Well, the Beavers will take on the Boise State Broncos today at 5 pm PST in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in what will be their last attempt to end a 5 game losing streak and finish with a 7 win season. The positives going into this last game are many, starting with the fact that the Beavers are probably the luckiest team in college football to have finished at .500 and been selected to play in Honolulu, Hawaii, as opposed to say, Albuquerque, New Mexico, or El Paso, Texas (no disrespect to NM or TX intended but let’s face it, they’re not quite as exciting of destinations as the sunshine and Kahlua Pork filled Aloha State).
The Beavers go into the game today armed with the Biletnikoff Award winner, Brandin Cooks, aka, the best receiver in college football, who has already broken one all-time Pac-12 record for total number of receptions in a season and who is just 50 yds. shy of breaking the Pac all-time record for total receiving yds. in a season which hopefully we will watch him break in Aloha Stadium today. Pretty impressive and very well-deserved, boys and girls. And for anyone who happened to watch the College Football Awards ceremony in Florida where Brandin was given the award, they hopefully noticed that he was one of, if not the most gracious in his acceptance speech of all the winners, doing Beaver Nation proud not just on, but off the field, which is the most important.
We also have Sean Mannion, who we all know has not been playing his best football of late, but who continues to lead the Conference in total passing yds. and is also 50-ish yards away from breaking a major conference record–the one for highest number of total passing yardage in a season. We all know Beaver Nation has been a little disgruntled with Sean and the number of interceptions he has thrown lately, but we have to be very proud of the total number of passing yards that he has put up this season and the way he has carried the team on his shoulders since the run game never amounted to anything this year. We should watch him walk into the history books in front of Lou Holtz and everyone on the field today, which even Duck fans might have to admit is pretty cool.
Finally, the Beavs are coming off what was dang near an upset in the Civil War in Autzen Stadium three weeks ago, where they at least showed some life and spirit and grit, and also showed what all of us in Beaver Nation already knew about this team, which is that they can play and hang with the best of them; which, ironically, on the flip side has been the most frustrating thing about this season as we’ve had to watch them lose so many games that all of us knew they coulda and shoulda won.
The Beavs have had time to rest, heal and re-group and hopefully eat some of that hearty Hawaiian fare over there and should be ready for this game today. They have a most worthy opponent in Boise State that comes in with an absolutely phenomenal record and tradition of winning, but I’m hoping that we can add one to their ‘L’ column by the end of the day today. Kevin Cummings and the rest of our receiving core should be back and healthy to aid Brandin today, and we have two great quarterbacks that know how to win. They just need to put it all together, take advantage of this final opportunity that they’ve been given to play, and take care of business. Let’s hope our little Beavers can deliver what all of us in Beaver Nation want for Christmas–a win in the Hawaii Bowl. GO BEAVS!!!!!