Featured

NFL Draft: Five things for Seahawks fans to watch for

field-sport-ball-america.jpgBy Andy / PNW Sports Fans

The 2018 NFL Draft gets underway this Thursday at 5pm PT at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. There is no shortage of storylines heading into this year’s spectacle. As usual, all eyes are on the young quarterbacks and a few other eye popping playmakers. For Seahawks fans, the draft is intriguing for different reasons. For us, the intrigue comes from wondering what unknown gem Pete Carroll and John Schneider will find. Although the last few years have been a little disappointing, I think we might be staring down the barrel of another legendary draft for Seattle’s dynamic duo.

Here are five things for Seahawks fans to watch for heading into Thursday:

Will the Seahawks actually draft someone at 18?

The Seahawks are slotted to have the 18th overall pick in the first round. For anyone who has followed the team more than a couple of years, it feels like a forgone conclusion that the they might be looking to trade back to secure more picks. According to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com , the last time the Seahawks used their original first round pick was 2011 when they selected James Carpenter. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see the Seahawks once again trade back in favor of securing more picks, especially considering the fact that the team doesn’t have a second or a third round pick. That being said, Pete and John are always predictably unpredictable.

Biggest Needs

This one might seem obvious given how horrendous the offensive line has been. While the line needs to be addressed, it’s far from the only position group that would benefit from reinforcements.

The Seahawks could also use some fresh bodies on the other side of the trenches. With the departure of Michael Bennett and the probable medical retirement of Cliff Avril, the Seahawks will be leaning heavily on Frank Clark. If the Seahawks want to get a consistent pass rush, they’ll need to add edge depth that can play meaningful snaps early.

Running back is also a need in this class. Sure, the line was bad, but the running backs weren’t doing a lot to help the big fellas out last year. I like that the team held on to Mike Davis for insurance and Chris Carson showed promise before getting injured. But the team can’t take any chances with a poor rushing attack in 2018.

Other positions of need? Look for additions at receiver, tight end and linebacker. A lot of you are probably screaming at me to include defensive backs on this list, but I actually really like the potential of the youngsters here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they’ll bring in some guys to compete, but I think some of the athletes from last year’s class have a chance to join Shaq Griffin in the starting backfield.

Is Earl staying?

Speaking of the secondary. . . The biggest question of the offseason has been whether or not Earl Thomas will be traded. I think the longer it goes, the less likely it is that Earl plays elsewhere in 2018. If that’s the case, I’d be thrilled. Unlike his former Legion of Boom teammates, Earl still seems to be playing at the top of his game. While his window of dominance might be gradually closing he is still a huge asset on the back end of that defense. Especially when you consider there will be several  young players fighting for snaps around him.

A deal could certainly go down on draft day, but with each passing day I feel better about the fact that the man I affectionately refer to as the human missile will be back with the team for another season.

Significance of this draft

Simply put, this draft is of major significance. The Pete and John legacy will either be cemented or softened depending on how the 2017 and 2018 classes pan out. They will either be remembered as orchestrating a great five year run and then fizzling out, or showing that they built a generational culture that continued to win for a decade plus.

We won’t be able to judge that for at least a couple of years, but these last two classes will  write history one way or another.

How to feel after it’s all wrapped up

If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably walk away from this experience feeling somewhat indifferent. Sure, the draft is exciting and all, but it’s impossible to know what you got out of it until the season comes around. Sometimes you don’t know what you have for two or three seasons. No matter how much of an expert people claim to be, it’s impossible to perfectly predict how a class is going to mature. Chances are almost every player the Seahawks select will be a name you’ve never heard in your life. That’s just the way it is. Once the picks are in I’ll watch some film and get excited. But truthfully, the draft leaves me feeling a little empty.

Though the draft isn’t my favorite event on the sports calendar, it’s still of great importance for a franchise looking to get back to its principles. I’m excited for a clean slate in 2018 and a renewed hunger inside the Virgina Mason Athletic Center.

Go Hawks!

Advertisements

Mid Spring Ball Football Review April 14 Practice @ DamCity

FeaturedMid Spring Ball Football Review April 14 Practice @ DamCity

By Con

We were live and tweeting today at the DamCity event at Mountainside high school in Beaverton, Oregon watching OSU mid way through spring. Check our tweets for pretty much a play by play of the whole day. For now, we will just go over a general position group summary and some stand outs. This will not be comprehensive as DB position has so many injuries so you can’t see the actual standouts and other position groups weren’t watched as closely. Here we go:

General Vibe

-Jonathan Smith (JS) is very in control of this team. The delusional fans especially on twitter who think that Mike Riley is running the team, will take it over, is more involved than people think, etc. are just like we said DELUSIONAL. There is some video content that we posted and you can just tell MR is no where near the team other than his position group and honestly is just another one of the guys and coaches. Smith leads everything with no hesitation, and MR is NEVER next to him whispering, coaching, pointing or anything. He is literally with his position group all the time like a normal coach. Please stop spreading this narrative for those who are. It’s embarrassing and very *uckish honestly. Just stop.

Practice was crisp and fast paced. OSU uses MUCH more tackling dummies, pads, etc. than any coach or team I have seen in the past 20 years. There is always a purpose for each session they go through. No one is standing around acting like they don’t know what to do. Warm-ups are different, much more team oriented vs individual groups, same with post practice and special teams work. Also, JD pointed this out, every drill where a QB was throwing to a WR, kicker kicking FG, punting, blocking, etc. basically any drill where it was multiple position groups interacting, there were multiple things happening i.e. three QBs throwing to three different WR at once. Or two kickers kicking. Or 3 guys blocking 3 guys. NEVER just one on one and people watching. I love this because its all about the reps!

Now comes position reviews:

QB- 2 man race between Colletto and Luton. Blount got a few reps but those two got significantly more. We know the coaching staff has been mixing it up but it just seems that these two are at the top. They are also playing the most consistent.

Some outlets report how “good” Luton looks in the new offense. This is so OVERSTATED. Every QB is treading water with the new schemes and what not. Luton looks fine as far as injury is concerned. He does have good zip on ball. Still varying accuracy.

Colletto is spitting image of JS in college. A little taller but not by much. Has same “heave” delivery that JS had. More mobile, also wears number 9 ironically. Stocky though. Luton seems to be a bit ahead because he knows when to run and when to get out of the pocket. Colletto is still learning this as he got jumbled up a few times as the pocket collapsed.

Really, JS will build the offense around what he has. He has stated this so many times. If its Luton, he will try to spread the ball around and motion action. Colletto seems more of a solid runner, not fast but solid so you would see more true read option. Again, WAY too early to tell right now how good either will be but seems like its between them two.

RB: Artavis Pierce will be a stud this year. He looks bigger, faster and smarter. He just does everything right and is everything you want in a back that plays every down. He is the clear number one. No one else close. Likewise, Calvin Tyler, #23, is the clear number two and capable. He had some good goal line work and is pretty small so he does a good job of hiding behind the line and then exploding through like Bernard mastered. Can also catch out of the backfield. Him and AP are a great first back and capable back up.

