OSU Back in the Saddle

Well, the 2013 college football season is just about to commence, Beaver fans, and my long hiatus and period of mourning after hopping a night flight to Dallas, slapping the Beaver flags on the rental car, parading proudly four hours south past cows, cowboys, Waffle Houses, hat and boot sportin’ deputy sheriffs, and oh yes, Longhorn stadium, to watch us lose in the last 2:39 to a team that did not deserve to win, is over. Clean slate, time to start fresh. And, due to statements made by one Beaver player and native Texan recently that all y’all may have heard of by the name of Woods, I’m hoping that our little Beaver players are motivated anew by the fact that we all know three out of four losses last season should have been wins, and we’ll just leave it at that.

Moving on to fall camp and my annual practice-stalking sessions (yes, open practices, eat your heart out, Duck fans), I’ve been very happy with several things thus far, starting with Mike Riley acknowledging that competition is healthy and choosing to hold off on making a quarterback decision until this week. Despite the fact I admit being partial to Vaz’, I’m hoping Mannion can get the job done as we all know it’s not what you do in practice but during game time that matters. The major bonus this season is that we know we have two guys that can win games for us and if one of them is having a bad day or starts making costly mistakes, I would just like to see the other one in much sooner than half-way through the fourth quarter.

In regards to some of our other major positions, although Marcus Wheaton and Jordan Poyer (who is ironically taking orders from Chip Kelly) are far away in the great State of Pennsylvania, I feel good about our coverage at cornerback with newcomers Nelson (JC 4 star transfer) and Scott, and also at receiver with future NFL’er Cooks and Cummings returning, and newcomer Bolden on deck. Mr. More-Yards-per-Carry Ward and Alamo Bowl star Storm Woods will be back at running back, and my two favorite linebackers, Doctor and Alexander, I’m also happy to say, will be suitin’ up in the orange and black again as well. On defense, Scott Crichton and Dylan Wynn will be back for more this year too, and Tight End Connor Hamlett who with his size and speed has major star potential if he chooses to step it up a notch this year, will be returning as well.

So the good news, Beaver Nation, is that we have most of our roster back and so far everyone seems to have made it through fall camp relatively unscathed. The even better news is that in the off-season we added some major former Beaver greats to the coaching staff with Kyle Devan, Alan Darlin, and last but not least Lyle Moevao and my personal favorite, Keaton Kristick, back in graduate positions with the team. For their sake, I’m sorry that the majority of these guys did not do long stints in the NFL, but selfishly, having them all back to help coach is seriously like hitting the college football lottery.

The stars are aligned this year for us to go all the way if we want to. The question is going to be how bad we want it. There is only one team standing in our way in this conference and they are most likely watching film on the big screen in Ferrari leather seats about 45 miles south right now. I don’t know about all y’all, but I’m thinkin’ it just might be the year for us to plant those tail feathers in that Ferrari leather and get down to business–starting by beating Eastern Washington on Saturday. Let the competition begin…and GO BEAVERS!!!!!

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