned by JS many times. Champ Flemmings will be used in different packages, Tino Allen on kick returns and punts. Walk on Andre Bodden is a stud and big time special teams contributor who could get some time. Mentioned by coaches a handful of times. Need a QB to get these guys the ball on time and in the right place. Watch out if that happens…

Grade: B

TE: Help us. Togai returns but is crazy overrated. Can’t stay on the field with injuries and has not proven to be consistent at all. He gets the praise because it has been years since OSU has had a solid tight end for multiple years. Quin Smith could make an impact here as a reliable, Colby Prince type option. JS commented how much OSU just needs bodies at this position. Isiah Smalls will have the opportunity, see if he takes it.

Grade: C-

OL: So many question marks and yes experienced players but not Pac-12 caliber proven! Blake Brandel will be a stud, but one great OL hardly can carry a Power 5 O-line. Center position is wide open. Lavaka way out of shape, hopefully Jim M. can work his magic. Look for #65 Onesimus Clarke to grab a spot. He was promising as a redshirt, has gotten in shape and has some stuff. Jim M. is high on Hawaii transfer Kipper, but he must sit out. #55 Keli’i Montibon JC transfer last year was praised. Looks to be in great shape and athletic.

Grade: D

Special Teams Return/Kicker: 

Jordan Choukair should be an honorable mention all Pac-12 player. Tino Allen, Trevon Bradford, Calvin Tyler, Christian Wallace, Champ Flemmings all in the mix for return touches. Look for Calvin Tyler on kickoffs as primary option. Coverage on kickoffs should be interesting with the new redshirt rule. I want Matthew Tago running down as wedge buster. Our boy Kee will be on it no doubt. Andre Bodden, Trajon Cotton, Omar Hicks-Onu, Jordan Gregory, DeShon Wilson are some names to watch on kick coverage.

Grade: B+

Defense: Tim T. seems like a guy with a plan to get FAST guys on the field. Sideline to sideline coverage has been a GLARING issue for OSU since 2007 defense led by Derrick Doggett, Joey LaRouqe and Alan Darlin at LB’s that carried OSU. Key will be to make this defense simple. Players connected to PNW Sports Fans harped for years how Mark Banker had more than 2,000 plays in the defensive playbook, Kalani Sitake wasn’t organized and Kevin Clune refused to send blitz packages or trust guys to make plays. The common theme with every coach according to players was too complex of systems where guys didn’t know the right plays or places to be and were too concerned with learning them instead of playing free, fast and fiery. Will be interesting to see the pressure Tim T. cooks up for QB’s. I think the last time OSU landed a real sack on first contact and solid hit was back when Robo Duck existed down south…

DL: ELU HOW DO YOU WEIGH 380 POUNDS??? MORE THAN 40 POUNDS FROM 2017??? DIDNT KNOW HUMAN LET ALONE A D1 FOOTBALL PLAYER COULD ACHIEVE THAT AND STILL MOVE.

On a real note, Kalani V. seems to have one DL position locked down and JC transfer Jeromy R. another. Walk on, RS Frosh Jalean Bush will make an impact ala Slade Norris in 2007. He can get off the edge, is long and can hold his own physically. Other then those 3 guys, so many unproven, D-1 questionable guys. I am sure Tim T. knows this could be an issue and will play MANY 2 down lineman packages.

Grade: D-

LB: Looks to be athletically in good shape here. Shemar Smith, Doug T. and Jonathan Willis will man the inside positions. Willis must show leadership here or he will get pulled out. Matthew Tago might be candidate inside or outside. Emony Robinson could contribute on special teams or in rotation.

Kee Whetzel will anchor us outside. He is fast, strong and sideline to sideline cover. Brings the juice and dance on top of that. He will be a candidate for All Pac-12 award if OSU turns in a solid defensive year. Hamiclar Rashed will not be far behind. He is a little bigger then Whetzel but brings it. Look for him and Kee to be dancing in some backfields this year. Bring back the pat down please. Andrzej Hughes-Murray will get plenty of time. True frosh John McCartan and Isiah Tufaga could get some looks. Both have been mentioned by coaches as body ready for this season. Look for nickel packages to be brought in a lot to get best defensive guys on the field at a much deeper position at DB.

Grade: B

DB: Even with the loss of Xavier Crawford, OSU looks to be in decent shape at DB. David Morris, Jalen Moore, Omar Hicks-Onu, Jeffrey Manning are great candidates at safety and nickle positions. Morris should have strong year and Jalen Moore could get some great attention heading into his senior year next year. At corner, Dwayne Williams when healthy is a great option, Shawn Wilson, undersized but a fighter, Jay Irvine could be big. PNW has their eye on two guys that could be great corners for OSU for a long time… Isiah Dunn and frosh DeShon Wilson. Dunn has GREAT instincts and sticks guys right after the catch and in space. Fights well with his hands and has good size. DeShon Wilson has brought the stuff from Day 1 of spring ball. He is a true freshmen with a senior’s body. Has the size and speed to be a great corner for OSU. Would have probably played regardless of new redshirt rule this year. We will be watching both those guys closely not just on defense but for years to come as team guys and leaders.

Grade: B-

Special Teams Punting/Coverage

Alex Bland our would be starting punter just left school. That leaves walk on Daniel Rodreguiz as likely starter. DO NOT OVERLOOK THIS POSITION. Remember when the ghost of Kyle Loomis haunted OSU punting for three straight years until Johnny Hekker saved us? Alexis Serna god bless his soul, tried but was put in a bad spot and it HURT OSU and caused so many field position battles to be lost and put defense in bad spots. OSU cannot afford that this year if they want to be competitive.

Coverage looks to be solid with Andre Bodden, Jalen Moore, Matthew Tago, Shemar Smith, Drew Kell, Jaydon Grant and Justin Gardner some names to look out for on punts. OSU has always been solid in their coverage game with some big hitters and limiting returns on punts and kicks.

Grade: C+

Coaching will be the difference instantly if OSU is competitive this year. With virtually the same roster and arguably and uptick in effort based on who is starting, it will be a good gage to evaluate this coaching staff. Do players quit? Give up in games? Play one half? Do coaches drop unknown F-Bombs in their last press conference as a head coach? YEAH LOOK IT UP GARY ANDERSEN POST GAME VS USC WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT MISSED FIELD GOALS…

Should be an interesting year. Go Beavs.

Monday Morning Update from PNW Crew

FeaturedMonday Morning Update from PNW Crew

By Con/PNW Sports Fans

The team as been MIA. We apologize. But what is there to really write about? Neil Olshey sucking for the third straight year? Summer MLB baseball; YAWN. Pac-12 media day? Meh.

At PNW we are still on the euphoria of shutting down TD Ameritrade, having a chariot pick us up for our victory parade in downtown Omaha towards an authentic Cuban cigar lounge. Who has it better then us in college baseball? Answer: No one!

In the next few days we will be coming out with a few previews for Seahawks 2018, OSU football fall camp and whatever Brian Braught can drum up.

As always, our info will be detailed, fans perspective, realistic and always free to everyone. We are die-hards who believe in coverage that is accurate and detailed that other die-hards will appreciate the overall picture of each program and team we cover vs the paid stuff you get or the local things that are written by people who don’t even like those teams or some unpaid high school journalist. Looking at you Danny Moran.

That being said, any suggestions or questions are ALWAYS welcomed and wanted to improve our coverage or assess certain positions or questions about players specifically. Reach out to us on twitter or our personal lives if you know… you know…

PNW Sports Fans

Notes from Omaha: Day 3

FeaturedNotes from Omaha: Day 3

Day three was an interesting one to say the least. The main story is that the Beavers didn’t play very good ball and as a consequence are down 0-1 in the series. However, the good news is this club plays well when things are bleak. After all, that’s how they got to this point.

Let’s dive in:

  • We left the hotel around noon to get some much needed air and kill time before we got in line for admission. The place we went was a sports bar that was out of wings. Not good.
  • As you can see above, Connor said no to sunscreen and yes to the worst scorching of his life.
  • From there we walked to stand in line. There were far more people today. Instead of being in the first 150, we were probably 1,000 people deep. But being as resourceful as we are, we still managed to get to our spot above the left field bullpen.
  • Some Arkansas fans tried to say they had the entire row reserved. We told them what we thought of that and sat down anyway. Apparently they don’t understand how general admission works.
  • Then we proceeded to watch that entire row of hogs fans embarrass themselves for the next 9 innings.
  • They say that SEC sports fans are the most passionate. I have to disagree there. They are just the most unhealthy. We knew more about Arkansas through research than half of the fans we talked to. And they were semi surprised we knew every player on our roster.
  • One intoxicated woo boy was particularly annoying as he thought he was hilarious yelling a Nobach in left. The problem was nobody knew who “Kall” was. That southern accent just wouldn’t allow him to pronounce Kyle. So that was fun.
  • There were a lot of fans using the word “boy” when yelling down at the Beaver bullpen. And let me tell you, it definitely carries some creepy, racially charged undertones from the past with it. It doesn’t matter who your talking to or how you use it, when you stay stuff like, “we’re coming for you, boy!” It sounds pretty weird.
  • The stadium was silent when the Beavs took a 1-0 lead. Razorback fans are easily rattled.
  • To the contrary, they could not figure out why Con and I were laughing and joking the whole time even down 4-1. As usual we had the most fun at the park. Again, SEC fans aren’t as hard core as they’d like you to believe. One dude left in the 7th to beat traffic.
  • To the game. Luke was dealing for 4 innings and we really thought this would be the game he put it all together. Unfortunately he ended up losing command again and that hurt us.
  • Christian Chamberlin was lights out in relief. I love watching that kid pitch. He doesn’t flinch even when he’s up against in. He kept the Beavs within striking distance with a jaw dropping, 11 strikeouts. Glad we get to watch him for two more years.
  • The bats were actually pretty lively, they just couldn’t get runs across. Only coming up with 1 run on 9 hits is really what did the Beavs in tonight. However, not all of that was within their control. That interference call with Adley at second base was an absolute joke. The biggest disgrace of that was the fact that Larnach, who scored on the play had to go back to third. They were trying to turn two, so he would have made it home even if there wasn’t “interference.” So a run came off of the board there. Then when Grenier hit a ball down the line it was initially ruled foul. Kwan was on first and would’ve came around to score and Grenier would’ve been at second easily, if not third. Another run off of the board. That was pretty frustrating.
  • That was kind of the extent of what happened in the game. Tough loss but far from over
  • Arkansas fans were shocked when the NCAA didn’t hand them the championship trophy post game. They are so confident they are going to sweep. Looking forward to the Beavs taking the next two and ripping their hearts out.
  • Praise the Lord, we only booked this Saw themed hotel through Wednesday. Tomorrow we get to move to a place that promises to be nicer. How could it be any worse?
  • Oregon State has its back up against the wall. But it seems like that’s where this team is most comfortable.
  • Tomorrow is a new day.
  • We are working on finding a translator for tomorrow’s game. Other than pig sooie and swear words, we have no idea what is coming out of their mouths. The dialogue out here makes Last Chance U seem like it was shot on Harvard’s campus.
  • Despite the result, we had an incredible time at the park tonight. Awesome atmosphere and perfect weather. Baseball doesn’t get much better than this.
  • We give them a hard time and there are some real scum bags out here, but I should note there are also plenty of nice Arkansas fans. Both days in the ticket line, we’ve met some great people. For whatever reason, once inside, we haven’t had the privilege of sitting by any. Instead we had a guy who told me how bad our reliever was (Chamberlin). I pointed out that he actually had 11 strikeouts and he seemed to accept that as a valid argument.
  • So tomorrow, let’s hope we get to sit by some good fans in red. Or maybe not? Winning two straight might be more entertaining that way.
  • Time for bed and one more night of trying not to have nightmares about what has taken place in this room.
Featured

Notes from Omaha: Day 2

We survived night one. I mean that quite literally between some rough Lyft rides and the things I mentioned regarding our hotel last night.

