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

A hit-or-miss Sun Devils group comes to Corvallis on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Oregon Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching For A Job?

Beaver Nation wants California offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin as their next head coach. Our own Lucas Aguilar thinks Oregon State should pursue Oklahoma State’s Mike Yurcich. And while we don’t know everything here at BTD, we do know that Beavers athletic director Scott Barnes should probably pass on long-shots like June Jones (CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats Head Coach) and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State Head Coach).

Notice how there’s no mention of current interim head coach Cory Hall in that grouping, though?

As exciting as Hall has been (everyone was #HALLin for a moment), it’s been tough sledding for the interim head coach to find their first victory with the Beavers, leaving many to believe that the next two games may be the biggest determiner in if Hall is really considered for the future or if Scott Barnes will end up looking in a different direction.

While there’s no doubt that Hall has brought a wealth of positives to the program, coaching is more times that not a results-oriented business. No, Hall couldn’t just step in and sprinkle some “fairy dust” on this group and make them immediate winners, but it’s hard to hang on to a coach who hasn’t found the win column with almost a half-season under his belt.

These next two games could seal Hall’s fate with the Beavers, for better or for worse.

The “Real” Arizona State

Will the real Arizona State please stand up?

Sitting at 5-5 on the season, the Sun Devils looked for a minute there to be legitimate contenders in the Pac-12, when they followed up a surprise upset of then-ranked #5 Washington, with a twenty-point road thrashing of a tough Utah team.

And then the wheels fell off the wagon again.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Texas Tech
The Sun Devils have had their fair share of signature moments and monumental blunders.
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Just as inconsistently as Arizona State had started the season (losses to San Diego State and at Texas Tech), the Sun Devils fell back into their old ways after their two break-through weeks, by getting walloped by USC, knocking off a fading Colorado group and then stumbling on the road at UCLA.

What a long, strange trip it’s been for the Sun Devils.

It’s easy to think that the better version of Arizona State comes to play this weekend, as head coach Todd Graham and company have looked to iron a few things out recently, but there’s just no telling with this inconsistent of a group. If the Beavers come to play from the on-set, there’s a good chance that the Sun Devils sturggle to find their groove and may leave the door ajar for Oregon State.

It’s just a question of if the Beavers can seize the opportunity now.

The End Of The Season Push

There’s no way getting around the fact that Oregon State has won just eight of their past forty-one games.

And yet, there’s still the strangest sense of almost delusional hope that each week (just as this week) could be the game in which the Beavers finally turn things around for the better. It’s almost as even through all the defeats, Beaver Nation just simply refuses to give up hope on this football program.

It’s a true sign of the staying power of the Beavers beloved fan base.

And while it’s also true that 2017 has been a rough year again for Oregon State, after pre-season expectations fell through, wins became a foreign thing, Gary Andersen got canned and Cory Hall’s new breed of enthusiasm couldn’t garner victories, it’s also become a staple of the program to muster up some late season magic.

Do the Beavers have one-last-act left in the tank for this campaign?

Oregon State rallied to end the 2016 season with two inspiring victories, including a drubbing of rival Oregon in the “Civil War”, which ended a brutal 2016 outing on a high-note. If the 2017 edition of the Beavers can come through with the same late season efforts, the campaign may not be a wash overall for the struggling squad.