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.

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.