Here’s the updates we have to share:

  • Our Lyft driver last night was navigating off of his phone that was laying across his lap. I was praying as we zig-zagged down the road.
  • Got some 98 cent shower flops at Wal-Mart. Best purchase I’ve ever made. It takes me back to my days in Finley Hall.
  • Woke up to rain (some foreshadowing).
  • American Airlines had some weird glitch where the prices of their flights playfully bounced back and forth, fluctuating by as much as $200 within seconds. That’s a fun game to play while looking for flights home. I think we have one figured out for Thursday.
  • Got to the stadium at 2pm to stand in line for GA seating. We were behind a group of friendly Razorback fans. Friendly, but very confident.
  • Haven’t played a game yet and have already listened to about 100 hog calls.
  • We managed to be some of the first 150 people in the park. We had front row seats above the left field bullpen.
  • Some severely simple Arkansas fans were saying terrible things to Luke when he was warming up. Several old Beaver fans were ready to jump them, I threw in a few insults that I’m fairly certain they couldn’t understand.
  • Here’s where it got good. Freshman, Kevin Abel just stared that whole group down. He said something to them, but I couldn’t make out exactly what. That crew got pretty quiet after that. But it was cool to see how tight knit that crew is. With that attitude, I want Abel on our football team. Respect to him.
  • One Arkansas fan came over to apologize for the stupidity of the people in his section. Nice guy.
  • Meanwhile it was a gorgeous evening, but the game was sent into a delay due to the possibility of a major storm. We were baffled as it looked to be a great night for baseball.
  • 5pm turned to 6, then to 7. Approximately 15 minutes after 7, it hit! Lightning strikes were all over. The rain picked up and it felt like being in a hurricane on a fishing boat for a several minutes. The field quickly puddled up with water.
  • That Thursday flight? Yeah, we just cancelled and got one for Friday.
  • About 7:45 they officially called it. Game 1 will take place tomorrow evening at 4pm PST, 6pm CT.
  • We’re off to grab some pizza and avoid the hotel for a few hours.
Featured

CWS Preview

Braught / PNW Staff

Wow! What a fun College World Series it has been. The Beaver’s two Ace’s have looked awful and far too many errors have been committed but that hasn’t mattered as the both the bullpen and offense have stepped up. Their is no quit in this team and I know half of the PNW crew never lost faith that we would be in the finals. Unfortunately, I am unable to make it to Omaha, as I have recently started a new job. But I know Con and Andy will shut TD Ameritrade down for me.

Usually when I begin researching for a new series, I look for common opponents. I did not expect to find as many but I was wrong. The Beavers and Razorbacks have had six common opponents thus far: Arizona, Cal Poly, San Diego, USC, LSU and Mississippi State.

The Razorbacks:

  • Beat Arizona 1–0
  • Lost to San Diego 7–6
  • Lost to Cal Poly 4-3
  • Won the series with USC two games to one
  • Lost the series to LSU
  • Were swept by Mississippi State in three games.

The Beavers:

  • Lost two of three to the Arizona in their early season hiccup.
  • Beat Cal Poly 16–7
  • Destroyed San Diego 23–6 & 19–6 in a late Monday and Tuesday season series
  • Won two of three from USC in late May
  • Destroyed LSU in the regionals.
  • Won two games versus Mississippi State to reach the CWS.

Altogether the Beavers went 10-3 and the Razorbacks were 4–8.

Some common pitchers in all those games are:

  • MSU’s Ethan Small, whom Arkansas got six hits and one run in six innings with six strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Beavers ran him off after 4.2 IP and seven hits for five earned runs.
  • Zach Hess of LSU went seven innings against Arkansas, giving up six hits, four walks, and four earned runs. The Beavs ran him off after 3.1 innings and eight earned runs on eight hits.
  • Kyle Hurt of USC threw seven innings against the Beavers giving up 10 hits and four runs. He threw 4.3 IP against the Arkansas giving up three hits, four walks, and one earned run.
  • Quentin Longrie of USC threw four innings against the Beavers giving up four hits, five walks, and four runs. He went 7.1 innings against the razorbacks giving up eight hits and two walks but only one earned run.

Take from those matchups as you wish.

From there, I usually begin to look at the pitchers that will be throwing. Mostly focused on starters but relievers/closers will catch my eye if they are dominate. At Oregon State we have been spoiled with killer pitchers for many years and usually other teams staff does not standout to me comparatively. But Arkansas’ does. They have legit arms.

Blaine Knight (13 – 0, 2.88 ERA) is their game one starter. The righty has thrown 106.1 innings this year and has a WHIP of 1.06 (!). He pounds the strike zone with his great command and batters only hit .226 against him. The knock on him has been his durability and is probably why he was not drafted until the third rd round. MLB Pipeline has his mid-90’s fastball graded out as a 60. His next best pitch is a slider / cutter at 55 and both a changeup and curveball graded out at a 50. A four-pitch mix with great command usually means dominance.

Game two starter will be Kacey Murphy ( 8-5, 3.16 ERA) who only threw 4.2 innings against Texas Tech in Omaha. The southpaw was the first pick on day three of the draft (11th rd) because of his command. Opponents are batting .222 against him and his WHIP is 1.04 . I was not able to find much on his mixes of pitches.

And if there is a game three, the Razorbacks will throw Isaiah Campbell (5 – 6, 4.12 ERA). The righty looked good on Friday against Florida when he gave up only two hits and two runs in five innings. He was the 109th best prospect by MLB Pipeline going into the draft but has not had the season he wanted after returning off shoulder surgery. He fell to the Angels in the 24th round. His WHIP is 1.38, which is still pretty good. Especially when you see that he has had 73K’s in 67.2 IP.

Two relievers stood out, Jake Reindl (3 -1, 2.87 ERA) and Barrett Loseke (4-2, 2.86). Opponents are hitting .191 against Barrett who was selected by the Yankees in the 17th round. Jake was selected one pick later and has an impressive 64Ks to 53.1IP.

And then I will begin to look at the other eight positions on the field. Defense is hard to gauge from stats (.972 fld%) and I usually rely on what others say there. I read that Dominic Fletcher in CF is very athletic and is a guy to keep an eye on. In terms of offense, this is quite evenly matched; which is not something I expect of many teams. Third basemen, Casey Martin, leads Arkansas with .357 average and a 1.013 OPS. Their second basemen, Carson Shaddy, has an OPS of 1.057 and a .335 batting average. Heaston Kjerstad, LF, and Eric Cole, RF and 4th rd pick, are hitting .337 and .325 respectively. As a team, they are hitting .302 on the season and are regarded as one of the top hitting teams.

And finally, how teams and players are performing recently is very important. Arkansas is quite rested compared to the Beavers because they have only played three games in Omaha. The centerfielder above, Dom Fletcher, and Casey Martin, are hitting .571 in Omaha.

Even though the Beavers have played five games in eight days, their two aces have not thrown well at all, and Kwan may not be able to play, I still think the Beavers are the favorites. The few Vegas lines I was able to find also feel the same way, somewhere between -245 to -345 for OSU to win it all. The lineup is red hot, hitting .351 in Omaha and I have a hard time believing Heimlich and Fehmel each have three straight bad games. The Beavers are also Omaha experienced and are led by one of, if not, the best coaches. I strongly feel that Con and Andy will be flying back after having shut down TD Ameritrade with a National Championship.

Grace and Peace.

Featured

Beavs back in Omaha looking to finish what they started

By Andy / PNW Sports Fans

It seems like yesterday that the Beavers historic 2017 season came to an end in Omaha. But it didn’t conclude with the dogpile that had been seemingly written into the script months prior. A team that came to Omaha with just 4 losses on the season, was instead sent home from the doorstep of the championship series. How could this be? What happened? Greg Street couldn’t see an elephant if its trunk was touching his nose! The Beavs were a team of destiny! These thoughts among others raced through my head as my friends and I finished our beers in disgust at Prineville’s, Ochoco Brewing (Shoutout to them. Good food, good beer and they put the game on for us after a dusty day of softball.) We were supposed to embark on a cross country road trip the following morning to take in the championship series. But like the Beavers, the season didn’t end with us being where we’d hoped.

No matter how hard we tried to pinch ourselves, it was over. The best Oregon State baseball team to ever grace a diamond was coming back to Corvallis empty handed. It was a sobering couple of weeks. An all time great team wouldn’t be rewarded with the immortality it deserved. Instead it would be remembered as a great season that ultimately ended with thoughts of what could have been.

Fast forward a year to present day. Here we are. The Beavers are back in Omaha with a chance to start over and be remembered in a positive way (Hopefully John Canzano and the Oregonian see the irony). It won’t be easy. This field is stacked with blue bloods, immense talent, and teams that are incredibly tough outs. Oh, and the Washington Huskies will also be there.

A lot of familiar faces remain from last year’s squad. Nick Madrigal and Steven Kwan are back. Cadyn Grenier, Trevor Larnach, Adley Rutschman, and Bryce Fehmel are there too. Battle tested seniors Jack Anderson, Kyle Nobach and Luke Heimlich (who decided not to pitch last year because our society doesn’t truly believe in two sides to a story, rehabilitation, or second chances) will all be there. And of course, Pat Casey will be there donning the number 5 from a sun soaked dugout of TD Ameritrade Park.

Yes, much will be the same. But one key difference will be the repetitive muttering of a single word by both players and fans. “FINISH”! It’s a word Nick Madrigal and other leaders of the team have repeatedly used to describe the sole focus of this season. It’s the reason a customary dogpile was absent from an Omaha clinching celebration. And it is that word that will ultimately define the 2018 Beavers. It’s time to finish.

See you in Omaha!

3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

Featured3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

By Con

Monday edition of 3 quick hits on this glorious day in June.

Here we go.

1. Omaha

2. Omaha

3. Omaha

Need we say more??? We will…

1B. Omaha

What will it take this year? Pat has the boys throwing gas and playin’ fast. A great quote from him post-game Minnesota: “Omaha is no different in the actual game of baseball. I tell the guys, you have to pick it up and throw it when the ball comes to you and hit it when it’s thrown to you. Pretty simple. The game doesn’t change.”

Can we get an “amen” for Pat??? But seriously he has the Beavs firing on all cylinders right now. Bullpen is coming in to it’s own and the key in Omaha will be the same thing the Beavs did in this series: Grinding out at bats and wearing the opposing pitchers down.

I don’t have a stat for this but it seemed like every at bat OSU had against any Minnesota pitcher was going deep into counts and pitch counts. It was KEY in getting that freshmen gum smacker out of there as he looked all world the first time he faced OSU’s lineup. The Minnesota coach said it best: “It is hard and almost impossible to pitch well to that lineup for 9 innings. We didn’t do that.”

Lindsay Meggs and UNC watch out for the revenge tour. Contact LSU for details…

2B. Football Recruiting Weekend

HUGE weekend for Jonathan Smith and crew. 4 commitments Sunday night. Game changing 4 star DE/LB hybrid who will be locked in with a brother on the team already. The LB’s look rangy and sideline to sideline players. Hopefully, the 6’4″ receiver does better than our last one wearing #13… Momentum is building… Also Dr. Evil decommitting from the team down south… LOL!

3B. NBA Finals Comment

Houston with Chris Paul beats Warriors.

Dubs are still the champs though. No one likes Draymond still… LBJ about to pull a KD who pulled and LBJ originally.

Yawn.

Paging Neil Olshey: Do something.

Go Beavs.

Omaha, Omaha, Omaha.

Featured

Corvallis Regional Preview

By Andy /  PNW Sports Fans

Another regular season is in the books and it’s time to look ahead to playoff baseball in Corvallis. With a 44-10 (22-9 PAC 12) record, Oregon State earned the #3 overall national seed in the NCAA tournament, which means as long as they keep winning, they’ll keep playing at Goss, right up until the College World Series.

Aside from Oregon State, the Corvallis Regional will play host to LSU (who knocked the Beavs out in Omaha last year) San Diego State, and Northwestern State (Louisiana).

So with that information established, let’s breakdown the threat level each team poses in the regional:

*Threat level is determined on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being lowest threat, and 5 being the greatest possible threat.

Northwestern State Demons

Conference- Southland

Record- 37-22 (18-12)

Key Wins- Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, Southland Conference Tournament.

Threat Level- 2

Thoughts- While  the Demons are riding a  five game winning streak and coming off of a conference tournament title run, It’s important to remember that the level of competition in the Southland conference is not equivalent to what the Beavers faced all year in the Pac 12. While it’s true that any team in the tournament is capable of making a run, it would be a major letdown if the Beavs couldn’t get the regional started off with a win on Friday night. Northwestern State will play hard, but ultimately, there is too much talent in the Corvallis regional for the cinderella candidates to keep dancing.

