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Oregon State Football: Three Storylines Heading Into Saturday’s Game At Arizona

A road game against one of the conference’s hottest teams? That’s the task at hand for Oregon State on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Houston at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Khalil Tate. Khalil Tate. Khalil Tate.

Hey, have you heard about Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate?

If you somehow haven’t, it’s probably a good idea to check out this highlight video, which showcases just a bit of what “Mr. October” can do on the football field for Arizona.

Yeah, there’s not much more to say than that. Oregon State’s priority number one on Saturday will be trying to contain Tate, however they may be able to.

Offense? Defense? Special Teams? Something?

Outside a few new tricks since Cory Hall has been hired (let’s keep throwing the ball to linemen, coach Hall...we all love it), the Beavers offense has still been susceptible to it’s fair share of lackluster moments. Just as Oregon State’s defense has as well. Oh yeah, and the special teams, too. So it kind of seems that everything in general for the Beavers is just becoming a bit vanilla and needs some kind of juice to get it going. The same juice that originally was brought by Hall.

But now, it’s hit a different point where the energy has run low (see the below storyline) and Hall needs to get at least one unit going heading into Saturday’s clash. So maybe the defense steps up with a unique approach to stop Arizona’s high-powered offense behind quarteback Khalil Tate (see the above storyline)?

While the defense is a dangerous guess, due to the fact that the Wildcats can become way too versatile to stop, the offense may be just as weak of a unit after a few weeks of throwing everything but the kitchen sink at opponents. So you’re saying there’s a chance for the special teams?

Call it a hunch. Call it an odd prediction. Call it just wishful thinking but I’m thinking the special teams makes a big play in this game for the Beavers, after being a very quiet unit all-season long.

Is There Any Spark Left?

You know the story by now.

Oregon State and head coach Gary Andersen parted ways earlier this season and cornerbacks coach Cory Hall replaced the former head coach as the program director on an interim basis. And then, what was an originally a suspect hire paid immediate dividends in improved efforts against Colorado and a near-upset of Stanford.

And then the luster began to wear off against California.

As Hall is no doubt an energetic and fiery coach, who has shown that he wants to get creative and give the Beavers more of an intriguing personality to both current players and potential recruits, the recent news surrounding big name coaches like Les Miles and Jim McElwain being reportedly interested in the gig have done nothing to secure Hall’s job status. It seems that when the season is all over after the Beavers “Civil War” conflict on November 25th, a national search for a permanent new head coach (which will likely include Hall) will no doubt take place.

So can Hall rally the troops one more time for a surprise win on the road at Arizona? If he can, it may secure him the front-runner status for the job going forward.