Well, my weekend had started out so nicely last week…I had a nice visit Friday evening with former Beaver stand-out Marcus Wheaton’s parents, who graciously flew up from Arizona to support Rashaad Reynolds and the rest of the Beavers in their opening game, and like so many of us in Beaver Nation, I was looking forward to a resounding win and great start to the 2013 football season. Unfortunately, as we all know, things did not quite work out that way.
After last week’s game I do have to say I might be done prognosticating, because I sure as heck did not ever, no never, ever, foresee our defense losing the game for us. I mean, I was way more worried about what we were going to have going on at quarterback, and come on, our defense did not even let Oregon score 49 pts. on us last year and we all know how their season went. Our defense was one of the top in the country last season in several categories and I truly feel that Mark Banker is one of the best defensive coaches in college football. That being said, I’m not going to linger on what the defense did and didn’t do. I’m sure Mark Banker and all of our players on defense know exactly what they did and didn’t do by now, and there were way too many missed tackles, assignments, and mistakes to name in the amount of time we have here. What it boils down to is that the team that is unable to stop the other team from advancing down the field over and over again, most definitely deserves to lose, and unfortunately last week that team was the OSU Beavers. That being said, I’m happy to have read statements made by coaching staff and players alike accepting responsibility for their collective mistakes and I’m hoping that they get their act together fast or we are going to get slaughtered by Hawaii. Moving on….
Our offense, who have put the defensive players’ backs against the wall on several occasions in the last year, came to play last weekend, and it’s a shame that both the offense and the defense couldn’t have shown up on the same day. Sean Mannion, who I was admittedly worried about starting, had a near perfect game, completing 37 of 43 passes for 422 yds. and three touchdowns. Pretty dang impressive. He was also firing off passes and getting rid of the ball much faster than in years’ past and was much quicker coming out of the huddle.
Connor Hamlett, as predicted, made some big plays in the game, picking up 85 yds. and a touchdown, and will continue to be a threat this season if he keeps doing what he’s doing. Brandin Cooks did what Brandin Cooks does, in Brandin Cooks fashion, and had a total of 196 yds. receiving and 14 on the ground–BAM. True Freshman Bolden had an impressive first game. Eastern Washington’s defense was prepared for our running backs and did a phenomenal job of blocking which did not help us get a lot of rushing yards on the board. My little plug for Ward is that he needs to be put in more, particularly when we are running plays up the middle due to his strength and low center of gravity.
Looking forward to this weekend, both the offense and the defense need to come to play. Despite the fact that Hawaii has not been the threat in recent years that they have been in years’ past, those boys are BIG and have been loading up on some of that island Kahlua pork and macaroni salad. If we’re not ready, they will run right over us.
For the collective sanity and blood pressure of Beaver Nation, I’m hoping that our Beavers get it together and that our season is not slowly disappearing right before our very eyes. People get excited over dynamic offenses but it’s ultimately stopping other teams from putting points on the board that wins games and if we can’t do that, we’re in some big trouble. In the words of Yoda, Beavers, “Do or do not, there is no try.”