San Diego State Aztecs

Conference- Mountain West

Record- 39-19 (18-12)

Key Wins-  Washington, Cal State Fullerton (twice), Mountain West Tournament.

Threat Level- 3

Thoughts- The Aztecs have proven they can play with anybody. They are coming off of their fifth conference title in six years and are not afraid of quality opponents. As a level 3 threat, I consider San Diego State a formidable foe. The only reason I don’t give them a 4 is because I really believe in this Oregon State squad. That, and the fact that the regional is within the friendly confines of Goss.

LSU Tigers

Conference- SEC

Record- 37-25 (15-15)

Key Wins- South Carolina, Arkansas (three times), Florida.

Threat Level- Midnight (that’s a joke for those that watch The Office) I’ll give them a 4.

Thoughts- Ah yes, LSU. I’m pretty sure everyone in Beaver Nation was “chomping” (funny, this is actually a commonly misused phrase. The original phrase is actually champing at the bit. You’re welcome.) at the bit. Anyway, everyone knows the history as LSU knocked an OSU team destined for a national title out of Omaha last season. Most fans are rightfully bitter about how that all went down. There was a foul ball debacle and a Greg Street malfunction, but when the dust settled, Oregon State didn’t emerge as champions. Having an opportunity to exact revenge is all this team could ask for. It won’t be easy as LSU has been playing good ball lately and has been tested in the rigorous SEC. Don’t be fooled by a 37-25 record. This team is elite when it wants to be. The one thing that gives me pause with LSU is their 4-14 road record. It’s easy to pile up wins with 10,000 Tigers fans backing you at Alex Box stadium, but this ball club hasn’t faired quite as well on the road against fellow elite competition.

This is going to be a wild regional. Truth be told, I think this group is pretty tough when looking at the pedigree of teams making the trek to Corvallis. The good news is if Oregon State survives the test, it will mean they are playing championship level baseball.

*Note for readers- OG PNW contributor, co founder, and friend to all, Braught will be at the games. Look for the handsome, slender man in the outfield finding creative ways to steal views. If he’s a little hesitant or shy at first, offer him a “coldie” (found out during the Stanford series that this is the term Pat Casey prefers). You’ll be glad you did.

Go Beavs!

3 Quick Hits; Weekend Warriors

Featured3 Quick Hits; Weekend Warriors

By Con / PNW Sports Fans

Here on another addition of 3 quick hits to start off your week. Our random thoughts and observations from any weekend activities.

1. OSU Baseball just misses sweep: While one of the PNW crew members is busy in the Basque country, an unlikely member was glued to the Oregon State baseball series vs Stanford this weekend. It was a pleasurable site watching OSU pound the Cardinal into submission game one and game two and to start game three. Then it all fell apart when frosh Kevin Abel walked 30 straight batters… Ok maybe not that many but you get the point. However, this does not put a damper on taking the series from your only competition in the Pac-12. OSU bats are FIRE right now. They will continue to be the rest of the season. The lineup is too good for any pitcher to get past. But the elusive Sunday starter still remains a mystery. We had faith in Abel as he had a few brilliant performances recently and with Grant Grambrell not being able to pitch effectively in t-ball right now,  Abel is one of our only options. We will see what Pat does. I prefer to try Brandon Eisert out as Sunday starter. He is more experienced then Abel and has proven the ability to keep his pitch count down and be semi consistent. We will see how this develops. Quote of the weekend from Steven Kwan regarding Pat Casey as a coach: “He’s the biggest motivator ever, the best coach I’ve ever had, but really hard to play for at first. He had the look that would bring you to your knees. That played into my self-doubts, made you think you’re the worst baseball player ever.”

GOD BLESS YOU PAT. NEVER CHANGE.

2. HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY??? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY?HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY?

PROOF THE NBA IS RIGGED. RIP DWANE CASEY THOUGH. Best record in FRANCHISE HISTORY and gets fired? LOL. Terry Stotts should retire then…

3. It’s a slow sports season…Braught what is happening with the Mariners? Oh yeah they suck again and over-committed to all fans and got everyone hyped about how good they were going to be and half their team is injured I guess. Oh and the Ichiro experiment? He is quickly to the front office…as what? Hopefully head translator so he can speak to the clone of himself he will bless the Mariners franchise with. Seriously, I am calling for a complete overhaul and dismantling of this franchise. A la the Florida Marlins except not with the slime ball Derek Jeter and with actual intelligence in trades and signings, not another MLB team working hard to make the Yankees better…

 

PS: Great job Wayne Tinkle for getting a midget point guard who can’t really shoot. So he will be slashing to the rim I guess at 5’5″??? Awesome strategy. But hey Nate Robinson is/was the ultimate OSU basketball killer…

 

2018 Spring “Game” Recap and Summer Preview

Featured2018 Spring “Game” Recap and Summer Preview

By Con

Well as other have reported this last week, the Oregon State spring “game” was not exactly that. It was a practice. A complete joke to be called a game. Now, through this the whole PNW crew and other contributors were in attendance and have some thoughts. However, we were all very disappointed as the advertisement by OSU was billed as a typical spring game and it was so far from that we are afraid it pushed some fans away.

One of the most boring experiences for the normal fan watching. And there were a few of them that left after 30 minutes of OSU doing strictly drills. Then 10 plays, then more drills.

We here love Jonathan Smith. Niner. The Return. Whatever you want to call the glorious 5’9″ walk-on from Glendale, CA. This spring game however was similar to the 2000 start OSU had with a 21-19 victory over lowly Eastern Washington which was no where near the caliber of team that they are now…but in JS defense, OSU isn’t that caliber of 2000 either…

Also, this is a DIRECT SHOT to the Oregon State marketing department: THANK YOU for finally taking the Victory through Valley 2016 banner down from the Valley Football Center. That is one thing you have excelled at in the past five years. That is the EXACT problem with you though. That is the ONLY thing you have excelled at in the past five years. The atmosphere at this spring game was TERRIBLE! Nothing to get anyone excited, no replays, no previews of upcoming season, NOTHING! There was one single drawing to win a season ticket for the year but at a pop up table from Walmart with a makeshift cardboard box… Seriously? I mean Benny wasn’t even in the dang place! A joke!

What else is the marketing department for athletics doing right now??? Men’s BB is on the brink of destruction and not in season, Pat is doing his thing and carrying OSU baseball to another juggernaut season and our most important team, WBB and Scott Rueck are busy getting a top-10 recruiting class and looking for ANOTHER Final Four appearance in 2018-2019… So AGAIN WTF IS THE OSU MARKETING DEPARTMENT DOING????????????????????????

Give me a towel. Give me a poster. Give a clear bag. I don’t care. Do something to engage this fan base that Gary Andersen is still destroying. Niner can do a lot of things but he cannot be the marketing department as well. It is sickening to look at how physically dirty the stadium is as well. Ever heard of power washing??? Pay me minimum wage and I am there to do it for you! Get some pride! But then again, no one in your department went to Oregon State so why would they have pride in the school????

RANT OVER ON THIS TOPIC FOR NOW!

Quick thoughts on the Spring “Game”:

-Conor Blount had a great day. As we reported at Dam City showcase, Colletto, Luton and Blount get the snaps. Blount did NOT have a good day at Dam City but rebounded and was by far the best QB. I think the thing that stood out was his timing. Most of the routes he completed were timing throws and fades where he hit a receiver in stride. Nice to see. Nothing is settled however, this will go into fall camp with Luton and Blount battling.

-Kee Whetzel all over the field as usual. Will be a STUD this Fall.

-Doug T looks promising as a rotation linebacker. As well as Shemar Smith.

-OSU is in trouble at the center position. One, Sumner Houston is still undersized and gets bullied. Two, it seems like no center on our roster can snap the ball consistently. Think UO in the Alamo Bowl… NEVER FORGET! But seriously it is troubling. There were about 5-6 just fumbles on snaps. Then about 50% of the snaps in general were low or at QB’s knees which throws off the time of everything. Ironic because the quitter, GA was a college center…

-No special teams full go work which was disappointing.

-Champ Flemmings still rocking it. He will be a huge part of the offense this fall.

-AP, Calvin Tyler and BJ Baylor look like a great mix up of RB’s. All solid players. Throw in Christian Wallace and OSU looks to be in good shape at RB. Crazy to think 3 players left from last year and they will still be in good shape with arguably more young talent incoming and starter not being “injured” every play where his ankle gets touched by a blade of turf.

-WR stepping up. Timmy Hernandez is going to have a Brandon Powers/Shane Morales type season. Look for Kolby Taylor to make some catches this year. Sturdy, good hands and can take a hit.

-TE pretty much non existent.

-DL looked ok. Hard to tell with lack of QB hitting, physicality at some points.

-A player who stood out in a huge way on the DL was former walk-on Jaelen Bush. #40. The dude is every part of 6’7″ and not a twig. Merle hear at PNW always sulks at the loss of former 6’7″ DE, Joah Robinett, but Bush looks like a similar player but plays with more leverage and is MUCH stronger. He ripped through countless O lineman to break up plays. His length is impressive and again seeing him up close, he has the strength and weight to compete this year. 3rd down pass rushing specialist in 2018 MINIMUM. Only a frosh.

Questions for Summer:

  1. Who really will put in work at QB? It feels like the QB competition will be settled between Luton and Blount. Both can sling it, some people claim Blount is “much more mobile” then Luton. People compare Luton’s mobility to Sean Mannion. That is a joke if I’ve ever heard one. The dude has enough mobility to escape the pocket and not be a statue. I would say Conor Blount is more athletic and faster when he escapes but overall same capability. I doubt OSU will be running much read option keepers with either. They cannot afford to have QB injury debacles a la the last 5 years. We think this battle will come down to intangibles like leadership and timing/chemistry with WR. Both are fine options for OSU.
  2. Will Bright ever be back on this team? So much for senior leadership. No one has reported on this for a while. Bright with proper coaching could be a force on the outside for OSU. Will be worth watching.
  3. Who will emerge as true frosh or RS frosh? Look for Jaelen Bush, Isiah Smalls, Champ Flemmings, Kolby Taylor, Jeffery Manning to name a few. It will be interesting what players that come in during the fall can make an immediate impact.
  4. Will coaches find QB for future? They need one. Simple as that. JS has many connections along with Riley. We assume the priority in this summer recruiting wise will be locking up a QB they can groom and develop.
  5. Does team speed and strength improve? People reporting that OSU defense is suddenly “playing faster” and “so much quicker” are FAKE NEWS. There is very little evidence of that. We saw players in the spring “game” look slow to be honest. This was a huge issue in the Andersen era. Brandon Arnold getting beat by a PSU WR who played QB in the same game was a sign… Will be interesting to see the speed of this team come fall and game situations. This has been glaring for a few years.

PLEASE OSU MARKETING COME UP WITH THINGS TO GET FANS ENGAGED. ITS NOT HARD.

PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. YOU WILL LOSE THE FANBASE BEFORE JS EVEN GETS STARTED.

Go Beavs.

Featured

Seahawks draft recap: No grades, just thoughts

The draft has come and gone and this is when all of the “experts” start handing out grades based on the picks all 32 teams made. That is probably one of the dumbest exercises I’ve ever heard of. It’s honesty just filler, because grading a team’s draft selections before they even set foot on a football field is a joke. Like I’m supposed to just accept the fact that one of the “draft analysts” at the big networks have a better idea of what a team should’ve done than the GM? It is such an idiotic practice to grade a draft as soon as the final pick is in. I’ll end the rant there, but as you can tell, the whole thing fires me up. As was evidenced by the Seahawks picks, teams draft to need and fit, not to what some stat nerd at ESPN had on their mock board.

So instead of draft grades, I’m just going to give you a brief summary on each player the Seahawks selected and what they bring to the table. If your looking for grades, maybe I’ll hand those out in 2020, when I actually have an idea of what this class is.

Rashaad Penny -RB San Diego State -Round 1 Pick 27

The Seahawks wasted no time making a statement in the 2018 draft. With the selection of Rashaad Penny in the first round, Pete Carroll and John Schneider told the wold that they   want to get back to their principles. This program was built on a run game and defense. Having Russell Wilson is what sets them over the top, but it makes his life much easier when they can run the ball.

