Gary Andersen's weekly press conference covered a lot of ground today, and in light of the first half fiasco Saturday in Pullman, its interesting that one of the top topics wasn't what happened, it was the decision that was selectively leaked on Sunday, and became general knowledge today, that Andersen has hired Gary Crowton as an offensive consultant.
Crowton, who had a 4 year stint as head coach at BYU is most familiar to most Beaver fans for his 2 years as the Offensive Coordinator down the road at Oregon for Mike Belotti, immediately before the dawn of the "era of Chip".
Crowton has also had stints as an OC several other places, with a BCS National Championship in 2008 at LSU his most notable accomplishment.
Crowton's hiring is another indication of Andersen's willingness to try a variety of things to try to pull Oregon State out of its current position as the worst program in the Pac-12. We'll see about how this works out, and discuss the move in a little more depth shortly, but its important to note that this didn't just happen; Crowton resigned as the OC at FCS Southern Utah back on Oct. 5, and its safe to assume this is why.
Andersen also took the blame for the fake punt that he says wasn't a fake, though he also said the ball was supposed to be punted. It was unclear what was really supposed to happen, but what was clear is that there was a breakdown between the coaching staff and punter Nick Porebski, and that Andersen wanted to deflect the criticism from his player. In light of the game losing mistake by the punter that Michigan experienced Saturday afternoon, and the resulting uproar that the Wolverines' Acting Athletic Director had to get involved with, that's not surprising.
The most immediately relevant portion of the conference came when Andersen addressed the injury situation, but even that was a bit vague. CB Larry Scott's condition, after having to leave the game Saturday in the first half, sounds dubious, though Andersen put off answers until later in the week, specifically until Wednesday, when injury updates are more often announced.
Whether Scott shows up on the depth chart when its released might be a clue as well, and a couple days for further examination and treatment could help, but right now, Scott should probably considered doubtful for this Saturday night's Homecoming contest against Colorado.
Better news is that Andersen and Jalen Grimble both hope and expect Grimble, who has missed multiple games with an array of nagging injuries, to play against the Buffs. It could help a Beaver defensive line that was almost totally ineffective in getting pressure on Cougar quarterback Luke Falk.
Less likely to be back is DT Ali'i Robins, who still isn't ready to practice, according to Andersen, though once again, Wednesday may bring more information, after a couple of days for further assessment of progress.
Beyond those 3, Andersen said the team was in pretty good shape, health wise.
Andersen also addressed the improvement in the second half, when he felt the team met all of its objectives, after achieving none of them in the first half. Whether that will translate to a better start against Colorado, who won't be even sub-consciously coasting at that point, remains to be seen. But it was better than having the situation deteriorate any more than it already had.
Andersen also indicated he wished the Pac-12 would play more games at 11 AM, in reaction to the ever unpopular discussion point of late night games, though it sounded like his frustration with mid-day Friday television as the team adjusts their schedule might be a big reason why. I doubt many will share his sentiment for substituting morning football, something Andersen experienced at times during his B1G 10 days at Wisconsin, for night games, though.
At least it was a more interactive press availability than the one Oregon Coach Mark Helfrich had last week, when no one had any questions to ask of him!
Oregon State's players resume practice tomorrow, after a day off today, in preparation for their first and only home game of the month this Saturday.