Monday Morning Update from PNW Crew

Monday 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

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3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

3 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.

2018 Spring “Game” Recap and Summer Preview

2018 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.

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

OSU 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.

Mid Spring Ball Football Review April 14 Practice @ DamCity

Mid 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

Tough Times

Tough Times

By Con/PNW

Tough depressing times here at PNW. Mariners did their normal thing, no one cares btw… but beavs are in a downward spiral that we have not seen in our life times.

Hard to watch honestly with the most recent issue being coaches integrity. Regarding Hodgins, arguably OSU’s best receiver not playing, our offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator say, 2 receiver sets… yet film shows MANY 3 receiver sets especially with Togai injured. It is one thing to not throw players under the bus but to in our opinion have integrity issues regarding telling the truth? Seriously?

Could have just said, “violation of team rules.” And NO ONE would have thought any different.

The Beaver offense is in disarray. If Andersen does not make a change in offseason, our faith in him will be at an extreme low. We believe in the man in charge but he must get that right.

Defense on the other hand doesn’t seem as crazy as people think. They have shown improvement every game. That cannot be said about the offense. The defense played good enough to beat the best team in the pac-12. Yes the 4th and 10 was killer but psychologically and physically, no defense can hold up when the offense is doing nothing. Pressure is getting up there, secondary was impressive. Still weak at linebacker but I think it goes up to a lot of inexperience from young players that Andersen has brought in.

Can we please stop the Marcus McMaryion cries? He would have the same record right now as the current team. He is playing the likes of Nevada and San Jose State. Not exactly the PAC-12. Yes he had the mojo but it’s not like comparing Luton to Tebow here.

What he did give was an identity to the offense. I think this team misses him as a leader and the guy to get behind. It is nearly impossible to get behind a JC player in his first year or a transfer that is a coaches pet and the 18th best QB in the pac-12. Yes you heard that right, the backups for WSU, UW, Stanford, ASU, Utah, Colorado are all LIGHT YEARS ahead of Garretson. The dude wouldn’t start for the championship intramural squads at OSU. That is no joke.

End rant.

Go Beavs.

Ride or die to USC and Hawks Rams this weekend.

“I’m not mad, just disappointed…”

“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