Penny brings toughness and stability to a position group that desperately needs it. Some say drafting Penny in the first round is a stretch, but Pete and John got what they wanted. Throw on the tape and you’ll realize why they were so excited to land this guy. Penny never misses games, is a blend of power and speed, can catch the football, is a threat to score on every play, and is deadly in the return game.

I can’t wait to see this guy get on the field. He’ll have to earn his carries, but the potential is great. Penny, Carson, Davis, Prosise, and Mckissic? Yes please! Whoever emerges from that group will have earned their way onto the field and I expect to see a much improved ground attack in 2018.

Rasheem Greene – DE USC- Round 3 pick 15

This guy is an absolute beast. He wreaked havoc on every offensive line he faced. His athleticism makes him extremely versatile. I stated last week (right along with running back) that the defensive line needed some depth. Pete and John showed once again what they are committed to with this selection. I think this kid has a chance to make an impact immediately.

Will Dissly- TE Washington- Round 4 Pick 20

Sensing a theme here? Me too. Physical, punishing football. The Seahawks aren’t bringing Dissly in to be the next Jimmy Graham, This dude is a converted defensive lineman who wore number 98 throughout the entirety of his college career. Will is going to mix it up in the run game and be a nice frame for Wilson to throw too, Again, he’ll have to earn his way with veterans  Ed Dixon and Nick Vannett already on the roster. However, don’t be surprised to see all three on the field at once this season.

Shaquem Griffin- OLB Central Florida- Round 5- Pick 4

This was seemingly everyone’s favorite pick and for good reason. Chances are even the casual fan has heard of Shaquem Griffin. He was an All-American linebacker last season while helping UCF to an undefeated season.

But what most people know Griffin for is the fact that he accomplished those impressive feats with one hand. Shaquem had a nerve disorder as a child that caused him so much pain, doctors amputated his left hand when he was young. He overcame that setback and has become one of the best stories in sports.

A lot of teams overlooked Shaquem because of his missing appendage, which is great news for the Seahawks. Griffin is an absolute steal and is probably the hungriest player in this class. He is ready to show the world what he can do at the highest level. Griffin’s biggest asset is probably his quickness. He can move better than just about any linebacker you’ll find. I can’t wait to see this guy in action.

Oh yeah… his twin brother is cornerback, Shaquille Griffin. How cool is that? I can’t wait to see what these two accomplish together.

Tre Flowers- S Oklahoma State- Round 5- Pick 9

Tre flowers was a nice pickup for the Seahawks in the 5th round. He is very solid in coverage which is why some people think the Seahawks will ultimately move him to corner. Either way, this kid has a good frame, can run and plays each snap like he’s on a mission.

Michael Dickson- P Texas- Round 5- Pick 12

That’s not a typo. The Seahawks did in fact draft a punter in the first round. I know, I about spit my beer out at Flattail Brewing (Go Beavs!) when I saw the pick come in. But hang with me for a second. This is perhaps the most insane punter I’ve ever seen at the collegiate level. He booms the ball and can seriously manipulate spin and bounce better than anyone i’ve ever seen. If you’re still furious, I totally understand. It’s a punter, it just feels wrong. All you need to know about Dickson is that he won the Ray Guy Award, declared early ( yes a punter that came out early) and was named MVP in the Longhorn’s Bowl victory. Take a deep breath.

Jamarco Jones- OT Ohio State- Round 5- Pick 31

I can practically hear the murmurs of “what about the offensive line?” from my couch as I type this. Don’t forget that the Seahawks traded their second round pick to the Texans in exchange for Duane Brown. Brown will probably sign an extension at some point this year, so think of him as the Seahawks drafting a pro bowl caliber left tackle in the second round. Justin Britt is steadily entrenched at center, Ethan Pocic and DJ Fluker will fill in the guard spots, and the team will get George Fant back who will probably take over at right tackle. So that just leaves Seattle with the task of filling in with depth. Jamarco Jones will provide that and could be a solid player down the road.

Jake Martin- OLB Temple- Round 6- Pick 12

Martin comes to the Seahawks as a bit of a project. Honestly I haven’t heard much about him or watched film extensively. However I know the Seahawks wouldn’t have selected him unless they thought he could come in and compete. Who knows? Maybe this is the next unknown commodity to become a star on this defense. We’ll see.

Alex McGough- QB Florida International – Round 7- Pick 2

Other then being a fun name to say, Alex McGough brings some good attributes to the table. A fiery competitor is the first thing that jumps out to me when watching this QB play. He plays each down like it’s his last. Sometimes you have to keep your emotions in check as a QB, so while I think his attitude is a positive trait it’s also something to watch.

McGough is also pretty athletic and shows the ability to throw on the run and also pick up yards on the ground. The Seahawks like having a QB that’s a threat with both his arm and legs. Though far from polished, I think McGough will be a good camp arm to have and could push Austin Davis for the back up spot come August.

Pete and John got their guys:

It’s obvious to me that the Seahawks were looking to regain their identity in this draft. Who knows how all of these guys will pan out. But one thing is certain; this is going to be a hard nosed physical football team, once again built on defense and running the ball.

I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal.

Go Hawks!

3 Quick Hits: Portland Trail Blazers Summer

Featured3 Quick Hits: Portland Trail Blazers Summer

By Con

This is a new series we will be starting where every Monday we will post 3 quick hits about a topic of the PNW teams we cover.

It could range from today the Blazers to the Hillsboro Hops. To 3 “sports” talk radio hosts that suck. Who knows. All we know is Chad Doing is the best post-game sports radio host every to grace planet earth.

Today it’s the team that ripped our hearts out. Got us pumped. Then went on vacation. Don’t know if we can even call it a “no-show” that sounds generous. What the heck happened to the Portland Trail Blazers??? Well a lot of people have written about it. But we are here to hit the “burning” topic of summer with this team…

  1. Draft Night and Neil. What in the heck will Portland do come draft night? Will Neil Olshey be off picking daisies like Meyers Leonard? Or fir trees like Lillard for our foundation? Or will Neil be picking nothing but his buyout of his contract? The Blazers have the 24th pick this summer, 24th picks of past years for teams include:

-Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (yeah exactly)

-Tyus Jones

-Shabazz Napier

-Tim Hardaway Jr.

-Reggie Jackson

-Serge Ibaka

-Rudy Fernandez

-Brian Cook

So as you can see let’s just call it unknown. Now Neil has discussed a lot of “options” for this team that include draft picks and trades…NOT FREE AGENCY.

But how can you talk about free agency when you have the most incredible track record in free agency with Meyers Leonard and Evan Turner being corner stone signings? Yeah… 😦

2. Free Agents: Who Stays? Nurkic, Ed Davis, Planet Pat and Shabazz will be up in free agency. Restricted or not, there is no way we can see Portland keeping Shabazz. He played himself into a bigger contract in the middle of last season and what can he do that Wade Baldwin can’t provide? I know Baldwin can provide defense needed on guards in the West. Shabazz just isn’t worth it.

Nurkic should resign for around Meyers Leonard money. Yeah that just got typed. That would be a solid deal for Portland as they would keep a developing big man who shows decent promise and remember folks, has had only ONE minor knee surgery and is still 23… There just aren’t other options out there unless a trade comes up.

Ed Davis endeared himself to us. God bless him. We need more of him. Please Ed when you read this because this article will be everywhere in about 890 years, please remember that you resigned with us until you retire. Ed is 28 this year.

Planet Pat should be a keeper if Olshey is. He has history of falling in love with his draft picks but Pat is a solid bench player who has only gotten better and could be a great piece moving forward.

3. Zach Collins Development. Will Zach take the next step? He is already well ahead of schedule and can’t even drink yet. Some people have thrown out that he could be our starting 4. Making Aminu or Harkless expendable in a trade deal. News flash we are NEVER going to get a trade offer for Turner that isn’t breaking up CJ and Dame. Alas, back to Zach. He showed great hunger, hustle and offensive skill that was a huge surprise to most. He had the defensive end length and will just need to add strength. But the key for him this summer will be his post up game and body. If the post up game improves with the same trajectory his shooting has, Rip City, we are in for a treat for years to come…

RIP CITY. GOD BLESS CHAD DOING.

OSU Football Spring Game Preview: 8 Things We Will Be Watching

FeaturedOSU Football Spring Game Preview: 8 Things We Will Be Watching

By Con

Like the title says, we will be watching these 8 things closely at the Oregon State Spring Game that kicks off at 1:00 pm at Reser, Saturday April 28th. And unlike the throw away newspaper written by *Morons* up north, we will actually be watching more things that have to do with football and not attendance. Seriously???

Back to sensible talk… These are in no way in order of importance.

  1. Key plays/wrinkles/style of Jonathan Smith’s offense.  This will be huge to see what the pace, style, blocking schemes, pass/run ratio, small wrinkles are going forward with the new “up-tempo pro-style” attack that Smith plans on running. Obviously a spring game isn’t going to show all of their stuff but we think Smith genuinely will be testing out players that he thinks can make an impact early as well as packages. He has noted this multiple times during press conferences and post practice interviews as really trying to find the identity of the team and who the play-makers are and how to adapt his offense around the personnel he has.
  2. Special Teams. Something the previous coach of OSU was supposed to be known for and emphasize was special teams. This proved to be as blatant of a lie as the Victory Through Valley Fall 2016 banner still flying in 2018. Does anyone remember us going offsides on multiple kicks and one or two onside kicks that we RECOVERED? Only to be called offsides and negated???? FUN! We are looking for details. Details in blocking, gunners going full speed down the field looking to kill a return man, explosiveness from the returners, and overall who might be a few studs to make an impact on special teams early in their careers or just this year. Think Gerard Lawson. His CB downs he played for OSU were atrocious. Yet he literally made a living in the NFL for multiple years because he played every special teams coverage and return and went head hunting.
  3. Wide Receivers. All in all the WR position has been filled with “potential” and never lived up to any hype or consistency for OSU in the past years since Brandin Cooks. This unit needs to impact the game. Great WR can help out an inexperienced or mediocre QB. There are good players in this group and young players. Who will step up?
  4. Linebackers. In the past 15 years, OSU has produced some incredible linebackers that run sideline to sideline and can hit to drive ball carriers back. However, it has been a long time since we have seen an LB at OSU chase down a guy on the edge, hit a guy and have him actually go backwards not pull him for 3 more positive yards. Also, this is the new DC’s former position he coached and arguably our most proven coach, Trent Bray’s group. What type of player will we see? Hair on fire or cement shoes?
  5. QB Reps/Strengths and Weaknesses. This is an obvious one and the position is between three players. JC transfer Jack Colletto, Conor Blount and Jake Luton. We will be watching the skills of each as the coaches have said they are all different. We especially will be watching for one thing, team leadership and command of group. Our head coach was a quiet leader on the field but when he talked people listened and he had excellent command of the offense.
  6. Christian Wallace, Jeremy Roichner, DeShon Wilson, Calvin Tyler, Trajon Cotton, Doug T., Isiah Smalls and Alex Blanch. All players in important positions or rolls that have something to prove. Either we have noticed them, they have been talked about, JC transfer, you name it. These players are a little under the radar to some but we will be watching their every move.
  7. Defensive Line. Will OSU get a sack in their first 5 games in 2018? Who knows. This is self explanatory. The D-Line must step up this year and certain players and the depth isn’t there to just shuffle in new bodies.
  8. Which freshmen will make early impact? Both true and redshirts. Thinking about the Kolby Taylor’s, Isiah Smalls, DeShon Wilson’s of the world. We will be watching which ones are going hard but also trying to get on the field ANY possible way. It has been stated that every position is up for grabs, prove it!

Go Beavs.

RIP Victory Through Valley 2016 Banner.

Featured

NFL Draft: Five things for Seahawks fans to watch for

field-sport-ball-america.jpgBy Andy / PNW Sports Fans

The 2018 NFL Draft gets underway this Thursday at 5pm PT at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. There is no shortage of storylines heading into this year’s spectacle. As usual, all eyes are on the young quarterbacks and a few other eye popping playmakers. For Seahawks fans, the draft is intriguing for different reasons. For us, the intrigue comes from wondering what unknown gem Pete Carroll and John Schneider will find. Although the last few years have been a little disappointing, I think we might be staring down the barrel of another legendary draft for Seattle’s dynamic duo.

Here are five things for Seahawks fans to watch for heading into Thursday:

Will the Seahawks actually draft someone at 18?

