Hard to see the Beavers having much of a chance of winning this year’s edition of the Civil War. Oregon is too explosive with LaMichael James, Kenyan Barner and DeAnthony Thomas, a.k.a. the Black Mamba.
If we are going to have any shot we need to take a page out of both USC’s victory against Oregon last week and the 2001 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame. In other words we need atleast 4 or 5 BIG plays. Atleast a few of these need to be 20 yard throws. Without taking a few chances we won’t get the yardage and scores easily enough like we will need to keep pace with the Ducks.
Many of the message boarders are saying we have to go for it if it is 4th and 5 or less if we are inside the 50 yard line. I agree for the most part. We have to roll the dice on some key and big plays and the players have to understand that our gameplan rests on completing 75% or more of these plays. We also need the run game to show up. We will have a better chance of converting the high reward plays if they have a real respect for the run. Stevenson will be most useful here. He is a back who always seems to find ways to get tangible yardage off most plays and is creative in finding ways to do so.
Next I think you have to stick with Terron Ward as the other most used back. He and Stevenson had a nice chemistry going last week and we need similar this week. I am a big Malcolm Agnew supporter but he has to hold onto the ball. I want him to get action but this Beavers team truly is best with multiple players all running their hearts out. The past use of one back to take almost all the carries is not best for this team.
On defense Crichton and Wynn have to watch the inside but protect the perimeter. Poyer and Reynolds need to keep up the good play at DB. Hopefully we get another Poyer interception. On offense, I hope James Rodgers gets a touchdown to tie the all time TD mark. Two to hold the record alone would be sweet but very hard against the Ducks. Wheaton and Cooks have to have big plays and we also need to look for Gwacham as a big and less obvious target. Him making 2 or 3 plays will help juice team morale. Finally, Joe Halahuni has to produce at the tight end position ad rumble off a few first downs for us.
Whether Mannion handles Autzen as well as Riley thinks he can remains to be seen. I think he will have a respectable day but protecting him so he has a little more time is crucial. I have a feeling the Ducks will sack him atleast 3 and probably 4 times though. That is too much for OSU. Oregon will build a quick 21-7 lead and take it into halftime at 28-10. In the 3rd quarter they score two more TDs to our 1 and it is 42-17. They score one more TD in the 4th and then call off the dogs while OSU settles for a final field goal producing a 49-20 final score. It could be a slightly better game than this but I am 95% confident we won’t hold Oregon under 42 and OSU won’t score more than 27. The Beavs end the season at 3-9.
The call for change would have been extremely loud had we lost to UW. Just because we lucked out that they played Nick Montana should not stem the need for change in the offseason. One of the coordinators needs to go. Someone needs to be accountable for a bad year and OSU needs more fresh ideas and perspective in the program. Hopefully we see Riley and BDC take a couple steps in the offseason. If nothing is hardly done at all then Riley and Co. will have to produce next year.
If Riley and Co. can’t make a bowl for a 3rd year we should completely rebuild from the inside out and start fresh with a bold leader who can’t stand losing. OSU needs to take advantage of the limelight of the Pac-12 and the great exposure and opportunities it can provide a successful staff going forward. Younger coaches are beginning to fill the ranks and OSU can’t afford to be living in the past unless we are playing in Holiday Bowls or better.
Oregon 49, OSU 20