Love ’em & hate ’em style
Facing a must win situation, Oregon State comes into one of the hardest places to play on the road. While they put up a great fight against the Cardinal—this really was a magnificent football game—they come up just short in this 27-23 loss.
Out of all the great games the Beavs have played this season, I felt like this one had some of the best coaching.
After an awful first quarter, the staff adjusted their game plan perfectly. The result was a long sustained offensive drive that ended in a touchdown, and gave the defense some much needed rest.
When they needed to push the run, they pushed the run. When they needed to air it out, they aired it out. Riley was excellent at knowing when to go for the first down, and when to go for points.
I was really impressed by these in-game adjustments, and they helped Oregon State get back in this one.
Trevor Romaine was a sniper in this game.
The Beavs kicker continued his hot streak, hitting all three of his field goals—longest was a 44-yarder—and both extra point attempts. Romaine hasn’t missed a field goal since September 29th against Arizona.
Running game moves the ball
Oregon State needed to find ways to move the ball against a very good Stanford defense. At times, that meant running it. That’s a tough job against the nation’s best run defense.
The Beavers weren’t dominating on the ground (89 yards total), but they moved it well when they needed too.
Storm Woods brought a lot of great energy, rushing for 94 yards and averaging over 6 yards per carry. He looked very aware of the field, finding any room he could to run.
Terron Ward wasn’t as explosive as he was last week, but he was a really great role player for the Beavers. He ran hard all day, refusing to go down easy.
Vaz goes cold
Today, Cody Vaz hit one of his infamous cold stretches, and he hit it hard.
The Beavers QB went frigid in the fourth quarter. He threw passes late, early, behind and in front of receivers. In the end he cost
Oregon State the game.
His fumble in the fourth on a tuck and run led to Stanford’s winning touchdown.
Really, Vaz is lucky things weren’t worse. He had about four passes that could have been easy interceptions if not for the Stanford defense’s slippery hands.
With a twisted ankle suffered on the second to last play of the game, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Sean Mannion return in Week 12.
More first quarter woes
For the first part of the season, Oregon State was a dominating first quarter team. That hasn’t been the case lately.
The Beavers kicked off last week’s game against ASU down 16-10, but they were able to come back for the win. In today’s game, Oregon State was outscored 14-0 in that first quarter.
OSU has been great at digging out of holes and giving themselves a chance to win football games. But things would be a lot easier if they could return to dominating early.
Struggles all over the line
Offensively and defensively, OSU played ugly at the line.
The offensive line held Stanford to just two sacks, but they were pushed around a lot. The Cardinal had plenty of tackles in the backfield. Not to mention Isaac Seumalo had a bunch of high snaps—he looked jumpy all day.
Defensively, the line was good, but not great. Scott Crichton was a virtual non-factor, and no one picked up the slack. Stepfan Taylor finished with 114 yards on 19 carries, and Kevin Hogan had 49 yards of his own.
Both squads had stretches of solid play, but there was plenty of room for improvement.