After the Beavers outscored Boise State 17-7 in the second half in last weeks 38-24 loss, Beaver Nation hoped that the second half effort and execution that their favorite team demonstrated would carry over to the Colorado game. Beaver Nation’s hopes were quickly shattered as the Beavers were demolished by an outstanding Colorado team 47-6. Here’s what we learned in the Beavers loss to Colorado.
The Tale of Two Programs
Credit the Colorado Buffaloes as they start 2016 the season 4-1 with a 2-0 conference record. It was not too long ago when Colorado was in a similar position as the Beavers are currently in. Ever since Colorado joined the PAC 12 in 2011, they have been a constant punching bag for their PAC 12 foes. Not only does it seem like Colorado has turned a corner, they look like PAC 12 title contenders. Oregon State and Colorado have had close battles the last two seasons. Oregon State won the 2014 matchup in Boulder 36-31, and Colorado won last season’s battle for 11th place as they won in Corvallis 17-10. It seemed the talent level of these two teams was very close. Going into the season, many Beaver fans thought the Beavers best opportunity to get a win this year would be against Colorado. Today’s game demonstrated a slight shift in the PAC 12. It was quite evident Colorado looked like a PAC 12 contender, and the Beavers continued to look like the PAC 12 doormat. Remember in 2013 when the Beavers wiped the floor with Colorado 44-17 at Reser Stadium? The Beavers looked like a solid PAC 12 team in the 2013 encounter and in the same game, Colorado looked like the PAC 12’s doormat. Three years later, the roles have reversed.
Losing Can Take a Toll
The Beavers started the game off well when they forced a 3 and out and drove down to kick a field goal to take a 3-0 lead. Colorado responded with a 7 play 75 yard touchdown drive capped off with Colorado QB Steven Montez’s 51 yard touchdown pass to Shay Fields. Despite blocking the extra point on Fields’s touchdown, that particular drive seemed to be the deathblow to the Beavers. The team seemed to lose their intensity as things got much worse for the Beavers. The Offense sputtered out, and the Defense was being demolished by the Colorado offense. The secondary was being picked apart by Colorado’s talented receivers. Add to the fact that Garretson was again replaced this week by Conor Blount in the second quarter. To make matters worse, both Beaver QB’s combined for 13 of 32, 105 yards, and 2 int. That’s only 3.1 yards per pass! Beavers are likely to have a QB carousel all year until they finally settle on a Quarterback that produces.
I’ve always believed a team that’s successful creates their own luck. The Beavers haven’t had much luck so far under Gary Andersen. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a lot of success for this team and it is taking a toll on many of the players’ confidence.
Positives....Were There Any Positives?
True Freshman Running Back Artavis Pierce played well. He had 61 yards on 8 carries. Pierce looks to have a bright future. Nick Porebski is doing a great job punting for the Beavs and is a good weapon. Garrett Owens made both of his field goals. Seth Collins continues to make great plays at the receiver position. He really wants the ball and he is going to have a great career at Oregon State.
Fortunately for Beaver fans, the Beavs are young, and many players are either new to college football or playing meaningful minutes for the first time. There are only 15 seniors on this Beaver team. In fact, the voice of the Beavers Mike Parker remarked before the season that there were many new names even he didn’t know much about.
The Beavers took major steps back today in their rebuild. On the bright side, there are eight games left in the season, meaning eight opportunities to improve as a team and taking positive steps forward in the massive rebuild.