Christian Wallace is a wild card here. He had a few carries, also a fumble. He looks fluid and like he is having fun at the position. He just looks happy which makes us happy. He will make a big impact on special teams if he embraces it and could be a big factor in return game. But barring injuries, doubt he plays much this year. He needs to work on pass blocking and just being solid at running, catching and blocking consistently. But so much potential. 2019 look for him to have a special package, all special teams work, maybe a wildcat. Who knows, that could be 2018 if he learns the plays and dedicates himself.

WR: One name to know and remember now: Champ Flemmings. He will be huge this year. Similar role to the legend James Rodgers his true frosh year. Flemmings looks solid in his body compared to last year he looked like he was 10. But it is clear that JS is looking for him to be involved in the offense in quick passes, screens, fly sweep pitches, etc. Anything to get him the ball in space. The dude is quick and just like Rodgers, hardly even gets hit because no one can touch him. Also has great hands and was returning punts. Although he dropped a few.

Timmy Hernandez will be a solid senior like Brandon Powers was. Isaiah Hodgins looks on a different level than all the WR. Both physically and mentally. He is BIG and looks much more comfortable in his second year with a coach that knows if he will be playing in games or not. He went down with a shoulder injury late in practice, stayed on field with no pads on and sling and ice. Seemed in good spirits. Great route runner as well and creates separation. But again, star of the day and future will be Flemmings. Kolby Taylor also looked solid over the middle on slants and after the catch. Very sturdy player.

It is great to see the knowledge of the coaching staff embracing quick passes, screens and slants that should be the bread and butter of an offense with quick guys and a mediocre QB at best. No diss on players but I love the way you can see the coaches building around their stronger players and just not even messing with their weaker positions.

TE: Like we just said above, doesn’t seem to be a strong position right now with Togai and Tuli out. We saw a grand total of ZERO passes thrown the TE way. Doesn’t mean they didn’t have their good plays through. Isaiah Smalls, true frosh, will absolutely play in 2018. He is smart and is picking up plays well. For example, the blocking schemes you can tell he is in the right place at the right time especially on WHAM blocks and outside pulling. This is encouraging. Also, number 45, our boy Ralph T, was first man up with the injuries. He looked solid blocking.

OL: First team = Yanni, Moore, Houston, Lavaka, Brandel. Don’t see that changing much unless someone else emerges as center. Lavaka, Brandel and Moore seem locked in. Yanni solid at OG. Houston is so suspect at center. He just isn’t that big and gets beat more than any other OL. Onesimus Clark looks the part but didn’t see much from him. Kammy Delp still not even in the conversation. All GA JC transfers are garbage. Will be a group to watch going forward if a younger guy emerges.

DL: First team = JC transfer Jermey R, Aydon, Kalani. Seems solid group. Jeremey R, has some nasty in him. A few scuffles and push after whistle. Love that. Didn’t watch this group much. Aydon up a lot in weight. Don’t know if thats a good thing. Seems like the DC scheme is for all 3 DL to take up blockers like a real 3-4 is run. Not Clunes version.

LB: First team = Kee, Doug T, Shemar Smith and Willis. I expect Bright if he comes back to be in this and Andrzej Hughes-Murray. Love Shemar Smith though. He is has gotten significantly bigger and all healed up from injury. Will be a rotation player. Kee Whetzel is LOCKED in to start. Dude brings the juice and energy and is fast enough to cover RB or a slot WR. Doug T looks like he could hold down the middle. Big dude. Think Alan Darlin.

DB: Hard to tell with so many injuries. Jalen Moore beefed up and flying all over. DeShon Wilson will probably burn his redshirt. Hits HARD and had a few at the scrimmage. Has speed as well. Has body to play right away on special teams. With Crawford, Irvine and Dwayne Williams all out, we could see Wilson as a nickel player and sub. Isiah Dunn has beefed up as well. Kaleb Hayes is a long rangy corner who made some plays as well. I am not worried about this unit at all. Morris will be back at the other safety and Trajon Cotton, Jeffery Manning will contribute. We have great long rangy cover athletes here. The most athletic I have seen a secondary.

Overall, didn’t watch D very closely. Was focusing on offense because of how bad they have been. Its hard to play defense even if you are Alabama when you have the most 3 and outs in the nation and score 10 points per game in the Pac-12. Defense seems they will be serviceable.

Special Teams: GET RID OF AUSSIE STYLE PUNTING NOW. NO ONE DOES THIS IN THE NFL. THAT SHOULD BE A SIGN. You are guaranteed a shank punt which can swing game honestly. This happened in the scrimmage a 15 yarder straight out of bounds. However, Alex Bland number 38 from Australia looks solid. Step up from the enigma of Probeski last year. Onto kicker. Jordan Choukair has a HUGE leg. He looks much more comfortable and involved then last year. Seemed like GA even though he would say opposite, didn’t give to craps about special teams. They can be a huge part of the game good or bad. You will notice. Group seems to be solid right now. Will be better in both Punter and Kicker then 2017.

The ONLY returners fielding punts today were Champ Flemmings and our boy Tino Allen. Both were a mixed bag. Still learning how to be consistent. Trevon Bradford was out today but was the only player close to the returners. Again its all about reps. I love that we have set three punt returners and that is all who take the reps. Not having 7 guys back there watching gives the 3 top guys double reps and experience and also has less guys watching at practice which is a theme in the JS era so far. No kickoffs were practiced besides a few kicks from the kickers with no coverage or returns.

Standouts: As discussed above, a few standouts from this practice;

-Champ Flemmings, WR. Great athlete. JS building some plays around him.

-DeShon Wilson, DB. Hard hitter and quick to ball. All over the field.

-Artavis Pierce, RB. Will be our workhorse RB.

-Isiah Smalls, TE. Actually looked the part for a just turned 18 year old. Smart player. Can split him out as well.

-Doug T, LB. Solid inside linebacker. Just big and strong. Could shore up the middle of the D that has been lacking for a while. All his hits and tackles pushed the ball carrier back, not him back.

-Jordan Choukair, K. Looks much improved and has big leg. Could be weapon this year. Also booted kickoffs with no coverage far. All his FG kicks continuously go “UP” vs straight on or line drive. A lot of lift to his kicks.

-Jonathan Smith, HC. The guy is just an encourager, high energy but not annoying and a leader. He is VERY involved on offense in almost every play. Trusts his coaches and the players listen when he talks.

See you at the spring game in two weeks.

PNW Crew

Hope

FeaturedHope

Hope.

It’s a wonderful thing and it’s all I have had since the beginning of the Tinkle era. But when their is hope in sports, their are questions. And I have had, and continue to have, numerous questions since Tinkle has taken over the basketball program.

Year one of Tinkle was a thrill. He (and GP2) somehow willed a team that had no business playing in the Pac-12 to a winning record. The team bought into Tinkle’s defense and executed a very smart coaching strategy (slow the game and limit offensive possessions). That team had to play Olaf and Jarmal 20 – 30 minutes a night. And every question can be answered by that.

