Eight years. That is how long that school from down the road dominated the Civil War. Two seasons. The amount of time it took for Gary Andersen to bring the bragging rights back to beautiful Corvallis, Oregon. It’s hard not to just give the entire team an “A” for beating a whole bunch of quacks, but hey let’s take a look at how everyone graded out.
QB Marcus McMaryion (77) C
McMaryion played like what most people would call a “game manager”. On most plays, he was simply okay. The majority of the throws he made were short, in fact, all but two completions were under ten yards in length. Both completions over ten yards came in the same drive during the first half. He also didn’t make any egregious errors, and came away without a single turnover in the game. The biggest positive (in this writer’s opinion) for McMaryion in the game? Much more effective zone read plays, due to mostly good reads and quality running plays by McMaryion himself. He busted off multiple keepers and was just shy of 100 yards rushing on only 11 attempts. That is a huge weapon for a Beaver team looking to keep opposing defenses from simply keying on Ryan Nall.
RB Ryan Nall/Artavis Pierce (90) A-
These two running backs ran with a purpose. Sure, there weren’t and huge touchdown runs of long distances, but instead they showed the grit and determination of a more traditional “grind it out” performance, which is a huge advantage when facing a speed based offense like that team from down the road. We all know Nall has the strength to rarely go down by the hands of just one tackler, however we saw plays with no holes to run through, or plays with defensive penetration that still ended up gaining positive yards all due to the fight and willpower of both Nall and Pierce. Impressive performance from these two, and it makes me even more excited to see how this offense shapes up in the next couple of years!
Wide Receivers (80) B-
There wasn’t too much to grade through the air with only 13 completion and 20 attempts on the night, so the majority of the score is based on their blocking as well as route running and other intangibles. Overall, it was a pretty positive night for the receiving corps. Timmy Hernandez and Jordan Villamin have shown consistent improvement in their run blocking downfield, and as a position group, all the receivers are improving with route running. There were still a lot of flattened corners and rounded breaks on routes, but they’re improving. This was one of the better blocking performances as an entire group as well, which is encouraging for the future. With the passes that were thrown, there were less drops, and a better job was done with using hands instead of the body to catch. A couple of “c’mon man” moments weren’t enough to weigh the score down much.
Offensive Line (82) B-
Seeing Nall with 4 touchdowns and McMaryion with almost 100 yards rushing, you might think a higher grade should be here, and maybe you are right. By the scoring standards I set forth when I started this system, they popped out with an 82. It surprised me as much as it may surprise many of you. I decided to watch back each offensive play an extra time to really see if it was deserved. The answer is yes. There were multiple plays throughout the game that saw increased penetration or a lack of a hole for the running backs, that regardless of the end result of the play, show the o-line didn’t have as dominant of a game as you might think. That being said, watching through it, there were definitely more positive plays than negative, and hey, an 82 isn’t bad! It’s considered playing pretty good really.
Defensive Line (79) C+
The defensive drew a tough matchup on the ground with Royce Freeman being one of the most talented running backs in the Pac-12. For the majority of the night, the defensive line held there own and were able to take away multiple blockers, get some penetration and even record a sack and a couple of quarterback hurries on the night. The only reason their score is where it is, and not higher, is that late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter, the opposing offensive line dominated. Multiple running plays went over 10 yards with Beaver defensive linemen taken up by a single blocker nearly every time allowing linebackers to be taken out easier and opening up gaps. The runs then allowed the passing game of the opponent to get a little momentum and before you knew it, the Beavers were down by 10. The defensive line rebounded rather quickly to help tamper the other team’s offense for the remainder of the game.
Linebackers (81) B-
The linebackers ended up with a grade similar to the defensive line, because in this case the majority of the negative/positive plays correlated between the position groups. Their grade is a little higher because when watching the game one play at a time, there were a few more plays with lineman errors (i.e. being blocked by only one offensive lineman) than linebacker errors (i.e. not filling the correct gap, losing contain, etc.). Overall, it was a decent performance by a super athletic position group that the Beavers will come to rely on.
Defensive Backs (84) B
With the exception of a few of big plays, one being a trick play, the Oregon State secondary played pretty well. Even when there was a big play, with all but two, the Beaver defender was in a position to make a play. This group has been strong performers throughout the majority of the season, and continued that tradition in the Civil War. They earned an 84 even without counting in Treston Decoud’s interception that was nullified by an invisible pass interference call. Defensive backs broke up 5 passes on the day, and put themselves into good enough position to have a chance at more.
Special Teams (80) B-
This game was one of Nick Porebski’s better punting performances of the season, and the coverage unit for punts did great only allowing four yards on four punts. There weren’t any missed kicks, and no mistakes on returns. Overall, a good performance by the special teams unit.
The Beavers brought home a win in the Civil War for the first time in too long. Gary Andersen has surely won over many doubters with this one, and has the Oregon State football team trending upward. Hopefully this momentum will carry into the offseason and into next year. Great way to end the season. As always, Go Beavs!