The Seahawks are slotted to have the 18th overall pick in the first round. For anyone who has followed the team more than a couple of years, it feels like a forgone conclusion that the they might be looking to trade back to secure more picks. According to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com , the last time the Seahawks used their original first round pick was 2011 when they selected James Carpenter. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see the Seahawks once again trade back in favor of securing more picks, especially considering the fact that the team doesn’t have a second or a third round pick. That being said, Pete and John are always predictably unpredictable.

Biggest Needs

This one might seem obvious given how horrendous the offensive line has been. While the line needs to be addressed, it’s far from the only position group that would benefit from reinforcements.

The Seahawks could also use some fresh bodies on the other side of the trenches. With the departure of Michael Bennett and the probable medical retirement of Cliff Avril, the Seahawks will be leaning heavily on Frank Clark. If the Seahawks want to get a consistent pass rush, they’ll need to add edge depth that can play meaningful snaps early.

Running back is also a need in this class. Sure, the line was bad, but the running backs weren’t doing a lot to help the big fellas out last year. I like that the team held on to Mike Davis for insurance and Chris Carson showed promise before getting injured. But the team can’t take any chances with a poor rushing attack in 2018.

Other positions of need? Look for additions at receiver, tight end and linebacker. A lot of you are probably screaming at me to include defensive backs on this list, but I actually really like the potential of the youngsters here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they’ll bring in some guys to compete, but I think some of the athletes from last year’s class have a chance to join Shaq Griffin in the starting backfield.

Is Earl staying?

Speaking of the secondary. . . The biggest question of the offseason has been whether or not Earl Thomas will be traded. I think the longer it goes, the less likely it is that Earl plays elsewhere in 2018. If that’s the case, I’d be thrilled. Unlike his former Legion of Boom teammates, Earl still seems to be playing at the top of his game. While his window of dominance might be gradually closing he is still a huge asset on the back end of that defense. Especially when you consider there will be several  young players fighting for snaps around him.

A deal could certainly go down on draft day, but with each passing day I feel better about the fact that the man I affectionately refer to as the human missile will be back with the team for another season.

Significance of this draft

Simply put, this draft is of major significance. The Pete and John legacy will either be cemented or softened depending on how the 2017 and 2018 classes pan out. They will either be remembered as orchestrating a great five year run and then fizzling out, or showing that they built a generational culture that continued to win for a decade plus.

We won’t be able to judge that for at least a couple of years, but these last two classes will  write history one way or another.

How to feel after it’s all wrapped up

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably walk away from this experience feeling somewhat indifferent. Sure, the draft is exciting and all, but it’s impossible to know what you got out of it until the season comes around. Sometimes you don’t know what you have for two or three seasons. No matter how much of an expert people claim to be, it’s impossible to perfectly predict how a class is going to mature. Chances are almost every player the Seahawks select will be a name you’ve never heard in your life. That’s just the way it is. Once the picks are in I’ll watch some film and get excited. But truthfully, the draft leaves me feeling a little empty.

Though the draft isn’t my favorite event on the sports calendar, it’s still of great importance for a franchise looking to get back to its principles. I’m excited for a clean slate in 2018 and a renewed hunger inside the Virgina Mason Athletic Center.

Go Hawks!

Mid Spring Ball Football Review April 14 Practice @ DamCity

FeaturedMid Spring Ball Football Review April 14 Practice @ DamCity

By Con

We were live and tweeting today at the DamCity event at Mountainside high school in Beaverton, Oregon watching OSU mid way through spring. Check our tweets for pretty much a play by play of the whole day. For now, we will just go over a general position group summary and some stand outs. This will not be comprehensive as DB position has so many injuries so you can’t see the actual standouts and other position groups weren’t watched as closely. Here we go:

General Vibe

-Jonathan Smith (JS) is very in control of this team. The delusional fans especially on twitter who think that Mike Riley is running the team, will take it over, is more involved than people think, etc. are just like we said DELUSIONAL. There is some video content that we posted and you can just tell MR is no where near the team other than his position group and honestly is just another one of the guys and coaches. Smith leads everything with no hesitation, and MR is NEVER next to him whispering, coaching, pointing or anything. He is literally with his position group all the time like a normal coach. Please stop spreading this narrative for those who are. It’s embarrassing and very *uckish honestly. Just stop.

Practice was crisp and fast paced. OSU uses MUCH more tackling dummies, pads, etc. than any coach or team I have seen in the past 20 years. There is always a purpose for each session they go through. No one is standing around acting like they don’t know what to do. Warm-ups are different, much more team oriented vs individual groups, same with post practice and special teams work. Also, JD pointed this out, every drill where a QB was throwing to a WR, kicker kicking FG, punting, blocking, etc. basically any drill where it was multiple position groups interacting, there were multiple things happening i.e. three QBs throwing to three different WR at once. Or two kickers kicking. Or 3 guys blocking 3 guys. NEVER just one on one and people watching. I love this because its all about the reps!

Now comes position reviews:

QB- 2 man race between Colletto and Luton. Blount got a few reps but those two got significantly more. We know the coaching staff has been mixing it up but it just seems that these two are at the top. They are also playing the most consistent.

Some outlets report how “good” Luton looks in the new offense. This is so OVERSTATED. Every QB is treading water with the new schemes and what not. Luton looks fine as far as injury is concerned. He does have good zip on ball. Still varying accuracy.

Colletto is spitting image of JS in college. A little taller but not by much. Has same “heave” delivery that JS had. More mobile, also wears number 9 ironically. Stocky though. Luton seems to be a bit ahead because he knows when to run and when to get out of the pocket. Colletto is still learning this as he got jumbled up a few times as the pocket collapsed.

Really, JS will build the offense around what he has. He has stated this so many times. If its Luton, he will try to spread the ball around and motion action. Colletto seems more of a solid runner, not fast but solid so you would see more true read option. Again, WAY too early to tell right now how good either will be but seems like its between them two.

RB: Artavis Pierce will be a stud this year. He looks bigger, faster and smarter. He just does everything right and is everything you want in a back that plays every down. He is the clear number one. No one else close. Likewise, Calvin Tyler, #23, is the clear number two and capable. He had some good goal line work and is pretty small so he does a good job of hiding behind the line and then exploding through like Bernard mastered. Can also catch out of the backfield. Him and AP are a great first back and capable back up.

Christian Wallace is a wild card here. He had a few carries, also a fumble. He looks fluid and like he is having fun at the position. He just looks happy which makes us happy. He will make a big impact on special teams if he embraces it and could be a big factor in return game. But barring injuries, doubt he plays much this year. He needs to work on pass blocking and just being solid at running, catching and blocking consistently. But so much potential. 2019 look for him to have a special package, all special teams work, maybe a wildcat. Who knows, that could be 2018 if he learns the plays and dedicates himself.

WR: One name to know and remember now: Champ Flemmings. He will be huge this year. Similar role to the legend James Rodgers his true frosh year. Flemmings looks solid in his body compared to last year he looked like he was 10. But it is clear that JS is looking for him to be involved in the offense in quick passes, screens, fly sweep pitches, etc. Anything to get him the ball in space. The dude is quick and just like Rodgers, hardly even gets hit because no one can touch him. Also has great hands and was returning punts. Although he dropped a few.

Timmy Hernandez will be a solid senior like Brandon Powers was. Isaiah Hodgins looks on a different level than all the WR. Both physically and mentally. He is BIG and looks much more comfortable in his second year with a coach that knows if he will be playing in games or not. He went down with a shoulder injury late in practice, stayed on field with no pads on and sling and ice. Seemed in good spirits. Great route runner as well and creates separation. But again, star of the day and future will be Flemmings. Kolby Taylor also looked solid over the middle on slants and after the catch. Very sturdy player.

It is great to see the knowledge of the coaching staff embracing quick passes, screens and slants that should be the bread and butter of an offense with quick guys and a mediocre QB at best. No diss on players but I love the way you can see the coaches building around their stronger players and just not even messing with their weaker positions.

TE: Like we just said above, doesn’t seem to be a strong position right now with Togai and Tuli out. We saw a grand total of ZERO passes thrown the TE way. Doesn’t mean they didn’t have their good plays through. Isaiah Smalls, true frosh, will absolutely play in 2018. He is smart and is picking up plays well. For example, the blocking schemes you can tell he is in the right place at the right time especially on WHAM blocks and outside pulling. This is encouraging. Also, number 45, our boy Ralph T, was first man up with the injuries. He looked solid blocking.

OL: First team = Yanni, Moore, Houston, Lavaka, Brandel. Don’t see that changing much unless someone else emerges as center. Lavaka, Brandel and Moore seem locked in. Yanni solid at OG. Houston is so suspect at center. He just isn’t that big and gets beat more than any other OL. Onesimus Clark looks the part but didn’t see much from him. Kammy Delp still not even in the conversation. All GA JC transfers are garbage. Will be a group to watch going forward if a younger guy emerges.

DL: First team = JC transfer Jermey R, Aydon, Kalani. Seems solid group. Jeremey R, has some nasty in him. A few scuffles and push after whistle. Love that. Didn’t watch this group much. Aydon up a lot in weight. Don’t know if thats a good thing. Seems like the DC scheme is for all 3 DL to take up blockers like a real 3-4 is run. Not Clunes version.

LB: First team = Kee, Doug T, Shemar Smith and Willis. I expect Bright if he comes back to be in this and Andrzej Hughes-Murray. Love Shemar Smith though. He is has gotten significantly bigger and all healed up from injury. Will be a rotation player. Kee Whetzel is LOCKED in to start. Dude brings the juice and energy and is fast enough to cover RB or a slot WR. Doug T looks like he could hold down the middle. Big dude. Think Alan Darlin.

DB: Hard to tell with so many injuries. Jalen Moore beefed up and flying all over. DeShon Wilson will probably burn his redshirt. Hits HARD and had a few at the scrimmage. Has speed as well. Has body to play right away on special teams. With Crawford, Irvine and Dwayne Williams all out, we could see Wilson as a nickel player and sub. Isiah Dunn has beefed up as well. Kaleb Hayes is a long rangy corner who made some plays as well. I am not worried about this unit at all. Morris will be back at the other safety and Trajon Cotton, Jeffery Manning will contribute. We have great long rangy cover athletes here. The most athletic I have seen a secondary.

Overall, didn’t watch D very closely. Was focusing on offense because of how bad they have been. Its hard to play defense even if you are Alabama when you have the most 3 and outs in the nation and score 10 points per game in the Pac-12. Defense seems they will be serviceable.

Special Teams: GET RID OF AUSSIE STYLE PUNTING NOW. NO ONE DOES THIS IN THE NFL. THAT SHOULD BE A SIGN. You are guaranteed a shank punt which can swing game honestly. This happened in the scrimmage a 15 yarder straight out of bounds. However, Alex Bland number 38 from Australia looks solid. Step up from the enigma of Probeski last year. Onto kicker. Jordan Choukair has a HUGE leg. He looks much more comfortable and involved then last year. Seemed like GA even though he would say opposite, didn’t give to craps about special teams. They can be a huge part of the game good or bad. You will notice. Group seems to be solid right now. Will be better in both Punter and Kicker then 2017.

The ONLY returners fielding punts today were Champ Flemmings and our boy Tino Allen. Both were a mixed bag. Still learning how to be consistent. Trevon Bradford was out today but was the only player close to the returners. Again its all about reps. I love that we have set three punt returners and that is all who take the reps. Not having 7 guys back there watching gives the 3 top guys double reps and experience and also has less guys watching at practice which is a theme in the JS era so far. No kickoffs were practiced besides a few kicks from the kickers with no coverage or returns.

Standouts: As discussed above, a few standouts from this practice;

-Champ Flemmings, WR. Great athlete. JS building some plays around him.

-DeShon Wilson, DB. Hard hitter and quick to ball. All over the field.

-Artavis Pierce, RB. Will be our workhorse RB.

-Isiah Smalls, TE. Actually looked the part for a just turned 18 year old. Smart player. Can split him out as well.

-Doug T, LB. Solid inside linebacker. Just big and strong. Could shore up the middle of the D that has been lacking for a while. All his hits and tackles pushed the ball carrier back, not him back.

-Jordan Choukair, K. Looks much improved and has big leg. Could be weapon this year. Also booted kickoffs with no coverage far. All his FG kicks continuously go “UP” vs straight on or line drive. A lot of lift to his kicks.