Year 2. Our best ever recruiting class, a senior GP2, and Jarmal relinquished to only playing 14 minutes a game, led us to a NCAA tournament. Many of the following questions can be answered by playing freshmen and that Olaf/Jarmal were still active contributors.

Year 3. Everyone blames injuries for the 5-win season. Valid, but if you can get ’14-’15 team to win games, you can get this team to win more than 5 games. When times are hard, coaching will show. Questions in year 1 and 2, carry over year 3 and are beginning to show the real identity of this coaching staff.

Year 4. Off to an 8-4 start that could easily be 11-1 or 4-8 depending on the way you look at it (SOS is currently 310th). It’s a team that at the start of the season had FIVE 4-star talents starting. It’s a team that has the length and athleticism to defend and rebound with the best yet has the 187th DRtg, are 262nd in opponents 3P%, and are 248th in TRB with opponents at 35th. There offensive numbers aren’t much better besides being top 30 in 2P%. They are 319th in 3P%, 172nd in assists, and 100th in ORtg.

Defense and rebounding are a matter of coaching and will power! This team appears to be lacking both. If you watch closely, no one on defense, besides Big G, finds a man to put a body on. Many other times our bigs are too far under the basket to ever have a chance at the rebound. On defense, far too many times we play great D for 23 seconds of the shot clock, to only give up an easy look.

There are many questions and I am sure more will come to mind when I post this but see below for them.

What the heck do they do at practice?

This is an overarching question that can be teased out further below. Do they work on ball handling, not jumping for passes, defensive rotation, how to seal a man off for a rebound, etc? Because I do not see any of that in games.

Why does Tinkle insist on yelling and coaching every single possession?

Recently I saw a video of our new football defensive coordinator saying, “Practices are for coaches and games are for players.” I have heard this, or variations of it, many times from coaches. If during a game you must coach fundamentals or the game plan, you have failed in practice. Tinkle appears to be insistent on coaching during the game, yelling directly where players need to go, and calling out every single offensive possession. Not only is it annoying to watch, it instils in players that he does not trust them and causes them to second guess.

What is Tinkle’s offensive identity?

At least with Craig I knew what his offensive identity was, even if it looked nothing like the Princeton offensives I known. With Tinkle, I not know what he wants to achieve. And more specifically, the only play that comes to mind that I have liked, was a two man pick and roll with the bottom guy rolling off the top guy for a three. Tres has had success on that play. More specific questions below.

Why do we do not play in-out?

We have multiple guys that could do this, yet it never seems a priority. It’s unfathomable the number of times I have seen a big establish position and a guard not reward him. Currently Drew is shooting 68% but we still do not do this?

Why do we never run a high low action against a zone?

If you have ever watched a game with me, you have heard me rail on Tinkle’s zone offense for 4 years. We have the perfect antidote to a 2-3 zone in Tres but we never put him there. We will put twin towers in and still not run a high low action against the zone. What is this all about? Other questions regarding zone offense, why no use of the short corner? Why are they insistent on ball screens being done?

Why do we have zero inbounds plays?

If I had a dime for every time we inbounded the ball into the back court, I could buy courtside season tickets.

Why do we never put a man in the middle of the court when breaking a press?

Self-explanatory.

What happened to our zone defense?

The first years Tinkle was here, we played a variety of zone defenses and rarely were in man. The reasoning, we did not have the athletes nor depth to play man. But now we don’t go to it often enough. I believe it could be very effective with our lack of post depth and our length on the outside.

Why do we rarely, if ever, press?

Tinkle talked about depth and the goal of more transition buckets, but we never run a press.

Do they watch film?

I am dumbfounded at the number of times we have played right into our opponent’s strengths. A great example is in the Eastern Kentucky game. They had a guy that had not attempted a shot inside the 3pt line all season and we give up two 3pts right away? WHAT?!

Why have we not recruited a point guard?

It is obvious we have no real point guard on this team. Even with Jaqouri, we lacked a consistent ball handler and leader. Yet our 2018 recruiting class is 3 guys over 6’10”? According to 24/7, we didn’t even offer a PG. What is that all about? Also, should I trust their evaluations of PGs? I mean Ronnie is not a Power 5 D1 PG?

After the next couple of games, listen to post conference. Does Tinkle make excuses? Does he begin to temper expectations? More often than not that is what I hear and I could tolerate the first couple of years. But year 4? Everything is yours. You own it all. No more excuses. You show what you are made of.

I am still unsure if Tinkle is the man to lead us into the next level. He has yet to show us a fundamentally sound team. He has not shown us that he believes he can win here. Now is the time to prove you deserve this position.

Featured image from the Pac-12 Network

 

“I’m not mad, just disappointed…”

Featured“I’m not mad, just disappointed…”

By JD

Well, the crew has given me the keys to the site, so it’s time for my first post. It seems only fitting that it is in reaction to yet another early season meltdown by the Beavs. On Saturday, I had that sinking feeling that I have witnessed no fewer than a hundred times in my life of being a Beaver fan. Every year I think things will change. Every year, I have the hope that THIS is the year we will finally break out and are mentally tough enough to claim a victory (or at least keep the game close!) in one of these out-of-conference road games. Alas, even with the regime change from Riley to GA, the results stay the same.

If I had written this post on Saturday or Sunday, it would have been pretty much a long-winded rant. I had so much hope going into this game and this season, but that second half took it out of me. I was ready to vent. However, thanks to the guidance of the ever calm, cool, and collected Con, I was advised to take a more positive approach. After a good day-and-a-half of cooling off, I am ready. I like to think of this as the “good dad” approach. I’m not going to gloss over what went wrong, but I’m going to follow what went wrong with positives/areas of improvement. Just as this is the best way to raise a child, I believe this is the best (and most sane) way to try and be a Beaver fan. If you get over-the-top upset at each of these games, it’s going to be a long, miserable life.

Jake Luton

-What went wrong: It was quite the roller coaster day for Jake. It started out with the return of “Live Arm!” I thought this would be done and gone with Garretson off the field, but unfortunately not. After sailing it over Hodgins when he had a wide open TD on the opening drive, he proceeded to sail a couple more passes before making the safest throw ever to make sure he didn’t do it again to a WIDE OPEN Timmy Hernandez (I commented real-time that even Con could have thrown that TD). Things went well for the most part after that, until the back foot throws came out. If I am not mistaken, each of his picks came off of his back foot when there was pressure. I’m no QB (except for a few glorious year in Oregon State IM’s), but I know that is exactly what you are taught NOT to do (unless you are amazing like Aaron Rodgers). They were also usually thrown into double coverage, which adds to the recipe for disaster. That pick-six essentially ended the game.

Positives: As we heard from camp, Jake can make all the throws with ease. It’s nice to see someone who can sling the ball again. He doesn’t have to put all of his body into just throwing a slant route to the outside. While he did sail a few at the beginning, he settled in nicely and was quite accurate on his mid-range passes. There were some nicely thrown timing routes (the timing was on for those routes about 50% of the time, but to be expected for his first game). He does have a great connection with Togiai, which was on full display all game. His scrambling ability was very impressive. Numerous times he was able to avoid a costly sack and throw the ball away to save a drive. The most impressive plays on the day were by far the two TD’s to Togiai (yes I said two, because that’s what it was, despite what any garbage replay official says). The scramble to get to the sideline, and then the beautiful sidearm sling perfectly thrown so Togiai could come down in bounds with it. The wheel route to Togiai was a perfectly placed over the shoulder so that Beaverton HS alum (shoutout) Even Colorito couldn’t get to it. I expect Jake to improve in the decision-making department because, in terms of skill, he is what we have been sorely missing since the departure of Mannion.

