OK, so I have been in mourning this entire week and put off writing this blog until the last possible second right before I leave to hopefully watch the Beavers finish out the regular season on a high note.
The good news: Stanford beat UCLA twice in the last week and so have won the automatic Rose Bowl berth, which thank goodness they came through for us so that the Beavers are looking at going to either the Alamo or the Holiday Bowl, both good bowl games that are not located in West Texas, home of flying cockroaches.
The bad news: The Beavers played horribly last week with Sean Mannion having yet another game with four interceptions and allowing the Ducks 430 rushing yards and if we play like that again in any bowl game let me tell y’all we ain’t gonna win.
As I said in my blog last week, the Beaver defense needed to bring it’s ‘A’ game if it was going to win last week against the ducks, and unfortunately they brought about their ‘C-‘ game, especially in the first half. The Beavers allowed 250 rushing yards in the first half and by a miracle were only down 10 at the break in spite of that, but even though the defense noticeably stepped up their efforts in the second half, you cannot have that many missed tackles and assignments in any game and expect to win.
I ended my blog last week also talking about Sean Mannion needing to step up and stop forcing passes into coverage to eliminate interceptions and unfortunately he stepped out on the field last week and that’s exactly what he did–force long-bomb passes into coverage–and, just like in the Washington game earlier in the year, it hurt us big time. We CANNOT afford another repeat of that this week, and I think Sean is lucky that his coach is Mike Riley as most other coaches would have him warming the bench this week after that performance, especially considering that he has a many interceptions as touch downs this season.
Wheaton, who has been one of my favorite players during his tenure at OSU, had a really tough game last week as well that was painful to watch as it was so uncharacteristic and downright sad considering it was his last match-up against the Ducks. I hope, for he and Poyer and Seumalo and the other seniors on the team, that they can get their mojo back with a win for their last game in Reser Stadium today and get that monkey off their back from last week.
Assuming the Beavers get their job done today, they SHOULD be in line to go to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, however the bowl games can technically choose whomever they want (as they did in 2008 when we got skipped over and ended up in El Paso) and it seems that most of the powers that be have us picked to end up in the Holiday Bowl. Either one will be a fun end to the season for a team that in the beginning none of us ever thought would get this far and they need to be recognized for that.
The Beavers are a different team than last season and all of their hard work has obviously paid off in big ways. We have one of the most talented teams we’ve ever had and this weekend, and in whatever bowl we end up at, I just hope that we finally put a complete game together and play to our full potential and show the college football world what the Oregon State Beavers can really do.
I hope that we win today and