-Jonathan Smith, HC. The guy is just an encourager, high energy but not annoying and a leader. He is VERY involved on offense in almost every play. Trusts his coaches and the players listen when he talks.

See you at the spring game in two weeks.

PNW Crew

Hope

FeaturedHope

Hope.

It’s a wonderful thing and it’s all I have had since the beginning of the Tinkle era. But when their is hope in sports, their are questions. And I have had, and continue to have, numerous questions since Tinkle has taken over the basketball program.

Year one of Tinkle was a thrill. He (and GP2) somehow willed a team that had no business playing in the Pac-12 to a winning record. The team bought into Tinkle’s defense and executed a very smart coaching strategy (slow the game and limit offensive possessions). That team had to play Olaf and Jarmal 20 – 30 minutes a night. And every question can be answered by that.

Year 2. Our best ever recruiting class, a senior GP2, and Jarmal relinquished to only playing 14 minutes a game, led us to a NCAA tournament. Many of the following questions can be answered by playing freshmen and that Olaf/Jarmal were still active contributors.

Year 3. Everyone blames injuries for the 5-win season. Valid, but if you can get ’14-’15 team to win games, you can get this team to win more than 5 games. When times are hard, coaching will show. Questions in year 1 and 2, carry over year 3 and are beginning to show the real identity of this coaching staff.

Year 4. Off to an 8-4 start that could easily be 11-1 or 4-8 depending on the way you look at it (SOS is currently 310th). It’s a team that at the start of the season had FIVE 4-star talents starting. It’s a team that has the length and athleticism to defend and rebound with the best yet has the 187th DRtg, are 262nd in opponents 3P%, and are 248th in TRB with opponents at 35th. There offensive numbers aren’t much better besides being top 30 in 2P%. They are 319th in 3P%, 172nd in assists, and 100th in ORtg.

Defense and rebounding are a matter of coaching and will power! This team appears to be lacking both. If you watch closely, no one on defense, besides Big G, finds a man to put a body on. Many other times our bigs are too far under the basket to ever have a chance at the rebound. On defense, far too many times we play great D for 23 seconds of the shot clock, to only give up an easy look.

There are many questions and I am sure more will come to mind when I post this but see below for them.

What the heck do they do at practice?

This is an overarching question that can be teased out further below. Do they work on ball handling, not jumping for passes, defensive rotation, how to seal a man off for a rebound, etc? Because I do not see any of that in games.

Why does Tinkle insist on yelling and coaching every single possession?

Recently I saw a video of our new football defensive coordinator saying, “Practices are for coaches and games are for players.” I have heard this, or variations of it, many times from coaches. If during a game you must coach fundamentals or the game plan, you have failed in practice. Tinkle appears to be insistent on coaching during the game, yelling directly where players need to go, and calling out every single offensive possession. Not only is it annoying to watch, it instils in players that he does not trust them and causes them to second guess.

What is Tinkle’s offensive identity?

At least with Craig I knew what his offensive identity was, even if it looked nothing like the Princeton offensives I known. With Tinkle, I not know what he wants to achieve. And more specifically, the only play that comes to mind that I have liked, was a two man pick and roll with the bottom guy rolling off the top guy for a three. Tres has had success on that play. More specific questions below.

Why do we do not play in-out?

We have multiple guys that could do this, yet it never seems a priority. It’s unfathomable the number of times I have seen a big establish position and a guard not reward him. Currently Drew is shooting 68% but we still do not do this?

Why do we never run a high low action against a zone?

If you have ever watched a game with me, you have heard me rail on Tinkle’s zone offense for 4 years. We have the perfect antidote to a 2-3 zone in Tres but we never put him there. We will put twin towers in and still not run a high low action against the zone. What is this all about? Other questions regarding zone offense, why no use of the short corner? Why are they insistent on ball screens being done?

Why do we have zero inbounds plays?

If I had a dime for every time we inbounded the ball into the back court, I could buy courtside season tickets.

Why do we never put a man in the middle of the court when breaking a press?

Self-explanatory.

What happened to our zone defense?

The first years Tinkle was here, we played a variety of zone defenses and rarely were in man. The reasoning, we did not have the athletes nor depth to play man. But now we don’t go to it often enough. I believe it could be very effective with our lack of post depth and our length on the outside.

Why do we rarely, if ever, press?

Tinkle talked about depth and the goal of more transition buckets, but we never run a press.

Do they watch film?

I am dumbfounded at the number of times we have played right into our opponent’s strengths. A great example is in the Eastern Kentucky game. They had a guy that had not attempted a shot inside the 3pt line all season and we give up two 3pts right away? WHAT?!

Why have we not recruited a point guard?

It is obvious we have no real point guard on this team. Even with Jaqouri, we lacked a consistent ball handler and leader. Yet our 2018 recruiting class is 3 guys over 6’10”? According to 24/7, we didn’t even offer a PG. What is that all about? Also, should I trust their evaluations of PGs? I mean Ronnie is not a Power 5 D1 PG?

After the next couple of games, listen to post conference. Does Tinkle make excuses? Does he begin to temper expectations? More often than not that is what I hear and I could tolerate the first couple of years. But year 4? Everything is yours. You own it all. No more excuses. You show what you are made of.

I am still unsure if Tinkle is the man to lead us into the next level. He has yet to show us a fundamentally sound team. He has not shown us that he believes he can win here. Now is the time to prove you deserve this position.

Featured image from the Pac-12 Network

 

“I’m not mad, just disappointed…”

Featured“I’m not mad, just disappointed…”

By JD

Well, the crew has given me the keys to the site, so it’s time for my first post. It seems only fitting that it is in reaction to yet another early season meltdown by the Beavs. On Saturday, I had that sinking feeling that I have witnessed no fewer than a hundred times in my life of being a Beaver fan. Every year I think things will change. Every year, I have the hope that THIS is the year we will finally break out and are mentally tough enough to claim a victory (or at least keep the game close!) in one of these out-of-conference road games. Alas, even with the regime change from Riley to GA, the results stay the same.

If I had written this post on Saturday or Sunday, it would have been pretty much a long-winded rant. I had so much hope going into this game and this season, but that second half took it out of me. I was ready to vent. However, thanks to the guidance of the ever calm, cool, and collected Con, I was advised to take a more positive approach. After a good day-and-a-half of cooling off, I am ready. I like to think of this as the “good dad” approach. I’m not going to gloss over what went wrong, but I’m going to follow what went wrong with positives/areas of improvement. Just as this is the best way to raise a child, I believe this is the best (and most sane) way to try and be a Beaver fan. If you get over-the-top upset at each of these games, it’s going to be a long, miserable life.

Jake Luton

-What went wrong: It was quite the roller coaster day for Jake. It started out with the return of “Live Arm!” I thought this would be done and gone with Garretson off the field, but unfortunately not. After sailing it over Hodgins when he had a wide open TD on the opening drive, he proceeded to sail a couple more passes before making the safest throw ever to make sure he didn’t do it again to a WIDE OPEN Timmy Hernandez (I commented real-time that even Con could have thrown that TD). Things went well for the most part after that, until the back foot throws came out. If I am not mistaken, each of his picks came off of his back foot when there was pressure. I’m no QB (except for a few glorious year in Oregon State IM’s), but I know that is exactly what you are taught NOT to do (unless you are amazing like Aaron Rodgers). They were also usually thrown into double coverage, which adds to the recipe for disaster. That pick-six essentially ended the game.

Positives: As we heard from camp, Jake can make all the throws with ease. It’s nice to see someone who can sling the ball again. He doesn’t have to put all of his body into just throwing a slant route to the outside. While he did sail a few at the beginning, he settled in nicely and was quite accurate on his mid-range passes. There were some nicely thrown timing routes (the timing was on for those routes about 50% of the time, but to be expected for his first game). He does have a great connection with Togiai, which was on full display all game. His scrambling ability was very impressive. Numerous times he was able to avoid a costly sack and throw the ball away to save a drive. The most impressive plays on the day were by far the two TD’s to Togiai (yes I said two, because that’s what it was, despite what any garbage replay official says). The scramble to get to the sideline, and then the beautiful sidearm sling perfectly thrown so Togiai could come down in bounds with it. The wheel route to Togiai was a perfectly placed over the shoulder so that Beaverton HS alum (shoutout) Even Colorito couldn’t get to it. I expect Jake to improve in the decision-making department because, in terms of skill, he is what we have been sorely missing since the departure of Mannion.

Defensive Front Seven

-What went wrong: Everything… For most games this would be an exaggeration, but this may be pretty accurate. What was the most disappointing in this was that the two veteran leaders of the defense, Bright and Manase, had pretty terrible games. Bright was over-matched all day. He was continuously getting destroyed on outside run plays. He would kind of seal the outside, but would get blown back toward the sideline so much that his outside contain wasn’t worth much. He just kind of folded to the blocker and didn’t hold his ground. I noticed one time he was tired of getting destroyed attempting to keep contain, and instead jumped inside the blocker. This resulted in a 30-or-so yard touchdown run on that play. Manase seemed to take poor angles a good chunk of the game. What was worse were his multiple blatant missed tackles. The most embarrassing was on the fourth down play where he came up and kind of whiffed on the QB, allowing him to get the first down. Manase came up off the ground doing the “didn’t get it” crossing the arms back and forth motion when coming off the ground, only to notice that he did indeed get the first down. The last thing overall was the lack of effort in the second half. It seemed like the defense kind of gave up, which is pathetic. I get that the offense didn’t do you any favors, but you can at least finish the game out and keep from embarrassing yourself.

-Positives: Titus Failaluga was a bright spot on the day. He was getting after it, and had our only negative yardage play of the day. He was going so hard that he cramped up, got taken off on a cart, rode the bike for a few minutes, and then got back in the game. More players need to follow his example. There was also the perfect hit by Hughes-Murray that took all the wind out of the QB and resulted in a pick. We need more plays like that to get the 30 sacks and 30 turnovers GA wants this season.

For Bright and Manase, I think it may just be the “first game syndrome” (I just coined that). Remember how many missed tackles Bright had in the first game last year? I couldn’t even keep track of them. He went on from there to have a great season (before injury), so I think he will get it together and be one of our best defenders. We know Manase is legit. After the game, he talked about how the communication was poor on defense. As the leader of the defense trying to make all the calls and adjustments, maybe he was thinking too much instead of just playing. As he gets more comfortable with the calls and schemes, I believe he will get back to his old self. Another thing here: I hate making excuses, but the heat, altitude, and time of possession did look to take their toll on this unit. I don’t know why we agreed to move this game to August, but it looks like a huge mistake now. I hope that bye week in September is worth it!

Play Calling

-What went wrong: The play calling/RB substitutions seemed suspect most of the game. We finished last season steamrolling people on the ground, while throwing when necessary to keep the other team from stacking the box too much. This game deviated a lot from that strategy, especially in the second half. I get throwing more because they are loading up against the run, but completely abandoning the run game? We weren’t getting the greatest YPC (except for Nall being Nall on the TD), but it’s all a part of wearing them down and winning time of possession. It is by far our strength, so even if the other team tries to take it away, we shouldn’t just give up so easily. Our defense kept having to come back on the field with little to no rest in that second half, which compounded their failures. I think part of the reason for this is we were running spread option plays with Luton! He is not a threat to keep the ball at all, so those plays are totally worthless and destined for failure because the only way they even work are if the defense has to play the QB honest. We need to change the running calls with the QB we have this year, which seems obvious. When we do pass, why do we have to throw 40 yard bombs into double coverage? The short to mid-range passing game was working well, but we seemed to stray away from it for some reason in the 2nd half. Part of that is Luton’s decision-making, but, as GA says, the coaches need to put the players in positions to succeed. Also, as Con pointed out on Twitter, a few RB screens might be a better idea than the ones to Bradford and Hawkins that were total failures (or even the legendary tight end middle screen).

Another troubling part of the offensive coaching was the RB substitutions. There were LONG stretches of the game where Nall didn’t sniff the field. He is by far our best player. That is unacceptable! The TD came after he was out for like an entire quarter, so no wonder he was so jacked and ready to run. I understand getting him rest, especially with all the great backs we have, but why do they have to go with only one back per possession? It gets them all more involved, warm, and focused on the game if the substitutions are quicker and more regular. I hope this trend doesn’t continue. Nall needs his carries!

PS: No more fly sweeps to people who don’t know how to run in traffic.