Defensive Front Seven

-What went wrong: Everything… For most games this would be an exaggeration, but this may be pretty accurate. What was the most disappointing in this was that the two veteran leaders of the defense, Bright and Manase, had pretty terrible games. Bright was over-matched all day. He was continuously getting destroyed on outside run plays. He would kind of seal the outside, but would get blown back toward the sideline so much that his outside contain wasn’t worth much. He just kind of folded to the blocker and didn’t hold his ground. I noticed one time he was tired of getting destroyed attempting to keep contain, and instead jumped inside the blocker. This resulted in a 30-or-so yard touchdown run on that play. Manase seemed to take poor angles a good chunk of the game. What was worse were his multiple blatant missed tackles. The most embarrassing was on the fourth down play where he came up and kind of whiffed on the QB, allowing him to get the first down. Manase came up off the ground doing the “didn’t get it” crossing the arms back and forth motion when coming off the ground, only to notice that he did indeed get the first down. The last thing overall was the lack of effort in the second half. It seemed like the defense kind of gave up, which is pathetic. I get that the offense didn’t do you any favors, but you can at least finish the game out and keep from embarrassing yourself.

-Positives: Titus Failaluga was a bright spot on the day. He was getting after it, and had our only negative yardage play of the day. He was going so hard that he cramped up, got taken off on a cart, rode the bike for a few minutes, and then got back in the game. More players need to follow his example. There was also the perfect hit by Hughes-Murray that took all the wind out of the QB and resulted in a pick. We need more plays like that to get the 30 sacks and 30 turnovers GA wants this season.

For Bright and Manase, I think it may just be the “first game syndrome” (I just coined that). Remember how many missed tackles Bright had in the first game last year? I couldn’t even keep track of them. He went on from there to have a great season (before injury), so I think he will get it together and be one of our best defenders. We know Manase is legit. After the game, he talked about how the communication was poor on defense. As the leader of the defense trying to make all the calls and adjustments, maybe he was thinking too much instead of just playing. As he gets more comfortable with the calls and schemes, I believe he will get back to his old self. Another thing here: I hate making excuses, but the heat, altitude, and time of possession did look to take their toll on this unit. I don’t know why we agreed to move this game to August, but it looks like a huge mistake now. I hope that bye week in September is worth it!

Play Calling

-What went wrong: The play calling/RB substitutions seemed suspect most of the game. We finished last season steamrolling people on the ground, while throwing when necessary to keep the other team from stacking the box too much. This game deviated a lot from that strategy, especially in the second half. I get throwing more because they are loading up against the run, but completely abandoning the run game? We weren’t getting the greatest YPC (except for Nall being Nall on the TD), but it’s all a part of wearing them down and winning time of possession. It is by far our strength, so even if the other team tries to take it away, we shouldn’t just give up so easily. Our defense kept having to come back on the field with little to no rest in that second half, which compounded their failures. I think part of the reason for this is we were running spread option plays with Luton! He is not a threat to keep the ball at all, so those plays are totally worthless and destined for failure because the only way they even work are if the defense has to play the QB honest. We need to change the running calls with the QB we have this year, which seems obvious. When we do pass, why do we have to throw 40 yard bombs into double coverage? The short to mid-range passing game was working well, but we seemed to stray away from it for some reason in the 2nd half. Part of that is Luton’s decision-making, but, as GA says, the coaches need to put the players in positions to succeed. Also, as Con pointed out on Twitter, a few RB screens might be a better idea than the ones to Bradford and Hawkins that were total failures (or even the legendary tight end middle screen).

Another troubling part of the offensive coaching was the RB substitutions. There were LONG stretches of the game where Nall didn’t sniff the field. He is by far our best player. That is unacceptable! The TD came after he was out for like an entire quarter, so no wonder he was so jacked and ready to run. I understand getting him rest, especially with all the great backs we have, but why do they have to go with only one back per possession? It gets them all more involved, warm, and focused on the game if the substitutions are quicker and more regular. I hope this trend doesn’t continue. Nall needs his carries!

PS: No more fly sweeps to people who don’t know how to run in traffic.

PS, PS: Why the heck aren’t we going for it on 4 and 4 when it is a 52 yard field goal from the hash? We should have run Nall on third and fourth down and get those four yards.

-Positives: Our mid-range passing game was effective. It can definitely get better, but we picked up major chunks of yards and got key first downs with the 8-12 yard crossing routes and outs. I also loved the Ryan Nall wheel route. He catches better in traffic than most of our receivers! Another positive was the focus on Togiai. We need to keep feeding him (despite his unfortunate fumble) because he is currently our best receiver, and linebackers are no match for him, as we saw on Saturday. We also converted a third and short with a run (what a concept), thanks to Nall taking upon himself to make it to the marker. I think the coaches will (hopefully) look at what worked and what didn’t and game-plan accordingly. There were things that were working on offense, and Nall is still Nall. The Beavs just need to focus on those good things and remember what their strengths are.

O-Line

-What went wrong: As with Luton, it was a very up-and-down day for the O-Line. The real negative was the inability to get a great push up front for the running backs. There were multiple times where the running back was met in the backfield right after receiving the hand-off. The running backs were doing their best, and made the most of openings, but there was not a ton to be had throughout the day. There were also times were we got overpowered in pass-protection and let Jake get pressured into a bad throw.

Positives: I was very pleased with the pass protection in the first half. It seemed like Jake had all day to throw and had a huge pocket, which led to success. I’m thinking that fatigue caught up with them in the second half, especially as we stopped running as much and the defense could pin its ears back and go full out pass rush. Even still, we only gave up one sack on the day, which is solid. There were flashes of opening up holes in the run game. Nall’s run (obviously), but there were a few nice Pierce runs, and a Tyner run as well where there was actually some space to work.

DB’s

-What went wrong: My issues were with the huge cushions and the blown assignments. As a PAC 12 team against a MWC team, it was sad to see the huge cushions we were giving most of the game. They could throw a 5-yard slant/out/hook any time they wanted with ease. As a team that is supposed to have better athletes, that was unfortunate to see. It seems like it was kind of necessary too, because we still got beat deep multiple times. However, I do think that was mostly due to the second issue: blown assignments. The key 3rd down we gave up in the fourth quarter, the almost touchdown where the QB overthrew Gallup, and the walk-in touchdown on the crossing route all looked to be caused by missed assignments (especially by safeties) There is no reason for the safety to be behind a receiver in the middle of the field. On the 3rd down and almost TD, it looked like Moore realized he was out of place and kind of threw up his hands in frustration after each play. After the game, Crawford talked about communication and missed assignments (probably related to the 3rd down play where he had no safety help) as being a huge factor. One more thing I would like to see is getting off blocks better. The WR screen passes were way too effective, and there was one TD in the 4th quarter where the DB’s got ran-off and then blocked into the end zone for an easy score.

