By Con / PNW Sports Fans

A win is a win.

That was the resounding thought as we here at PNW left Reser Stadium on a drizzly Saturday night.

For the team to taste their first win in 364 days, it was much needed. Compile that with Big Red coming through, it was a good day. As usual we will break down the Beaver victory or loss in the following format:

Positive takeaways, negative takeaways, plays you might have forgotten/hidden yards, coaching analysis (a few questions and play calls), personnel overview and a brief overview on the next week. We do not put too much stock in looking ahead the whole season, we need to digest, examine the film and then get ready for next week like it’s any other opponent.

Positive Takeaways

+/- Victor Bolden turns what was a cuttable experience back two weeks ago at Minnesota into 177 rushing and receiving yards on only five touches. This is encouraging but lets not forget ANOTHER two miserable punt returns and a muff. We will get to that later…

However, this emergence is nothing but positive for the Beavers. We here at PNW are still skeptical on what the season will bring for #6 but as my 12 year old nephew who attended the game wearing a #6 jersey said “#6 scores touchdowns right?” My response was “Let’s hope so.” This is what Bolden needs to do for the Beavs week after week. Provide a spark play every now and then that could lead to a TD. We are not asking for every week 92 yard runs, just a few possible big fly sweeps or great catches like he seems to do once per game. He is a “senior leader” on our team…Well at least thats what the “captain” designation gives him…All we ask is please start acting like it? This leads to a negative…Did anyone else notice Bolden’s body language week 1 and this week? Poor. When a ball was thrown off or a play wasn’t made he was seeing slapping the ground or the ball like my 12 year old nephew actually does when he doesn’t catch his Pokemon… Need we say more? This needs to change into real leadership and on field play or #6 will go down as one of the most disappointed WR’s and senior years ever.

+ Turnover Margin. When was the last time OSU not just won the turnover margin but actually had game changing plays on turnovers that didn’t negatively effect them? Yeah I am struggling to think too… Hats off to Treston Decoud for getting two easy INT’s that he has deserved over the past year… This will be a huge thing to monitor going forward. The INT that Garretson threw was not his fault as it bounced off Xavier Hawkin’s (7) hands into the air. The Beavers were playing a lot of zone coverage on ISU…Much more than we remember seeing under Kalani Sitake… Another thing to monitor if this will be a normal occurrence and lead to more INT’s.

+ 4 sacks by D. Again when was the last time? The only thing we would add here is the pressure was not consistent. However, ISU quickly changed their strategy and got the ball out much faster after the first few series. This is how a lot of Pac-12 passing teams play however so it should be noted that this will be the norm. How will OSU adjust? Also, the pressure was consistent and D-Line was plugging gaps and making it uncomfortable for ISU Qb with just 3 or 4 man fronts. Very encouraging.

+ Special teams coverage and kicking was excellent. Like what we are seeing here. Returns are a different story. Landry Payne (13) first man down consistently and the kamikaze that is trying to get more playing time. Made a few big hits on kick offs and punts. We love special team players who take it seriously. Showed some major speed on a few as well. Also, a kicker that can get touchbacks a few times a game? I don’t care that he was a Bowman last year… Bring it on! Thanks Pat.

+ Defense. The Beaver defense looks consistently improved and that Minnesota was no fluke. This game might not have showed that to the Oregonian reporters who act like football is an uncommon sport… But to us it showed. The D numbers might not have looked great against a low opponent but it was because of how many physical snaps and amount of time they were on the field. Forcing the turnovers led to 3 and outs on the offensive side save for Decoud’s house call. So essentially the D was on for 3 more series right there. I will excuse the JC women’s softball team tackling on the opening play of second half. (Here is that Mike Leach reference. Worth a watch. https://twitter.com/NateClouse/status/776100272493858816)

But on the real the D is doing its job. Sound tackling for the most part. Bright still is a question mark but Brandon Arnold looks like the real deal opposite Devin Chappell at safety. Athletic, instinctive, hard hitting safeties we have been lacking and faking in Murphy and Zimmerman’s case for the past five years.

Negative Takeaways

–  WHY DO WE STILL PLAY A RETURNER AT RETURNER THAT CATCHES WORSE THAN THE HALF TIME SHOW? Do we really need to remind people of this? Let alone muff a punt inside our own 10… We cannot do this in Pac-12 play or even next week and except it to bounce into our laps no harm no foul… If Trevon Bradford isn’t getting significant looks this week at practice for returning punts, a swan dive seems reasonable…

– Ryan Nall. We will probably get shellacked by this but here us out…

Before the season and after the Civil War, everyone and their mom and us thought we had the Ram for 3 more years… Envisioning Toby Gearhardt going Braveheart status on a few *uck players every year and running us to a solid rush offense.