PS, PS: Why the heck aren’t we going for it on 4 and 4 when it is a 52 yard field goal from the hash? We should have run Nall on third and fourth down and get those four yards.

-Positives: Our mid-range passing game was effective. It can definitely get better, but we picked up major chunks of yards and got key first downs with the 8-12 yard crossing routes and outs. I also loved the Ryan Nall wheel route. He catches better in traffic than most of our receivers! Another positive was the focus on Togiai. We need to keep feeding him (despite his unfortunate fumble) because he is currently our best receiver, and linebackers are no match for him, as we saw on Saturday. We also converted a third and short with a run (what a concept), thanks to Nall taking upon himself to make it to the marker. I think the coaches will (hopefully) look at what worked and what didn’t and game-plan accordingly. There were things that were working on offense, and Nall is still Nall. The Beavs just need to focus on those good things and remember what their strengths are.

O-Line

-What went wrong: As with Luton, it was a very up-and-down day for the O-Line. The real negative was the inability to get a great push up front for the running backs. There were multiple times where the running back was met in the backfield right after receiving the hand-off. The running backs were doing their best, and made the most of openings, but there was not a ton to be had throughout the day. There were also times were we got overpowered in pass-protection and let Jake get pressured into a bad throw.

Positives: I was very pleased with the pass protection in the first half. It seemed like Jake had all day to throw and had a huge pocket, which led to success. I’m thinking that fatigue caught up with them in the second half, especially as we stopped running as much and the defense could pin its ears back and go full out pass rush. Even still, we only gave up one sack on the day, which is solid. There were flashes of opening up holes in the run game. Nall’s run (obviously), but there were a few nice Pierce runs, and a Tyner run as well where there was actually some space to work.

DB’s

-What went wrong: My issues were with the huge cushions and the blown assignments. As a PAC 12 team against a MWC team, it was sad to see the huge cushions we were giving most of the game. They could throw a 5-yard slant/out/hook any time they wanted with ease. As a team that is supposed to have better athletes, that was unfortunate to see. It seems like it was kind of necessary too, because we still got beat deep multiple times. However, I do think that was mostly due to the second issue: blown assignments. The key 3rd down we gave up in the fourth quarter, the almost touchdown where the QB overthrew Gallup, and the walk-in touchdown on the crossing route all looked to be caused by missed assignments (especially by safeties) There is no reason for the safety to be behind a receiver in the middle of the field. On the 3rd down and almost TD, it looked like Moore realized he was out of place and kind of threw up his hands in frustration after each play. After the game, Crawford talked about communication and missed assignments (probably related to the 3rd down play where he had no safety help) as being a huge factor. One more thing I would like to see is getting off blocks better. The WR screen passes were way too effective, and there was one TD in the 4th quarter where the DB’s got ran-off and then blocked into the end zone for an easy score.

-Positives: We did get a pick (should have been two Brandon Arnold) which is somewhat of a good sign. Interceptions have been few and far between the past few seasons, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come. The safeties seemed to tackle better and give bigger hits than the LB’s on Saturday. It’s never good when your safeties are leading your team in tackles, but it is good to know that they are there, take good angles, and won’t give up big runs.

Atta-boys

Time to give some extra props to what went well on Saturday:

-Vitamin J is alive! He had good hands all day, seemed to be running pretty crisp routes, and was more of the Villamin we saw two years ago. Still needs to work on timing routes with Jake, but there were some well executed ones on Saturday. Looking to see his resurrection continue as we progress through the season, which will be a huge key to success.

speaking of keys…

-Kee Whetzel was playing with a purpose. There was one kickoff where he absolutely destroyed someone. It reminded me of Brandon Arnold a few seasons ago. He also got in on quite a few plays on defense. He is someone I know is not going to give up and will go hard every play.

-Loved seeing Trevorris Johnson as our 2-minute offense pass-blocking specialist. He did a great job picking up rushers, and even caught a key pass on the end-of-the-half TOUCHDOWN drive.

-Ryan Nall, of course.

-Sumner Houston: Didn’t notice any bad snaps or weird snap count procedural penalties. Great job for his first college game at center after switching from defense over the summer.

-Seth Collins was as fired up as ever on the sidelines even though he was hurt. Love seeing him lead with energy, and can’t wait to have him back.

 

Well, I will be watching next week’s game on DVR because my sister is getting married and all the family is in town. Hopefully it will be more of a pleasant experience with many more positives than this week.

It was still only the first game. No reason to give up hope yet! If we play like this in week 9 or 10, then I will be worried. For now, let’s all channel positivity and constructive criticism towards the Beavs so we don’t have to suffer through another long, painful season.

Go Beavs

-JD

Sunday Night/Monday Morning Film Session: OSU @ CSU

FeaturedSunday Night/Monday Morning Film Session: OSU @ CSU

By Con

New series we will be starting this season. We have decided to take in the latest game for OSU for a day, scour the internet for reviews of game and then conduct our own film session Sunday afternoon/night and Monday morning to provide our readers with musings.

Sunday morning usually is a lot of overreacting by all; positive and negative; so we feel the extra day gets the right mindset.

Game Theme: Third downs and quick changes.

The OSU offense and defense were too out of sink. The offense seemed like it would randomly do an on screen quick change popular in dancing and leave the defense with being on the field just too long. This is a stat PNW will be tracking the whole season.

Out of the 15 possessions OSU had on offense, 8 of them resulted in a quick change to the defense. Less than 1:30 taken off the clock and mostly 3 and outs. We also did not count the Ryan Nall 1 play drive.

This cannot happen on the road, in altitude with an opponent who has a top 25 offense. It’s more than 50% of the drives are virtually worthless. That need to be 25%.

This caused so much mental and physical stress on the defense, they just could not keep up.

The first half, the Beavers sustained drives, had TONS of third down conversions and limited the Rams on offense enough. Second half not so much.

Third Down Offense: 

Beavs were a quality 10/16 on third downs. The problem under this stat is this:

Out of the 16 third downs, 10 were 3rd and 6 or more. Only once out of the other 6 third downs under 6 yards did the Beavs not convert. That is an improvement from 2016. However, you simply cannot expect an offense to convert 3rd and 8, 3rd and 10 consistently. Play calling didn’t help. Shallow routes or RB dumps were available but not taken. Throwing on first and second down incomplete doesn’t help either.

Key Plays You Might Have Forgotten: 

+Right after the Bradford fumble, the D held strong and held to a FG. This could have been way worse.

+Luton escaped pressure many times. In fact, he was only TOUCHED by a defensive player behind the line 6 total times in the game. Pass pro is way ahead of 2016.

-4th and 1 Third Quarter: Rams driving on FIRST drive of second half and a 4th and 1 play action pass, Manase Hungalu whiffs on chance to take QB down on rollout, Rams go on and get a FG. Different ball game if the D comes out of halftime and stuffs Rams.

-Right after ^^^ this play, Brandon Arnold misses a layup interception and possible huge return in the end zone.

-3rd and 6 Fourth Quarter: Beavs just scored TD, Rams about to stall out and Xavier Crawford burned on a deep route and incredible catch with QB getting hit. Great catch but would have been another change if D holds.

5 Random Key Stats: 

  1. Third quarter scoring: 10-0 CSU. OSU continues to be done in by 3rd quarters.
  2. As mentioned above, Jake Luton was TOUCHED 6 times by CSU defenders behind the line.
  3. 11 counted and reasonable missed TFL’s by OSU defense.
  4. 3rd quater offense: 1 third down conversion, 2 INT. Not good.
  5. Andersen stated: 60% run plays, 40% pass as a goal. 47 pass plays. 29 runs. Ironically that is 61.8% pass plays… Hmmmm.

Final Thought: 

This all being said, so much overreaction by OSU’s honestly pathetic fan base. Some say 1-11, others say fire Andersen… Are you kidding me??? Cupboard was beyond bare just 2.5 years ago. Andersen’s recruits are all 19 and 20 and sophomores at best.

We finally have a playmaker at QB both positive and negative but no longer a game manger.

Yes we got out-physicalled in the end by CSU but PNW will go on record, CSU will go 10-2. They are a well coached team by all SEC rooted coaches. Senior QB with poise.

Calm down delusional Beaver fans, the sky is not falling. Still hope for 6 wins. That is the original expectation. Go Beavs.

 

Best Case/Worst Case: 2017 Beaver Football Preview

FeaturedBest Case/Worst Case: 2017 Beaver Football Preview

By Con/PNW

A nod to the Ted Miller. Previously ESPN.

Here we will run our best case/worst case scenario for the 2017 Oregon State Football season. All very real possibilities but extreme in both cases. Enjoy.

@ Colorado State:

Worst: Jake Luton gets messed up like Minnesota in 2016 with Darrell Garretson and we don’t run the ball enough as usual.

We lose 24-20.

Best: We hurt CSU like we hurt Utah 10 years ago and our defense doms and we just pound the crap out of the run game.

We win 20-10.

PSU:

We win.

Minnesota:

Worst: PJ rows his damn boat straight through beaver dam and we got out physicaled. Luton gets killed by that same defensive end that killed DG. DG comes in, almost leads comeback but pass batted down by d end on last drive. We lose 28-24.

Best: We get in PJ’s head and he throws his boat oar at us pre game. Their D end gets ejected for hitting Thomas Tyner high. Seth Collins throws punch and also gets ejected. We romper stomp them and Luton catches fire for 5 TD passes. 2 to Quintino Allen in Collins stead.

We win 49-17.

WSU:

Worst: Luton hurt so leading up we mind eff Leach and don’t announce starter. DG starts. Throws for 400 yards in shootout. We have full on QB controversy. He slings it like he is back at Chandler HS with Markus Wheaton.

We lose in shootout 52-49.

Best: Luton is fire. He pulls out 3 total TDs. 1 Rush, 2 pass. But the real story is Nall. He officially gets on his first Heisman ballot. 5 total TD. One throwing to Seth. 1 67 yard screen and run, 3 rushing. He bulls over a 300lb DT at goal line and then swims into the end zone channeling Civil War 2016. We break Luke Falks leg on a scramble late hit by Bright. Leach accuses Gary of dirty playing. Gary reveals Luke Falk is his long lost son from a one night stand at his JC college. Leach looks like an idiot saying Gary would hurt his own son. Gary and Luke hug at midfield post game.

We win 52-24.

UW:

Worst: Coach Pete first play Myles Gaskin poops on us and goes 75 yards on TD run. We can’t contain Browning on read option and he scrambles for 136 yards and 3 TDs. He is put as Heisman front runner. Coach Pete has mercy on us and we pull together in second half.

We lose: 41-27.

Best: Coach Pete first play is triple reverse throwback to Browning. Bright is suspended from killing Falk last game, but Adam Soesman comes out of no where and crushes Browning. He is concussed. Tries to come back but then Soesman kills him again on a high low sack. He crawls off field. However, UW has an all world true frosh QB come in. We struggle to move ball on O. Luton has nerves, we are 4-0 at this point and crack top 25… He throws 3 picks. Two pick 6’s. And one fumble. Eddie Dallas clamors for DG to enter game. DG comes in and gets hurt 6th play. All is not lost. Conor Blount comes in, throws screen pass to Tino first play. He busts it to the house. 17-17 ball game in fourth quarter. We are down to our Bright comes back in after first half suspension. Scoops and scores on a strip sack of the frosh QB. We up 24-17 with 2:18 to go. Coach Pete is not done though. Johnathon Smith has experience with a true frosh QB in these matchups. (Himself) Frosh QB loses shoe, but hyper from last series Bright jumps in air and whiffs. Frosh QB dumps pass to Gaskin, he goes 60 yards for TD. Coach Pete takes timeout with 13 seconds left to consider PAT or 2Pt. Gary is expecting Statue of Liberty. He is right. Elu busts the play up but he is overweight so he can’t make the tackle. But Craig Evans first game of season says hello. Kills Gaskin at 1 yard line. Review of play: Gaskin gets called that he broke plain first. Gary throws headset in disgust and goes Buddy Stephens on ref and knocks him out with one punch. Gary suspended for 2 games. NCAA admits wrong call. Team is fired up.

We lost 25-24.

USC:

Worst: We come out with some fire, as if to say we will not be pushed around by the spoiled children. We take a 21-0 lead with 2 scores by the D. Sam Darnold’s proclaimed Heisman run is doused by Kirk Herbstreit at half.