-Positives: We did get a pick (should have been two Brandon Arnold) which is somewhat of a good sign. Interceptions have been few and far between the past few seasons, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come. The safeties seemed to tackle better and give bigger hits than the LB’s on Saturday. It’s never good when your safeties are leading your team in tackles, but it is good to know that they are there, take good angles, and won’t give up big runs.

Atta-boys

Time to give some extra props to what went well on Saturday:

-Vitamin J is alive! He had good hands all day, seemed to be running pretty crisp routes, and was more of the Villamin we saw two years ago. Still needs to work on timing routes with Jake, but there were some well executed ones on Saturday. Looking to see his resurrection continue as we progress through the season, which will be a huge key to success.

speaking of keys…

-Kee Whetzel was playing with a purpose. There was one kickoff where he absolutely destroyed someone. It reminded me of Brandon Arnold a few seasons ago. He also got in on quite a few plays on defense. He is someone I know is not going to give up and will go hard every play.

-Loved seeing Trevorris Johnson as our 2-minute offense pass-blocking specialist. He did a great job picking up rushers, and even caught a key pass on the end-of-the-half TOUCHDOWN drive.

-Ryan Nall, of course.

-Sumner Houston: Didn’t notice any bad snaps or weird snap count procedural penalties. Great job for his first college game at center after switching from defense over the summer.

-Seth Collins was as fired up as ever on the sidelines even though he was hurt. Love seeing him lead with energy, and can’t wait to have him back.

 

Well, I will be watching next week’s game on DVR because my sister is getting married and all the family is in town. Hopefully it will be more of a pleasant experience with many more positives than this week.

It was still only the first game. No reason to give up hope yet! If we play like this in week 9 or 10, then I will be worried. For now, let’s all channel positivity and constructive criticism towards the Beavs so we don’t have to suffer through another long, painful season.

Go Beavs

-JD

Sunday Night/Monday Morning Film Session: OSU @ CSU

FeaturedSunday Night/Monday Morning Film Session: OSU @ CSU

By Con

New series we will be starting this season. We have decided to take in the latest game for OSU for a day, scour the internet for reviews of game and then conduct our own film session Sunday afternoon/night and Monday morning to provide our readers with musings.

Sunday morning usually is a lot of overreacting by all; positive and negative; so we feel the extra day gets the right mindset.

Game Theme: Third downs and quick changes.

The OSU offense and defense were too out of sink. The offense seemed like it would randomly do an on screen quick change popular in dancing and leave the defense with being on the field just too long. This is a stat PNW will be tracking the whole season.

Out of the 15 possessions OSU had on offense, 8 of them resulted in a quick change to the defense. Less than 1:30 taken off the clock and mostly 3 and outs. We also did not count the Ryan Nall 1 play drive.

This cannot happen on the road, in altitude with an opponent who has a top 25 offense. It’s more than 50% of the drives are virtually worthless. That need to be 25%.

This caused so much mental and physical stress on the defense, they just could not keep up.

The first half, the Beavers sustained drives, had TONS of third down conversions and limited the Rams on offense enough. Second half not so much.

Third Down Offense: 

Beavs were a quality 10/16 on third downs. The problem under this stat is this:

Out of the 16 third downs, 10 were 3rd and 6 or more. Only once out of the other 6 third downs under 6 yards did the Beavs not convert. That is an improvement from 2016. However, you simply cannot expect an offense to convert 3rd and 8, 3rd and 10 consistently. Play calling didn’t help. Shallow routes or RB dumps were available but not taken. Throwing on first and second down incomplete doesn’t help either.

Key Plays You Might Have Forgotten: 

+Right after the Bradford fumble, the D held strong and held to a FG. This could have been way worse.

+Luton escaped pressure many times. In fact, he was only TOUCHED by a defensive player behind the line 6 total times in the game. Pass pro is way ahead of 2016.

-4th and 1 Third Quarter: Rams driving on FIRST drive of second half and a 4th and 1 play action pass, Manase Hungalu whiffs on chance to take QB down on rollout, Rams go on and get a FG. Different ball game if the D comes out of halftime and stuffs Rams.

-Right after ^^^ this play, Brandon Arnold misses a layup interception and possible huge return in the end zone.

-3rd and 6 Fourth Quarter: Beavs just scored TD, Rams about to stall out and Xavier Crawford burned on a deep route and incredible catch with QB getting hit. Great catch but would have been another change if D holds.

5 Random Key Stats: 

  1. Third quarter scoring: 10-0 CSU. OSU continues to be done in by 3rd quarters.
  2. As mentioned above, Jake Luton was TOUCHED 6 times by CSU defenders behind the line.
  3. 11 counted and reasonable missed TFL’s by OSU defense.
  4. 3rd quater offense: 1 third down conversion, 2 INT. Not good.
  5. Andersen stated: 60% run plays, 40% pass as a goal. 47 pass plays. 29 runs. Ironically that is 61.8% pass plays… Hmmmm.

Final Thought: 

This all being said, so much overreaction by OSU’s honestly pathetic fan base. Some say 1-11, others say fire Andersen… Are you kidding me??? Cupboard was beyond bare just 2.5 years ago. Andersen’s recruits are all 19 and 20 and sophomores at best.

We finally have a playmaker at QB both positive and negative but no longer a game manger.

Yes we got out-physicalled in the end by CSU but PNW will go on record, CSU will go 10-2. They are a well coached team by all SEC rooted coaches. Senior QB with poise.

Calm down delusional Beaver fans, the sky is not falling. Still hope for 6 wins. That is the original expectation. Go Beavs.

 

Best Case/Worst Case: 2017 Beaver Football Preview

FeaturedBest Case/Worst Case: 2017 Beaver Football Preview

By Con/PNW

A nod to the Ted Miller. Previously ESPN.

Here we will run our best case/worst case scenario for the 2017 Oregon State Football season. All very real possibilities but extreme in both cases. Enjoy.

@ Colorado State:

Worst: Jake Luton gets messed up like Minnesota in 2016 with Darrell Garretson and we don’t run the ball enough as usual.

We lose 24-20.

Best: We hurt CSU like we hurt Utah 10 years ago and our defense doms and we just pound the crap out of the run game.

We win 20-10.

PSU:

We win.

Minnesota:

Worst: PJ rows his damn boat straight through beaver dam and we got out physicaled. Luton gets killed by that same defensive end that killed DG. DG comes in, almost leads comeback but pass batted down by d end on last drive. We lose 28-24.

Best: We get in PJ’s head and he throws his boat oar at us pre game. Their D end gets ejected for hitting Thomas Tyner high. Seth Collins throws punch and also gets ejected. We romper stomp them and Luton catches fire for 5 TD passes. 2 to Quintino Allen in Collins stead.

We win 49-17.

