That was an embarrassing loss. Let's look at some numbers that decided how this game went.
- 225 - Utah's rushing total. I gave a telling statistic in the pre-game write-up that when Utah had won they had averaged 185.7 yards per game and 58 yards per game in losses. So naturally you game plan to stop the run right? Even the opposing coaches questioned the lack of trying to stack the box against the run. It was an atrocious gameplan, the goal of the coaches should be to tailor a plan for each opponent and they failed to in that game.
- 14 - This is the number of passes that Utah QB Jon Hays threw. This is the point that seems most important, he was probably the weak link for the Utah football team, and he was barely even tested. Once again, even the most talented teams need the coaches to do a plan well. Teams can get away with less talent, look at the Buffalo Bills in the NFL, they have no spectacular players, except for maybe Fred Jackson, but their coach Chan Gailey worked to maximize what he talent there was. The Beavs seem to work exclusively out of the same old sets with no new ideas. Even if the talent level gets all the way back to be able to beat most teams using vanilla schemes, to beat the elite there has to be something tailored for each opponent.
- 6 - The number of sacks given up by OSU. The offensive line couldn't hold up and Mannion couldn't do anything to help. This unit is just not up to par, even against WSU it looked like Mannion had discovered pocket presence, it didn't really look like the line had really improved. There is still no way to really fix the line this season, they just have to play better until more players get a shot next year.
- 3 - The number of interceptions and turnover differential. Mannion got rushed into bad throws and then started to regress in his progressions. I thought that his growth from the WSU game would just continue trending upwards, but it appears that I was wrong. It is far from being all on Mannion's back but if the Beavs are going to throw 49 passes he has to perform better in spite of his line's play.
- 1.2 - OSU yards per carry. Another thing that falls to the offensive line, they need to at least open a small crease for any of the Agnew or any other tailback. The passing game will not be open if OSU cannot run at all. Things need to improve to at least 3 yards per carry for the Beavs to be competitive, and if it doesn't expect more beatdowns like what Utah just delivered.
There are not any real positive numbers to draw out here, except maybe Johnny Hekker's 52.5 average yards per punt. The Beavs regressed against Utah and to expect them to draw out a better effort against Stanford seems foolish. The only way the Beavers will compete is if the gameplan becomes much improved. To beat a talented team like Stanford it is going to require a perfect game out of the Beavers, and even then probably a little luck too.