Don't Blame Lame Refs. Things are looking up.

Here's the deal.  Most of college football is not based upon luck.  Usually, either a play is a good or bad offensive one, or a good or bad defensive one.  Occasionally, luck enters into the equation - a hail mary, for instance - or, as with the Utah game, bad luck hit with a pass interference call.

PI calls are highly subjective, unpredictable, and I wish there were a way to tighten it up.  But it is what it is for now.

The point of this post is that we all know the refs fall into that "luck" category at times.  In the end, the refs did not blow this for the Beavs.  The Beavs should have taken the "ref" intangible out of play by having a sufficient lead against the Utes.

Hindsight 20/20 says that Riley should have taken the extra points after the initial miss instead of the 2 point conversion attempts that failed.  The game is long, and you got to plan ahead.  Had that happened, the Beavs could have been leading 30-20 with 2 minutes to play.  Oh well.  And maybe that wouldn't have been enough.

The Beavs were also at fault for not scoring twice in the final quarter.  Did we set the record for the most false starts in a half?  The Beavs did not take the refs, who are out of their hands, out of the game.  They should have executed, and put more points on the board in the second half.

The lesson to be learned is to put teams so far behind that refs can't screw you up.  The Beavs had the opportunity to do that, but failed to do so.

Unfortunately, the Beavs are at the hands of a "roll of the dice" with their kicker as well.  As others have mentioned, this reminds me very much of the LSU game.  But also, as others have mentioned, Serna turned out pretty darned good in the end.  Let's not give up on Kahut yet. (Although, I would encourage Riley to strongly recruit a proven solid kicker, as aggressively as he'd recruit a QB)  I remember Serna getting hissed at on the streets of Corvallis after that LSU loss.  Let's not go that low.  The guy is the best we have, and let's encourage him.  Fortunately, we're not like Ute fans who boo their team.  And let's not go there.

On a positive note, the Beavs are still realistically in the hunt for the Rose Bowl.  Seriously.  Hopefully this game against Utah will give them a white hot fire that carries them through the season with 7 more wins.  It is possible.  We've complained enough about the difficult starting schedule, but from here on out, the schedule is really favorable, and each game is definitely winnable.

Finally, there is a sense in which this year could be considered a transition, or rebuilding year.  Look at the experience this club is getting this year, with the upset of USC, and toughly fought loss at #15 Utah.  Next year's roster for OSU is going to have strong experience.

Sheesh, though.  It's still gut wrenching, isn't it?

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