Second half he comes back with vengeance and lights our secondary up. Xavier Crawford out with cramping, Darnold throws 4 TDs and 300 yards second half. We throw the ball 60 times and Con is threading rope through his rafters as he is screaming “run the ball” on 2nd and 25.

We lose: 31-24.

Oh and Hawks get destroyed by Johnny Hekkers 3 TD passes off fake punts, 24-3.

Best: Gary is sitting with Con, Andy, JD and Braught pre game in their AirBnb. He can’t be 150 yards from stadium. He informs them that he has damaging intel on Willie and the boys down south and is going to reveal it 3 days before the civil war and promises he is doing his “routine” background checks on each involved.

Game kicks off, USC is in a funk. Sam Darnold is hurt but playing through. This is fresh meat to the Beaver D who is top 20 statistically. He is out by second quarter after hit after hit.

Luton is back after being benched. Throws for 4 TDs but also 3 picks. Nall gets hurt running out of bounds. Tyner takes over. Runs for 167 yards but fumbles twice. USC capitalizes. Back and forth we go. 35-34, Jordan Chouikar misses 43 yard field goal for win. Adley gets cut from OSU baseball team and vows to return next week at CU. Says Chouikar is poser.

We lose 35-34.

CU:

Worst: 1-5, murmurs are starting. Clune looking for way out, calls Kalani. Accepts D coordinator job minutes before kickoff. Gary is furious. Promotes graduate Jake Cookus to DC. Turns out to be promising.

Cookus sends the house every play. Our D backs our coach. Forces 6 turnovers, scores 3 TD’s. We stumble on O but do enough.

We win 27-14 in defensive domination.

Best: Gary is still suspended but we are 4-2 with two wins taken from us. Kevin Clune is acting HC. Reams Kevin McGiven after calling 4 straight pass plays. Takes playcard from him and burns it. Calls Mitch Singler out of press box to call plays. Calls 36 straight runs. And it pays off. Two drives stall but then o line gets warmed up. Nall rumbles for 160, Tyner 106, Arty 80 on 5 carries. 6 TDs between them. We comeback with vengeance. Stephen Montez cries postgame.

We win: 45-21.

Stan:

Worst: 2-5 but with hope. Makeshift defense. 3rd string QB on offense. Luton transfers mid season to UO. DG salivates as he has been planning this for 2 years but breaks ankle celebrating himself being started. Conor Blount starts the rest of season. Stanford pins us to ground. We have 136 total yards of offense.

We lose 20-0.

Best: Gary is back. After suspension he doesn’t apologize to ref but ref apologizes to him for blowing UW game. Stanford has no chance from beginning. David Shaw respectfully takes 3 knees first series in support of Gary being screwed. Comes back to bight him as Tino houses punt return. We have 5 sacks and two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. Defense rules the day. Offense, who cares.

We win 31-13.

AZ:

Worst: Rich Rod gives hell shaking tongue lasting to wildcats about last year at Reser. AZ comes out, pounds us a la 2015. Nall lost for season, Conor Blount struggles. Two o lineman get diagnosed with left testicle cancer minutes after game. Our team is spent, AZ rolls, In and Out burger closes early on bus ride home.

We lose: 49-7

Best: We are consensus top 15 team because everyone knows UW was an inside job on refs. Gary doesn’t speak to media pre week or post game. Luton shines. Adley kicks 6 fgs coming back two weeks after Pat had cut him from baseball. Recovers 2 onside kicks. Rich Rods final straw of his job.

We win 32-20.

ASU:

Worst: Conor Blount has 3 games under his belt. Word from practice is “he is making us forget about Marcus McMaryion.” Proves it on field. Throws for 3rds, runs for another. Kolby Taylor gets in game and scores 2 TDs and throws pitchfork at Sparky. Suspended for rest of season. Jake Cookus struggles as teams have film on his “Engage 8” defensive style. ASU scores a lot. But fumbles away PAT snap on last TD. We go up 42-41 with minutes to go. They get onside kick though, Their crazy RB runs 49 yards on us but he needed 50. Arnold tracks him down and punches ball out. Touchback. Conor Blount tears ACL taking a knee.

We win 42-41.

Best: we are 8-2. Poised for PAC 12 championship birth. UW is 9-0 though. No thanks to refs. They are playing lowly Cal. Beau Baldwin calls magnificent game, Cal squeaks out win, 35-32. This is pregame. Gary smiles.

Luton has another solid outing, throws 2tds and runs one in. Tyner is benched though to save him for civil war. He agrees. Nall as well. Arty steals the show. Him and Tre Johnson combine for 236 yards, 3 TDs. We run train on ASU on D. Force 3 turnovers, 7 sacks. We reach 30 sacks on season but only 26 turnovers. We need more Gary says postgame. Todd Graham resigns. Gary hints postgame for first media session since week 5, that “a storm is coming.” Gina asks “what’s a storm?” Danny says “I have an interview scheduled. Need to leave and do routine background check on Gary Andersen.” Gina fired for not doing routine background check on John Canzano.

We win 42-22.

Willies dog poop:

Worst: *********** no comment.

We end season 3-9. Tino transfers. Nall declares for NFL, Tyner transfers back to UO for 6th year through some loophole, says “it’s where I belong”

Willie hires Gary as D coordinator. Gina now runs Oregonian with Canzano. They get married. Danny Moran becomes private detective. Pat Casey declines AD job that Scott Barnes leaves at end of season, takes job at LSU. Says “if you can’t beat em, join em.”

Beavers hire Brady Hoke as HC. He brings in Mark Helfirch to run offense. Mitch Singler promoted to recruiting coordinator. All Gary’s assistants fired. Hired by Buddy Stephens after. Brittney Wagner becomes academic counselor at UO and school is praised for its “diversity” and “acceptance.”

Bobby D comes back as AD. Tres retires from basketball. Ethan Thompson never becomes eligible.

Best: 2 days before game day, “anonymous sources” confirm that Willie covered up Marcus Mariota prostitution ring during his recovery in Eugene this summer. Deal was Mariota brings in prostitutes and sets up recruits with them, he gets to train and recover for free at his own sports complex. Offensive coordinator found out about scheme, went on drunken stooper, hence his DUI charge months before. Canzano breaks story. Same “anonymous source” emails background check of Willie. Turns out, at Western Kentucky he was sued for “sealed crimes” but in Kentucky they unsealed them just for fun. He payed refs nation wide to change outcome of games in his gambling favor to fund his future recruiting endeavors. Story goes national. One of the refs payed was head review ref from UW game. Gary pre game media says “What goes around comes around. We run the state btw.” Canzano gets promoted pre game to Lindsey Schnells old position of covering Mike Riley 24/7. Mike Riley says “that’s swell”

Swirling in turmoil the game begins. A crisp day at Autzen, the PNW crew already mind boggling the Autzen fans. Willie somehow allowed to coach in game. Different fortunes than 2016. we throw 60 times for 734 yards and 6 TDs. Nall and Tyner just watch from sideline as they are resting for PAC 12 championship by halftime. It is announced in Autzen that UW got blown out by WSU in Apple cup. Mike Leaches final game. He retires due to Alzheimer’s he has had for 20 years in secret. UW ends season in 3 game losing streak putting us solely in first place in north. We trample UO like a tackling dummy. Con gets bored during game and proclaims “I’m tired of winning”

We win 70-13.

We go to PAC 12 championship, beat USC on reverse fortunes with Adley making game wining 68 yard field goal.

Gary is carried off. We book tickets to Rose Bowl. Play Ohio State in prep for 2018, kick the living daylights out of them. Urban Meyer dies of stroke postgame. All his recruits leave and join the “real OSU.”

Nall comes back for senior year. Says “I’m not finished.” We roll into 2018 with another date with the Buckeyes except they have no coach or recruits. We are poised for a National Championship run in 2018.

Willie stays in as head coach. Is bowl banned for 3 years. Loses 20 scholarships for 3 years. Has recruiting class of 5 players. 4 from Redmond high school. 1 from Churchill. Their o line coach becomes offensive coordinator at UW. Kevin McGiven gets Western Michigan head coaching job. Jonathan Smith comes back to OSU with full on homecoming parade starting at the top of the cock. Becomes our coach in waiting and Offensive Coordinator.

Both scenarios likely. Which will it be?

Happy Eclipse. 5 days.

What to expect from the 2018 Seahawks: Hint- It isn’t 4-12

What to expect from the 2018 Seahawks: Hint- It isn’t 4-12

It is absurd how many people have completely written off the 2018 Seattle Seahawks. I’ve seen countless predictions that have the Seahawks anywhere between 4 and 6 wins. I guess I can see the angle of losing a lot of high profile players from a defense that was considered elite for the better part of six seasons. I guess you could make the jump that because the team finished 9-7 and missed he playoffs last year, the natural progression would be for them to continue in a downward trajectory. I guess I can see how these thoughts would creep into one’s mind. But just because I can see how you got to that conclusion doesn’t make it any less idiotic.

To be honest, this whole idea that the Seahawks are completely doomed is just lazy. To arrive at this conclusion you have to ignore a lot of things.

Let’s start with the dismantled defense argument, one that appears the strongest at face value. The Seahawks will not have players like, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman, and Kam Chancellor this season. All of these guys have been prominent members of an all-time great defense. But here’s the thing… It’s nothing new. Rewind to last year and you’ll see that down the stretch Michael Bennett was the only one of those four actually playing. So really the only difference other than Bennett is the Seahawks have now added depth to make up for some of the losses that they couldn’t compensate for last year.

Let’s look at what this 2018 team is really missing. And before anyone gets inflamed by this, understand that These guys are some of the best players I’ve ever watched and all of them deserve a salute for what they accomplished in Seattle. What I’m about to say relates purely to where we are presently in 2018.

Michael Bennett- Age 32, slowing down and somewhat divisive in the locker room.

Cliff Avril- Age 32, forced to retire because of neck injury.

Kam Chancellor- Age 30, forced to unofficially retire due to a neck injury.

Richard Sherman- Age 30, coming off of a torn achilles, locker room cancer, and still, yes STILL miffed about what happened in Glendale four years ago. In fact he clearly had something to do with yet another article coming out bashing Pete, Russell and trying to explain why the dynasty was never realized. There are some interesting points in there, but if you really want to know why 2015, 2016, and 2017 did end like they could’ve look no further than the mirror, Mr. Sherman. He couldn’t move on, so thankfully the Seahawks finally did. you can read the Sports Illustrated article here. Oh in case you forgot, here’s another hit piece Richard Sherman signed off on a year ago.

As it turns, the 2018 Seahawks aren’t really missing as much as some might think. Is the defense unproven? Of course. Are they going to be the elite unit we’ve seen in years past? Probably not. But that’s ok. They don’t have to be perfect. They just have to slow down opponents.

Which leads me to my next point. RUSSELL WILSON! That’s right, the ELITE, franchise quarterback that single handedly kept the team relevant last year. This point is pretty simple. How can people say this team will win four, five, or six win team when Russell Wilson is the quarterback? An elite QB is worth seven wins by himself. So do people just not respect Russell? That is the only possible explanation. I’ll take the side of history. Russell has won 11, 13, 12, 10, 10, and 9 games in his six seasons with Seattle. He’s only gotten better. So I’m going to take the over on six wins.

Speaking of wining games, we are all aware that Pete Carroll is still the coach, correct? Allow me to provide everyone a refresher. Pete Carroll has won a minimum of seven games since he came to Seattle in 2010. So those who doubt this team believe that Pete Carroll in his ninth season with an established franchise quarterback will have his worst season yet? Unbelievable.

I just don’t see the pending disaster the way others do. If I’m wrong, I’ll be the first to admit it.

The Seahawks aren’t going 4-12, 5-1, or 6-10. Why? Because they’re going 10-6.

And here is really why:

  • Addition by subtraction on defense. Not all around, but specifically with Sherman and Bennett.
  • Russell Wilson.
  • Pete Carroll
  • Strong core leadership with Russell, Doug Baldwin, Doug Baldwin, Bobby Wagner, KJ Wright, Justin Britt, and Duane Brown.
  • Explosive stable of young running backs.
  • Good kicker/great punter( yes, I’m serious).
  • This team is now young and hungry rather than old and disgruntled.
  • A team that respects Pete and that he can mold into winners.

I can’t wait to see what this season has in store.

Go Hawks!