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Oregon State Football: Oregon State vs. Washington: What We Learned from the Washington Game

The First Half was the best of times....The Second Half was the worst of times.

NCAA Football: Washington at Oregon State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 Oregon State Beavers haven’t had too many shining moments this season. Entering the Washington game last Saturday, the Beavers were 1-3 and have been outscored by an average score of 48-25. The Beavs entered as 27 point underdogs against No. 6 Washington. However, the First Half surprised many in the college football world. The Beaver Defense, which has struggled all season, held one of the most potent offenses in the nation to 7 points. The Beaver front seven were able to pressure the Husky Offense and they were able to slow down the UW running game. Despite giving up a 10 play, 98 yard TD drive to the Huskies, the Beavers were phenomenal on Defense, and Punter Nick Porebski had some great punts. Although the Beaver Offense struggled on sustaining drives, Beaver Nation enjoyed what they saw in the First Half, and there was hope that the Giant Killers would reemerge. However, the second half was a different story.

The Washington Offense came out firing in the Second Half. In addition, the Huskies were helped by two Beaver pass interference calls. The Beaver Defense had a chance to get off the field and keep their upset hopes alive when they forced the Huskies to a 4th and 10 on the Beaver 25 yard line. Rather than attempting a Field Goal, Washington elected to go for it. Husky QB Jake Browning called an audible and changed the play to a run play and RB Tavon Coleman ran the ball 20 yards for the First Down. Afterwards, the Husky Offense was hitting on all cylinders. The Beaver Offense wasn’t able to move the ball much, and the Huskies outscored the Beavers 35-7 in the Second Half to defeat the Beavers 42-7. The Beavers were heavily outgained by the Huskies 184-509 yards. Here’s what we learned about the Beavers last week.

Coach Andersen’s Rebuilding Project Will Likely Be Longer Than Beaver Nation Hoped For

Although the season is not completely over, and the 1-4 Beavers could still theoretically make it to a Bowl Game, the odds are that the Beavers are going to have their 4th consecutive losing season. The Beavers have a nearly-impossible road game looming against No. 14 USC in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a location where the Beavers haven’t beaten the Trojans since 1960. In addition, the Beavers are 34 point underdogs. After the Trojans, the Beavers face Colorado and Stanford at home, games that the Beavers are likely to be underdogs in both contests. After Stanford, the Beavers finish the season with 3 of their final 4 games on the road. The Beavers have been outscored 147-49 in the Second Half of all games this season. The Beavers simply have struggled putting 4competitive quarters together.

The Beavers play in the Second Half of games demonstrates that this team has lost all momentum they gained from the final two games last season when they dominated Arizona, and they defeated their rival the Oregon Ducks. Although last years 4-8 record, was not the record Beaver Nation desired, the Beavers were much more competitive last season than they have been in 2017. Arguably, the Beavers were 2 or 3 plays away from making a bowl game last season. Additionally, last years team demonstrated considerable improvement as the season progressed, which motivated members of the local sports media to predict that Oregon State would make a bowl game in 2017. The million dollar question is, can this Beaver team improve, or will it continue to be a disaster?

The Beavers Displayed Their Potential in the First 30 Minutes

Although, the Beaver Offense had a difficult time sustaining drives (Credit the Washington Huskies Defense, they’re flat out amazing!), the Beaver Defense was impressive in the First Half. The Defense totaled three sacks in the game and held Washington to 7 points. It was discussed above in the opening paragraph how impressive the Defense played. If only they could have continued that effort and execution in the second half. The optimist hopes that the Defense could use the First Half of the Washington game as a launching point, rather than the Defense that got gashed on the ground and in the air in the Second Half.

The Offense has Been a Colossal Disappointment

There was high hopes for the Beaver Offense entering 2017. The Beavers have a talented stable of Running Backs including super-stud Ryan Nall and a skilled group of Tight Ends and Wide Receivers. Before the season, there was excitement for the potential of the Offensive Line, and it was assumed that the Beavers finally had stability at the Quarterback position. The Offense has been a major disappointment this season. Although Washington’s Defense is very good, and has players with potential to play on Sunday’s, the Beaver Offense looked pedestrian and was nearly shutout. The Passing Offense was virtually non-existent, the Receivers struggled and the line could not get a consistent push upfront to aid the running game. The Beavers need to find ways to continue to grow, or they are going to wonder, what could have been for an Offense that might not reach their potential.

This Team Needs Confidence in a Major Way

Coach Gary Andersen and his staff are constantly trying to build the confidence of this team. They’re not making big plays, they can’t sustain momentum or consistency, and they seem to wither during times of adversity. This team simply lacks confidence. It seemed like after Washington took a 14-0 lead, the Beaver team seemed to lose its moxie.

Andersen consistently emphasises how hard his team works, and how they will never stop battling, which is a great attitude to have. The question is, when will that hard work and never-say-die attitude translate to improved confidence, solid execution, and hopefully more wins? Only time will tell. Many members of Beaver Nation are losing hope, yet there are some in Beaver Nation who never stop believing that tomorrow is going to be a better day.