WSU:

Worst: Luton hurt so leading up we mind eff Leach and don’t announce starter. DG starts. Throws for 400 yards in shootout. We have full on QB controversy. He slings it like he is back at Chandler HS with Markus Wheaton.

We lose in shootout 52-49.

Best: Luton is fire. He pulls out 3 total TDs. 1 Rush, 2 pass. But the real story is Nall. He officially gets on his first Heisman ballot. 5 total TD. One throwing to Seth. 1 67 yard screen and run, 3 rushing. He bulls over a 300lb DT at goal line and then swims into the end zone channeling Civil War 2016. We break Luke Falks leg on a scramble late hit by Bright. Leach accuses Gary of dirty playing. Gary reveals Luke Falk is his long lost son from a one night stand at his JC college. Leach looks like an idiot saying Gary would hurt his own son. Gary and Luke hug at midfield post game.

We win 52-24.

UW:

Worst: Coach Pete first play Myles Gaskin poops on us and goes 75 yards on TD run. We can’t contain Browning on read option and he scrambles for 136 yards and 3 TDs. He is put as Heisman front runner. Coach Pete has mercy on us and we pull together in second half.

We lose: 41-27.

Best: Coach Pete first play is triple reverse throwback to Browning. Bright is suspended from killing Falk last game, but Adam Soesman comes out of no where and crushes Browning. He is concussed. Tries to come back but then Soesman kills him again on a high low sack. He crawls off field. However, UW has an all world true frosh QB come in. We struggle to move ball on O. Luton has nerves, we are 4-0 at this point and crack top 25… He throws 3 picks. Two pick 6’s. And one fumble. Eddie Dallas clamors for DG to enter game. DG comes in and gets hurt 6th play. All is not lost. Conor Blount comes in, throws screen pass to Tino first play. He busts it to the house. 17-17 ball game in fourth quarter. We are down to our Bright comes back in after first half suspension. Scoops and scores on a strip sack of the frosh QB. We up 24-17 with 2:18 to go. Coach Pete is not done though. Johnathon Smith has experience with a true frosh QB in these matchups. (Himself) Frosh QB loses shoe, but hyper from last series Bright jumps in air and whiffs. Frosh QB dumps pass to Gaskin, he goes 60 yards for TD. Coach Pete takes timeout with 13 seconds left to consider PAT or 2Pt. Gary is expecting Statue of Liberty. He is right. Elu busts the play up but he is overweight so he can’t make the tackle. But Craig Evans first game of season says hello. Kills Gaskin at 1 yard line. Review of play: Gaskin gets called that he broke plain first. Gary throws headset in disgust and goes Buddy Stephens on ref and knocks him out with one punch. Gary suspended for 2 games. NCAA admits wrong call. Team is fired up.

We lost 25-24.

USC:

Worst: We come out with some fire, as if to say we will not be pushed around by the spoiled children. We take a 21-0 lead with 2 scores by the D. Sam Darnold’s proclaimed Heisman run is doused by Kirk Herbstreit at half.

Second half he comes back with vengeance and lights our secondary up. Xavier Crawford out with cramping, Darnold throws 4 TDs and 300 yards second half. We throw the ball 60 times and Con is threading rope through his rafters as he is screaming “run the ball” on 2nd and 25.

We lose: 31-24.

Oh and Hawks get destroyed by Johnny Hekkers 3 TD passes off fake punts, 24-3.

Best: Gary is sitting with Con, Andy, JD and Braught pre game in their AirBnb. He can’t be 150 yards from stadium. He informs them that he has damaging intel on Willie and the boys down south and is going to reveal it 3 days before the civil war and promises he is doing his “routine” background checks on each involved.

Game kicks off, USC is in a funk. Sam Darnold is hurt but playing through. This is fresh meat to the Beaver D who is top 20 statistically. He is out by second quarter after hit after hit.

Luton is back after being benched. Throws for 4 TDs but also 3 picks. Nall gets hurt running out of bounds. Tyner takes over. Runs for 167 yards but fumbles twice. USC capitalizes. Back and forth we go. 35-34, Jordan Chouikar misses 43 yard field goal for win. Adley gets cut from OSU baseball team and vows to return next week at CU. Says Chouikar is poser.

We lose 35-34.

CU:

Worst: 1-5, murmurs are starting. Clune looking for way out, calls Kalani. Accepts D coordinator job minutes before kickoff. Gary is furious. Promotes graduate Jake Cookus to DC. Turns out to be promising.

Cookus sends the house every play. Our D backs our coach. Forces 6 turnovers, scores 3 TD’s. We stumble on O but do enough.

We win 27-14 in defensive domination.

Best: Gary is still suspended but we are 4-2 with two wins taken from us. Kevin Clune is acting HC. Reams Kevin McGiven after calling 4 straight pass plays. Takes playcard from him and burns it. Calls Mitch Singler out of press box to call plays. Calls 36 straight runs. And it pays off. Two drives stall but then o line gets warmed up. Nall rumbles for 160, Tyner 106, Arty 80 on 5 carries. 6 TDs between them. We comeback with vengeance. Stephen Montez cries postgame.

We win: 45-21.

Stan:

Worst: 2-5 but with hope. Makeshift defense. 3rd string QB on offense. Luton transfers mid season to UO. DG salivates as he has been planning this for 2 years but breaks ankle celebrating himself being started. Conor Blount starts the rest of season. Stanford pins us to ground. We have 136 total yards of offense.

We lose 20-0.

Best: Gary is back. After suspension he doesn’t apologize to ref but ref apologizes to him for blowing UW game. Stanford has no chance from beginning. David Shaw respectfully takes 3 knees first series in support of Gary being screwed. Comes back to bight him as Tino houses punt return. We have 5 sacks and two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. Defense rules the day. Offense, who cares.

We win 31-13.

AZ:

Worst: Rich Rod gives hell shaking tongue lasting to wildcats about last year at Reser. AZ comes out, pounds us a la 2015. Nall lost for season, Conor Blount struggles. Two o lineman get diagnosed with left testicle cancer minutes after game. Our team is spent, AZ rolls, In and Out burger closes early on bus ride home.

We lose: 49-7

Best: We are consensus top 15 team because everyone knows UW was an inside job on refs. Gary doesn’t speak to media pre week or post game. Luton shines. Adley kicks 6 fgs coming back two weeks after Pat had cut him from baseball. Recovers 2 onside kicks. Rich Rods final straw of his job.

We win 32-20.

ASU:

Worst: Conor Blount has 3 games under his belt. Word from practice is “he is making us forget about Marcus McMaryion.” Proves it on field. Throws for 3rds, runs for another. Kolby Taylor gets in game and scores 2 TDs and throws pitchfork at Sparky. Suspended for rest of season. Jake Cookus struggles as teams have film on his “Engage 8” defensive style. ASU scores a lot. But fumbles away PAT snap on last TD. We go up 42-41 with minutes to go. They get onside kick though, Their crazy RB runs 49 yards on us but he needed 50. Arnold tracks him down and punches ball out. Touchback. Conor Blount tears ACL taking a knee.

We win 42-41.

