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Oregon State Football: What We Learned From the Colorado Game

The Cory Hall Era begins with excitement

NCAA Football: Colorado at Oregon State Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a turbulent week for the Oregon State Beavers. After finding out that Coach Gary Andersen and Oregon State “mutually” parted ways on Monday, October 9th, the Beaver Football team and their new Interm Head Coach Cory Hall had to move on and prepare for last year’s Pac-12 South Champion the Colorado Buffaloes. The Beavers came out firing. They scored on their first drive of the game as Ryan Nall capped off a 10 play 60 yard drive with a 4 yard TD run to give the Beavers a 7-0 lead, which ironically was their first lead since the Portland State game on September 2nd.

The Beavers were able to use multiple formations and various personnel groups to keep the Colorado Defense off balance. However, the Beaver Offense had to settle for 4 Jordan Choukair Field Goals in the First Half, but they were able to lead the game 19-14 at the end of the half.

The Beavers were able to march down to the Colorado 32 yard line, but Darrell Garretson was hit as he threw the ball, and Colorado’s Evan Worthington intercepted the ball and returned it 43 yards. Colorado would take their first lead of the game at 21 to 19 thanks to a 9 yard TD run by Phillip Lindsay. After Lindsay’s Touchdown, the game would turn into a see-saw affair. Nall would cap off a 6 play 75 yard drive with a 13 yard TD run to give the Beavs the lead back at 26-21. The Buffaloes were able to rip away the lead after an 18 play, 88 yard TD Drive. Colorado QB Steven Montez was able to complete the Two-Point Conversion pass attempt to Bryce Bobo to give the Buffs a 29-26 advantage.

The Beavers were able to take the momentum back in the game by driving 84 yards in 10 plays capped off by another 4 yard run to take a 33-29 lead with 4 minutes left in the game. Reser Stadium was fired up as it looked like all the Beaver Defense had to do was get one stop. Colorado would score with 1:34 left to take the lead 36-33. The Beavers had one last chance to either tie the game or go for the win. Garretson made a couple of completions on 3rd down and drove down to the Colorado 31 yard line. After a 3 yard loss on a draw play to Ryan Nall and an incomplete pass, the Beavers attempted a 52 yard Field Goal to try and send the game into Overtime. Choukair’s Field Goal attempt was short. Colorado ran out the clock and escaped with a 36-33 victory over the Beavers. Ryan Nall had an amazing game rushing for 172 yards on 24 carries and 3 TD’s. The Beavers outgained the Buffaloes 569 to 385 in total yards. Here’s what we learned about the Beavers this week.

The Cory Hall Era = Fun Times

Beaver Nation finally had fun during a football game this season. Although the game ended with a heartbreaking loss for the Beavers, Oregon State played their best game of the season. Sure, the Beavers defeated Portland State, but they were outplayed that game and didn’t deserve to win. The Beavers were exciting last Saturday. They played with tons of energy and passion. Cory Hall has provided a jolt of energy to the team and the coaching staff. The Beavers deserved the win, but came up just short. However, give credit to the players for playing well, and to Coach Cory Hall and the coaching staff for getting the team ready to play despite all the drama and chaos they’ve endured throughout the week. Strap yourselves in Beaver Nation, and enjoy the ride. The Cory Hall Era should be fun to watch for the rest of the season.

The Offense! Wow!

Entering Saturday’s game the Beavers were ranked 117th nationally in Total Offense. The Beavers were able to rack up 569 yards of Total Offense against the Buffaloes. Beaver Offensive Coordinator Kevin McGiven used a variety of formations, used numerous substitutions to keep players fresh, and trick plays to keep Colorado guessing. The Beavers on Saturday reminded me of those high-powered Boise State Offenses under Dan Hawkins and Chris Peterson in the 2000s. Those teams, like the Beavers did against Colorado, used multiple looks to drive opposing teams off balance, along with trick plays and multiple substitutions. The Beavers only committed one turnover, their lowest mark of the season, and Punter Nick Porebski only punted once during the game. Darrell Garretson played probably his best game as a Beaver. Garretson threw for 289 yards and completed two gigantic third down completions to put the Beavers in position to try and send the game into overtime. Thomas Tyner, Artavis Pierce, and Trevorris Johnson had nice runs as well. In addition, Timmy Hernandez had a huge game with 7 catches for 65 yards. Jordan Villamin, Noah Togiai, Isaiah Hodgins, and Trevon Bradford all had receptions, along with Nall, Tyner, and Pierce. The playcalling was creative, and the Beaver Offense was having fun.

The Defense Played Hard, But Need to Learn How to Complete Games

The Beaver Defense played amazingly during the First Half of the Colorado game. They used a variety of looks and put pressure on Steven Montez. If you take away the 74 yard TD run by Phillip Lindsay, and Montez’s 38 yard completion to Bryce Bobo, which led to Colorado’s second touchdown, the Beavers essentially shut out Colorado in the First Half. Colorado was able to adjust by clearing space for Lindsay and picking on Oregon State’s young Cornerbacks. The Defense only forced one Punt in the Second Half, and they did not force any turnovers during the game. If only the Beavers could have forced a stop on one of Colorado’s last drives, the Beavers could have been victors.

The Game Was Eerily Similar to the Oregon State vs Portland State Game Earlier in the Season

Let’s go back in time, folks to September 2nd of this year. The Beavers were out-gained and outplayed by underdog Portland State 515-389 yards However, the Beavers were able to pull off the close 35-32 win against PSU. Put the Beavers in the role of Portland St. and Colorado in the role of Oregon State. As I mentioned above, the Beavers outgained Colorado 569-385 yards, similar to PSU’s advantage over the Beavers. During the Portland State game the Beavers scored the go ahead TD in under two minutes to take a three point lead, just like Colorado scored under two minutes left to take a three point lead over the Beavers. Portland State had an opportunity to send the game into overtime with a Field Goal attempt that missed. Similar to Oregon State, who had a 52 yard Field Goal attempt to send the game into overtime. but Choukair’s kick fell short. The bottom line is the Beaver fans can now relate to the Portland State fans. The Beavers arguably outplayed Colorado on Saturday, just like Portland State did against the Beavers back in September.

Beaver Nation hopes that this is the starting point to a strong finish for a season that once looked bleak.