Though our sources at PNW, we learned that Nall isn’t the wrecking Nall we all want him to be… Practice isn’t his thing… Extra sprints aren’t in his normal routine and although his God given ability cannot be doubted as his body is of Zeus descent, he isn’t our guy. Maybe the Central Catholic vibe started this entitlement, but his one game wonder is gone. It only took a quarter against Minnesota for him to limp off the field, two quarters against ISU… This is not the battering ram that everyone hoped for. It pains us at PNW to share our thoughts and intel of the lack of work ethic for such a likable guy… But it has already shown through 2 games… His running style this season reminds us of the Storm… Not a good one… I guess you can never trust Oregon prospects or players who had *uck interest… It just is so sad because the hopes and proof in pudding was there… However there is a still a chance he could get in shape over a few games. Just very sad. Hope is NOT lost however, Artavis Pierce is showing a little something something…

– Terrace Reveal. Great to have outdoor patio in the Pacific Northwest… NOT! Rain rain go away, come again another day please… The reveal was less then underwhelming. Locker room great but *uck women’s rowing team bathroom is equivalent… Our co-worker brought it up to Andy and I a few months ago, “are we really doing this project on par with other Pac-12 programs?” We argued yes… We have come to realize on our tour, its not… However, all is not lost. We like the new digs because that is what Gary Andersen is about. Solid facilities. Not flashy. He doesn’t need flashy to get recruits and build his culture. He needs guys to roll up their sleeves and get in the octagon with no helmet on… Something to think about going forward when ESPN is losing it’s shit walking through the Mariota Center and Mike Bellotti calls our new locker room and Terrace “nice.”

– O-Line still a work in progress. We are not out on these guys. The guys are there. Just need to establish consistency in being road pavers. Everyone clammers about he loss of Sean Harlow. Yes great player but Blake Brandel (73) has held his own and then some at left tackle. Its the lack of middle push from guards and random missed assignments that leave Gavin Andrews (62) and Fred Lauina (64) looking and running backwards. Watch it. We are not getting pressured from the outsides a whole lot… the inside is a crap shoot… Garretson can only disguise this problem for so long with his athletic ability. We will be following up on this after the test of BSU.

Plays forgotten/Hidden Yards

(Hidden yard plays are yards that do not show up in box scores but are huge field position/momentum changing plays that tell a huge tale of the game…)

-Muffed punt. Can you tell we are a little agitated by this? Not only did we muff the punt inside our own 20 but we played pick up soccer with it like our end zone was our goal getting it inside our own 10…

+Kickoffs were solid save for the first out of bounds kick… Punts consistent. Would still like to see some wham blocks or gunners busting up some blockers on coverage.

-Nall trying to catch screen pass that my dog was barking about before the play… Hello coaches, people watch film. The screen pass to Nall will not be available in obvious screen play downs (3rd and long, slow down sacks, etc.) This is an adjustment we must make. Nall is a solid pass catcher and runner (like Storm was) but he needs space and a few steps to get going. The play could have been picked off and housed…

+A few plays where ISU QB was flushed and Beavs closed pocket up to tackle for no gain or gain of 1. Huge in stopping mobile QB’s keeping contain on QB with D-Line.

Coaching

A few questions for the staff (we do trust them completely, this is just theoretical questions from non Pac-12 coaches unless stated) We limit ourselves to one real question of the coaching staff a week. The first questions or just our theoretical thoughts:

  1. Victor Bolden is not a punt returner… Statement not question…
  2. We don’t have any better option than Bright at OLB?
  3. When is Seth Collins going to throw out of wildcat? Are we saving this? Two carries for him… Zero thought of passing or handing off.
  4. What will Trevon Bradford’s role be? Or did we pull a Derek Anderson and waste his redshirt on a few plays?
  5. Paul Lucas…Is he not our most electric playmaker? Yet we give him the ball a handful of times only? Please explain it.

OK FOR THE REAL ONE NOW:

WHY ARENT WE RUNNING ON FIRST DOWN AGAINST AN FCS TEAM? We again bring up just like last week the lack of first down runs…We get it. Darrell can air it out. But at what cost to his health? Something to monitor as season goes on. We had 13 possessions, 10 started with pass play. Please explain to the dumb minded why this strategy is good? Our only thought is that our o line is so bad at run blocking… But really against ISU we don’t pound the ball down their throats? (Or cant?)

Personnel

-No Hunter Jarmon (2) for second straight game. He was on sideline with helmet on. But did he smoke a blunt in Gary’s face or something? Major doghouse…

-Already talked about but Landry Payne (13) doing work on special teams.

-Adley Rutschten (97) kickoff specialist. Touchback machine.

-Phillip Napoleon (90) made his mark in the backfield or at the line for no gain. Good to see this depth developing.

-Xavier Hawkins (7) benched after tipped pass that led to INT. Did not return.

-Noah Togiai (81) could have significant injury… Ricky Ortiz (42) filled spot… We might need to go 4 wide every down. We would not be opposed to this. Lack of TE depth is concerning.

Next Week

Boise State is not Chris Peterson Boise State anymore but their coach as lost 6 games since Peterson departure to Huskies. They are a sound team that plays physical D and always creative on offense. This will be a good measuring stick for OSU. We are hopeful at home… Time will tell. Beatable team but could go either way and wouldn’t be surprise. Show up Saturday Beaver Nation.

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