While their recent 4 game losing streak, 3 of them in once daunting Reser Stadium, has left Oregon St. perilously close to a 3rd holiday season in the last 5 with no bowl game, and their fans increasingly frustrated with what could be a lost season, its not as if the Beavers haven't had anything going.
Indeed, that's a big part of the frustration for Beaver Nation; they can see 7-2 from where they have been sitting at Reser those last 3 games. Oregon St. took the lead in the 4th quarter of all 3 of those home losses, but couldn't hold it.
As a result, the Beavers are looking up from the basement of the Pac-12 North.
Aside from an infusion of offensive linemen, what can make a difference as 6th ranked Arizona St. comes to town Saturday night?
For one thing, perhaps the cold wet weather that's apt to keep some of those frustrated fans away will continue to be a problem for the guys from Tempe. It's no accident that the Sun Devils haven't won at Reser since 2005.
But that alone probably won't be enough to overcome one of the top teams in the country, especially one that's playing their best ball in years, never mind this year, right now.
A good place to start might be for Hunter Jarmon to have a big night.
The young Oregon St. wide receiver group played a large role in the slow start to the season the Beaver offense experienced, and once Richard Mullaney went down, it became the most inexperienced WR group in the conference.
But that's really no longer the case. Victor Bolden has 21 catches for 245 yards the last 2 weeks. That's beginning to read like a Markus Wheaton or Brandin Cooks line.
And Jordan Villamin, despite a couple of key drops, has hauled in 14 balls for 224 yards.
And while the weekly story line will again include Oregon St. needing to establish the run, and stick to it, the reality is with Sean Mannion, the Beavers need a 3-pronged air strike to put pressure on opponents like the Darkness Devils. Mannion, the Pac-12's all-time leader in passing yardage, can make that happen if others live up to their part of the deal.
Hunter Jarmon has had 3 catches for 46 yards over the last 2 weeks. This would be a great time for Jarmon to join the party. Or maybe more than 1 catch per game for Rahmel Dockery could be included in the game plan.
The Beavers will get some help, as RB Storm Woods, who missed last Saturday's Washington St. game, returned to practice at full speed today, and will be in the fray against Arizona St.
It also appears that the Oregon St. defense will get DT Jalen Grimble back, which could help in multiple ways, as his return will also allow Dylan Wynn to return to his DE position more often.
LB Romel Mageo, who missed practice Monday, was also back to work today.
Still, the Beavers (again) face a tough task this weekend.
I'll close with a quote.
"Sure the D has had some bad plays, but looking at it overall for the game, I thought the offense put that burden on the D. The offense needs to live up to its half of the deal, and keep the opposing offenses off the field with sustained drives and also keep the other team off balance with scoring more points and keeping that scoring foot to the pedal."
Lets see if anyone can identify in the comments the source, or the time, or what seems like a timely assessment of the current state of Oregon St. affairs.