How Is Beaver Nation Feeling Heading Down The Stretch?

How do you feel about things now? - Photo by Andy Wooldridge

One thing every week in the Pac-12 brings, even when "your" team doesn't play, are results that change how things look and we feel. You get new perspective on past games when we see how those teams fared. And you can find renewed hope, or renewed panic, about upcoming contests, given the most recent real results.

This weekend was even more interesting than average, with several attention grabbing outcomes.

It started Thursday night, when Stanford stomped on Oregon for most of the game, and held off a late rally for a 26-20 win. These are the Cardinal that have controlled the Ducks two years in a row. A Cardinal team that the Beavers should have beat last year, and certainly could have again this season. Also a Duck team that has bee any thing but controllable for Oregon St.

Should the Beavers feel better about having hung with a Stanford team that's now 9-0 against ranked teams in their last 15 games, plus a Rose Bowl win? Or worse, because they know it should be 7-2?

And is their any renewed hope for the end of month at Autzen? Especially with Marcus Mariota suffering with a sprained MCL?

Next weekend its off to Tempe to take on Arizona St. The Darkness Devils appeared to be a daunting opponent at the very least after stringing together a 54-13 win over Colorado, a 53-24 rout of Washington, and then a 55-21 blowout of Washington St.

Then they found themselves down 19-7 at Utah in the 4th quarter. The same Utes that Oregon St. beat 51-48 in overtime, and the same Utes that beat Stanford 27-21. Possibly the only thing that will stand between the Cardinal and the National Championship Game.

Taylor Kelly then took Arizona St. on 2 touchdown drives, and to a 20-19 comeback win.

Should the Beavers feel better about going up against an Arizona St. team that suddenly proved vulnerable? Or worse because now we know they can come from well behind late?

Oregon St. fans also felt disappointed and frustrated after the Beavers last game, when USC, fresh off a win over Utah, pounded Oregon St. 31-14. Yesterday, the Trojans piled up a 62-28 win a Cal. 2 punt returns for touchdowns by Nelson Agholor and a blocked punt returned for another score had a lot to do with that, but so did Javorius Allen, who backed up his 133 yard, 3 touchdown performance against the Beavers with a 135 yard, 2 TD day in Berkeley, including a 79 yard scoring run that eclipsed his 52 yard scoring romp through the Oregon St. defense as his career best play.

An expected win that would have made Oregon St. 7-2, which was about as good as anyone could have assumed for the high water mark 3/4 through the season, instead of 6-3, that didn't happen looks less surprising now, and you can bet the Trojans got Stanford's attention as well, especially since the Cardinal travel to the Coliseum next Saturday.

By the way, Eastern Washington walloped former co-conference leader Montana St. 54-29 to move within 1 win of claiming the Big Sky.

Washington looked awesome early in the season, but Beaver fans, or at least some broadcasters, felt a lot better about the prospects of beating the Huskies in 2 weeks after they ran into Stanford, Oregon, and Arizona St., and not coincidentally, a 3 game losing streak.

Those Huskies hammered Colorado 59-7 last night in Seattle, as Bishop Sankey ran for 143 yards and a touchdown, and came up just shy of 200 yards for the evening, adding 53 more yards on 4 catches.

Beaver fans can't be too comfortable about that.

Friday night, I was standing with Sean Mannion, watching Sean's dad John's Silverton team. The Foxes are headed on to the quarterfinals of the Oregon state high school 5A playoffs, and a certain big back that is taller than Storm Woods and bigger than Terron Ward that ran for 4 touchdowns had a lot to do with that.

Sean would never throw his guys under the bus, nor should he, but an "Oh Wow" I heard on one of those power sweep scoring runs made it clear that "I wish I had that!" crossed Sean's mind.

How do Beaver fans feel about the amount of support Sean will get compared to what Kelly will get from Marion Grice, Keith Price will get from Sankey, and Mariota can expect from Byron Marshall, De'Anthony Thomas, and Thomas Tyner?

And how do Beaver fans feel about NOT having to see either Arizona, and B.J. Denker and Ka'Deem Carey, OR UCLA, and Brett Hundley and freshman LB Myles "All our RBs are hurt? Let me take care of that for you!" Jack (Jack filled in while not leading the Bruin defense with 120 yards and a 66 yard touchdown rushing), after they played the best game of the weekend, with UCLA finally claiming a 31-26 win.

Thanks to Pac-12 scheduling, Oregon St. won't haven't seen either the Bruins or the 'Cats since the first half of last season, when the Beavers happened to beat both of them, and won't see either this season OR next, unless its in next year's Pac-12 Conference title game.

It was certainly a thought provoking evening of football!

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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