Well for those Beaver fans who made it through last week’s game without going into cardiac arrest, congratulations and welcome back from the edge. One thing that Beaver football is not this year, apparently, is dull. One thing that it is also apparently not is stress-free. If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing (and might I add predictably boring) football game this weekend, you will have to head about 40 miles south where the Ducks are 30+ pt. favorites over the Cal Bears.
Here in Reser, in contrast, the No. 1 and No. 2 receivers in the entire US of A are going to be battling it out in what could be another really close, nail biter of a game.
So anyone that follows college football knows that the Colorado Buffaloes have not had a winning season in a long, long time, so many might make the mistake of underestimating the Buffaloes when they come to Corvallis tomorrow and think this might be an easy win for us. Au contraire, mon amis, the Buffaloes will be on the field tomorrow under new leadership, riding a 2-0 record for the first time since, oh, like the last millennium, and coming off a three week break, two of which they have spent preparing for us. They also, as I mentioned, have the no. 1 receiver in the country right now in Paul Richardson who is averaging a whopping 208 yds./ game (to give y’all an idea of just how good that is, Brandin Cooks is the no. 2 receiver in the country and he is averaging 159 yds/game). Let’s throw in the fact that they rank 20th nationally in pass efficiency, they’re 21st in pass defense and have held their opponents to only 4.3 yds/play and 317 total yds/game, and it’s pretty obvious that this is not the Colorado team of the last decade. We are going to need to dig down deep in our hearts and our roster and come ready to play ’cause with as good of a pass defense as CU has we are going to need to get a little more than 10 yds of total rushing (OK that’s embarrassing) going or we could be in some major trouble.
I want to give props where props is due to Sean Mannion who continues to play phenomenally well and has only thrown one interception this season, along with Cooks, Mullaney, Cummings, and the rest of the receiving core. Another reason for some major props is our Red Zone conversion rate thus far which is at, oh, a paltry 100%. Ok, for any team that is excellent, but for the Oregon State Beavers, that is downright miraculous as this is something we have struggled with consistently for years. We are also putting lots of points up per game.
The thing that is baffling to me this year is on paper we look like the polar opposite team we were last year despite the fact that we lost relatively few starters from last season to this. I am still baffled as to how, with the majority of our key defensive play makers like Crichton, Doctor, Wynn, Alexander and Reynolds still around and additions such as four star JC transfer Nelson making big plays, that our defense can be playing so poorly overall in comparison to last year. I just don’t know how we went from one of the top defenses in the conference and the country in many areas last season to this with nearly all of our playmakers back on defense. It is also just as shocking that our offense, who struggled to get in any rhythm at all last season and who was plagued by turnovers and low point totals, is now one of the top in the country, but that change I will take.
Let’s just hope that we are able to squeak out another win any way we can this weekend as then we will have two weeks of much needed R & R and hopefully time to heal from injuries, re-group and focus on fundamental football and not getting anymore ridiculous penalties.
In the meantime, anyone that happens to run into our new Cornerback Steven Nelson around Corvallis should personally thank him for single-handedly having possibly saved our entire season last week. Thanks, Steven…and Go Beavers!!!