Best: we are 8-2. Poised for PAC 12 championship birth. UW is 9-0 though. No thanks to refs. They are playing lowly Cal. Beau Baldwin calls magnificent game, Cal squeaks out win, 35-32. This is pregame. Gary smiles.

Luton has another solid outing, throws 2tds and runs one in. Tyner is benched though to save him for civil war. He agrees. Nall as well. Arty steals the show. Him and Tre Johnson combine for 236 yards, 3 TDs. We run train on ASU on D. Force 3 turnovers, 7 sacks. We reach 30 sacks on season but only 26 turnovers. We need more Gary says postgame. Todd Graham resigns. Gary hints postgame for first media session since week 5, that “a storm is coming.” Gina asks “what’s a storm?” Danny says “I have an interview scheduled. Need to leave and do routine background check on Gary Andersen.” Gina fired for not doing routine background check on John Canzano.

We win 42-22.

Willies dog poop:

Worst: *********** no comment.

We end season 3-9. Tino transfers. Nall declares for NFL, Tyner transfers back to UO for 6th year through some loophole, says “it’s where I belong”

Willie hires Gary as D coordinator. Gina now runs Oregonian with Canzano. They get married. Danny Moran becomes private detective. Pat Casey declines AD job that Scott Barnes leaves at end of season, takes job at LSU. Says “if you can’t beat em, join em.”

Beavers hire Brady Hoke as HC. He brings in Mark Helfirch to run offense. Mitch Singler promoted to recruiting coordinator. All Gary’s assistants fired. Hired by Buddy Stephens after. Brittney Wagner becomes academic counselor at UO and school is praised for its “diversity” and “acceptance.”

Bobby D comes back as AD. Tres retires from basketball. Ethan Thompson never becomes eligible.

Best: 2 days before game day, “anonymous sources” confirm that Willie covered up Marcus Mariota prostitution ring during his recovery in Eugene this summer. Deal was Mariota brings in prostitutes and sets up recruits with them, he gets to train and recover for free at his own sports complex. Offensive coordinator found out about scheme, went on drunken stooper, hence his DUI charge months before. Canzano breaks story. Same “anonymous source” emails background check of Willie. Turns out, at Western Kentucky he was sued for “sealed crimes” but in Kentucky they unsealed them just for fun. He payed refs nation wide to change outcome of games in his gambling favor to fund his future recruiting endeavors. Story goes national. One of the refs payed was head review ref from UW game. Gary pre game media says “What goes around comes around. We run the state btw.” Canzano gets promoted pre game to Lindsey Schnells old position of covering Mike Riley 24/7. Mike Riley says “that’s swell”

Swirling in turmoil the game begins. A crisp day at Autzen, the PNW crew already mind boggling the Autzen fans. Willie somehow allowed to coach in game. Different fortunes than 2016. we throw 60 times for 734 yards and 6 TDs. Nall and Tyner just watch from sideline as they are resting for PAC 12 championship by halftime. It is announced in Autzen that UW got blown out by WSU in Apple cup. Mike Leaches final game. He retires due to Alzheimer’s he has had for 20 years in secret. UW ends season in 3 game losing streak putting us solely in first place in north. We trample UO like a tackling dummy. Con gets bored during game and proclaims “I’m tired of winning”

We win 70-13.

We go to PAC 12 championship, beat USC on reverse fortunes with Adley making game wining 68 yard field goal.

Gary is carried off. We book tickets to Rose Bowl. Play Ohio State in prep for 2018, kick the living daylights out of them. Urban Meyer dies of stroke postgame. All his recruits leave and join the “real OSU.”

Nall comes back for senior year. Says “I’m not finished.” We roll into 2018 with another date with the Buckeyes except they have no coach or recruits. We are poised for a National Championship run in 2018.

Willie stays in as head coach. Is bowl banned for 3 years. Loses 20 scholarships for 3 years. Has recruiting class of 5 players. 4 from Redmond high school. 1 from Churchill. Their o line coach becomes offensive coordinator at UW. Kevin McGiven gets Western Michigan head coaching job. Jonathan Smith comes back to OSU with full on homecoming parade starting at the top of the cock. Becomes our coach in waiting and Offensive Coordinator.

Both scenarios likely. Which will it be?

Happy Eclipse. 5 days.

Quick Thoughts: Blazers in 0-2 hole as series shifts to New Orleans

pexels-photo-358042.jpeg

By Andy / PNW Sports Fans

WHAT IN THE WORLD JUST HAPPENED?! One minute we’re basking in the glory of capturing the three seed in the west after a convincing win over the Jazz and the next we’re crying in our beers as Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis run the Blazers out of their own gym. As excited as I was for this series going in, I’m equally as distraught heading into game three. Do the Blazers still have a chance to win this series? Sure, but the team that we saw in March and early April will need to show up to make that happen. If the team we’ve seen for the better part of three weeks shows up, we might be looking at swift exit.

After suffering through two games of this series I wanted to share some of my thoughts on what I’ve witnessed thus far.

Rip City? More like Brick City:

It is hard to fathom how poor the Blazers have been shooting. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have combined to shoot 29 of 80 from the field. 36% isn’t good enough from your two best scorers when the team is fighting for its life. Especially considering that  both guards shot over 43% from the field during the regular season.

Figure out how to handle a double team:

At times it honestly looks like the guards haven’t seen a double team in their lives. However, I can’t put it all on Dame and CJ. A double team means open looks for teammates and the other guys aren’t capitalizing on those opportunities.

Holiday and Rondo have been > Lillard, McCollum:

It pains me to write this, but it’s true. or should I say Jrue? Holiday is averaging 27 points a game so far as well as 5.5 assists. That alone is impressive, but combine it with his presence on the defensive end of the court and he creates an absolute nightmare for Portland. Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo has been his vintage, facilitating self. He is averaging 11 points and 13 assists. He even hit the dagger three in game two. Very annoying.

Dame and CJ need to solve the puzzle offensively and do more to make their counterparts feel uncomfortable on the other end.

Anthony Davis isn’t Human:

This one is pretty self explanatory. Davis has clearly been the best player on the court. I feel like he would match up well physically with the characters in Avatar.

Nurkic needs to be better:

Missed layups, lack of agression and the intimidation factor of the aforementioned Anthony Davis have all contributed to a tough start for Nurk. He was much better in game two, but if the Blazers are going to climb out of this hole, he’s got to play at a higher level.

50/50 Balls. . . fight for them:

This has probably been the most sickening part of the series. There have been a ton of loose balls where it appears that the Pelicans are just hungrier. In a playoff series every 50/50 ball is crucial. Get on the floor! It’s especially disheartening to see them lose these effort battles at home. Have some pride and go get the ball.

Wrap it up, you’re rambling:

That’s all I’ve got. I know there weren’t a ton of positives in there, but we keep it real here at PNW. The truth is the Blazers are trailing the series 0-2 and aren’t playing the basketball they are capable of. It’s frustrating and my thoughts reflect that. However, I’m clinging to the hope that they can get it turned around. I don’t believe this team is going to just lay down and get swept or lose 4-1. I know they are better than what they’ve shown. That might be the fan in me, but it’s better than going full doom and gloom. So until the Pelicans beat the Blazers two more times, I’m going to believe this series is still winnable.

Rip City!

 

 

 

 

Civil War Baseball Preview

Beavers april 2018

Photo Courtesy of Andy’s phone. This was taken during February trip to Surprise, AZ

By Braught / PNW Sports Fans

I don’t know about you, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the 2011 Civil War Series. That season the ducks beat the Beavers in football and played in the BCS championship game, swept them in the Civil War basketball series, and swept the Beavers in the three game conference series in baseball. That is not supposed to happen to the Beavers! They are suppose to dominate the in state rival because as we have all known, and as ESPN declared this weekend, the ducks only have baseball because they are jealous of our success.

The Following is from the ESPN Broadcast of last Friday’s game against Missouri State.

Oregon will never admit this, but a lot of the reason why Oregon has a program, now that they brought baseball back, was the success Pat Casey has had 45 minutes up the road in Corvallis by winning those back to back national championships.”

Now I don’t expect, nor could I handle, Oregon sweeping the Beavers this year. This is an ideal match up for the Beavers to see if they have made the right adjustments to get on track. The bats came alive for the Beavers while in Springfield, Missouri and the Oregon pitching staff should be a good test to see if that carries over.

Oregon’s Pitching:

Oregon’s rotation has been in flux a little all season long, but I would expect to see Matt Mercer, 2.40 ERA on Thursday and then Kenyon Yovan, 2.59 ERA, and Kolby Sommers, 3.57 ERA on Friday and Saturday.  I would consider Mercer the ace of their lineup. His funky delivery yields a solid fastball that can reach 95 and an above-average changeup. He has improved each year at U of O but his command is lacking, 23 BB in 56 IP, so I would like to see the Beavers get deep into the counts with him.

On Sunday, the ducks played 23 innings of doubleheader baseball and Yovan threw 118 pitches in game one. I would not be surprised if he gets pushed to Friday and Somers moves to Thursday. Yovan was an All American closer for the ducks in 2017 but you may remember him as the pitcher that bounced one off Madrigal’s hand, forcing him to miss multiple games last year. Yovan recently moved from the bullpen and just made his fourth start at Washington. He was selected in the 32nd round out of Westview High School but turned it down to go to college and is currently a Top 100 2019 MLB draft prospect. His fastball is in the lows 90s and he has an average to above-average slider. He is much more of strikeout pitcher, 55 in 41IP, than Mercer but has the same command issues, 23 BB in 41 IP. His start in Washington was the first time he has given up a HR in his collegiate career and his longest outing, 7 innings. Not only can Yovan pitch, he can hit and we will probably see him at the plate at some point in the series.

Somers elected to go to college after being drafted in the 38th round by the Mariners in last year’s draft. He is a left-handed pitcher with a 1-5 record and 3.57 ERA. Better command than the other two with 31 strikeouts and only 7 BB in 35 IP, but opponents are batting .294 against him.

The other pitchers to know are Parker Kelly, 4-0 1.72 ERA, and James Acuna, 2-1 4.88 ERA. Parker is by far the best arm out of the bullpen, throwing upper 80’s to low 90’s on his fastball and a solid breaking ball. He has 44 Ks to 9 BBs in 31 IP. The Beavers will see him more than once this weekend would be my guess.

Oregon’s Batting:

When it comes to team batting average, Oregon State is in the top 15, where as the Ducks are below 200, only above WSU in the Pac-12. And unlike in the past where Oregon may have a low BA but a high on base percentage due to the number of walks and pitches they leaned into, that is not true this year. There OBP again ranked in the 200’s, compared to OSU’s top 15 ranking. They also are not sacrificing at the same rate, with only 17 on the year compared to OSU’s 34 and Top 10 ranking. This is a different Penguin (Horton) style of baseball.

Hitters to know are Kyle Kasser 2B, Jakob Goldfarb RF, and Gabe Matthews 1B. Kasser will lead it off for them and has a .321 Avg and .415 OBP. He is there to set the plate as there is no power to speak of when it comes to him, only 5 doubles and 0 triples or HRs. Jakob, .319/.388/.529 and Gabe, .288/.393/.464 are much more your power guys. Jakob has some athleticism to him to go along with power as seen by his 6 stolen bases and 5 HR. Gabe will strikeout ever third time he’s up to bat though.

Oregon State:

Now if you are here, I expect you know the basics about the baseball team and will try not to fill you in with too many stats.

The big news for the Beavers this weekend is the return of their All American, Nick Madrigal. You must put Nick back at second as soon as he and the medical staff give you the greenlight but what do you do with the red-hot Andy Armstrong. Per the Oregon State gameday, Andy has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games, at .361 Avg and 17 RBIs. I believe there are two options, Andy becomes the DH or if Andy has the arm, you move him to third and Gretler moves to first. Thankfully there is not much of a drop off from 1 – 9 in this lineup because this Oregon staff will be tough.

On the pitching side, it will be the same three, Heimlich, Fehmel, and Gambrell. The only change is that Fehmel could throw Thursday since he only threw 26 pitches when in Springfield, allowing Heimlich to get more rest. If the trio maintains command, I expect them all to have a good series against this Oregon lineup.

With the great weather inbound, Goss Stadium will be the place to be.

Tough Times

Tough Times

By Con/PNW

Tough depressing times here at PNW. Mariners did their normal thing, no one cares btw… but beavs are in a downward spiral that we have not seen in our life times.

Hard to watch honestly with the most recent issue being coaches integrity. Regarding Hodgins, arguably OSU’s best receiver not playing, our offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator say, 2 receiver sets… yet film shows MANY 3 receiver sets especially with Togai injured. It is one thing to not throw players under the bus but to in our opinion have integrity issues regarding telling the truth? Seriously?

Could have just said, “violation of team rules.” And NO ONE would have thought any different.

The Beaver offense is in disarray. If Andersen does not make a change in offseason, our faith in him will be at an extreme low. We believe in the man in charge but he must get that right.

Defense on the other hand doesn’t seem as crazy as people think. They have shown improvement every game. That cannot be said about the offense. The defense played good enough to beat the best team in the pac-12. Yes the 4th and 10 was killer but psychologically and physically, no defense can hold up when the offense is doing nothing. Pressure is getting up there, secondary was impressive. Still weak at linebacker but I think it goes up to a lot of inexperience from young players that Andersen has brought in.

Can we please stop the Marcus McMaryion cries? He would have the same record right now as the current team. He is playing the likes of Nevada and San Jose State. Not exactly the PAC-12. Yes he had the mojo but it’s not like comparing Luton to Tebow here.

What he did give was an identity to the offense. I think this team misses him as a leader and the guy to get behind. It is nearly impossible to get behind a JC player in his first year or a transfer that is a coaches pet and the 18th best QB in the pac-12. Yes you heard that right, the backups for WSU, UW, Stanford, ASU, Utah, Colorado are all LIGHT YEARS ahead of Garretson. The dude wouldn’t start for the championship intramural squads at OSU. That is no joke.

End rant.

Go Beavs.

Ride or die to USC and Hawks Rams this weekend.