#11 Oregon St. vs Arizona St. (Primetime ESPN2)

Oregon State will face a well-coached, solid all around team in Arizona St. tonight in a primetime battle that will propel one team and wound the other. On GameDay this morning Lolo Jones, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit all picked the Beavers. So did 88% of America. The one small detail to ponder, however, is that OSU probably would have had those same 88% odds of being in the Rose Bowl this year had they simply taken care of an average UW team. I am confident Cody would have beaten the Huskies. It was OK to give the start to Mannion but after his 3rd pick, which was the most unattractive, it had to be Vaz Nation time. In hindsight, starting him in the 2nd half or to start the game, to see if he could build a lead, would have served our Rose Bowl interests better.

Vaz has had great composure and most importantly has limited mistakes. OSU does not need to work miracles or get too fancy. They just have to use a balanced offense and steadily move the chains to keep opposing offenses on the sidelines longer and steadily wear down the defense of the opposition. That is when, in the 2nd half, OSU’s offense should be able to run the ball even more and play ball control offense. OSUProf had an article out this week that I wish Riley would have read last week, assuming he is the one calling 75%+ of the plays. Many aren’t so sure anymore and point to evidence of Langsdorf playcalling. Riley traditionally has been almost exactly 50-50 in his run-pass percentages and committment to balance. The biggest reason Langsdorf is an accident waiting to happen is because under his direction, OSU tends to slide very close to a 35-65 ratio of run-pass. There is a direct and obvious correlation to when OSU’s run-pass ratio goes under 45-55 and OSU losing alot more often. When we stay close to 50-50 and atleast 47-53, OSU wins alot more.

Langsdorf needs to quit sniffing the pass happy glue and realize that OSU’s best team in modern history, the 2000-01 Fiest Bowl team, had a 61% ratio of running the ball versus the pass. When you are within 7 points and even sometimes within 10 points you should keep running the ball in 2nd halfs and let your team get right back in it. They usually will. When you get pass happy though, alot more can go wrong and you will find yourself punting it away. This OSU team needs to be atleast a 49-51 team in percentages. They should have a computer or intern stat guy up in the booth and every time the percentage for the game dips below 45% it should beep an alarm. These percentages are so obvious and it is completely a joke that Langsdorf is getting paid good money and then so often wants to play them horribly and get pass happy.

Don’t forget that when an OSU running back gets 100 or more yards we win the game 86% of the time. As a team when OSU runs for around 145+ yards those odds are just as high. Stay committed to running and the team will get better at it and the holes will open in the 2nd half. Making first downs with running a big factor also starts to demoralize the defense and eats up clock like a gem when you have a lead and want to shorten the game. If OSU runs the ball 49-51 in this game it is a W for Oregon State. If we drop sub 45% look out because it could slip through our hands. This game is a sellout and our 3rd night game in a row. That starts to be a bit much of primetime but all the ESPN coverage is good for the program. BDC also announced during Thursday’s Coach Show with Riley, that OSU’s rebranding efforts would likely be revealed this spring. He said they have tradition as a key component but modernize the look so it nationally markets Oregon State.

That sounds like a good start, and my hope is that we don’t go too conservative. Make sure we have atleast 12 and probably closer to 16 possible combinations like Oklahoma St. got with their effort. This rebranding was double the usual time so OSU needs to get Tinker’s best effort and a look that will propel the program. There should be atleast two helmets and three pant colors and we absolutely can’t go the route of Minnesota with so few combinations to choose from. They are already an afterthought. OSU needs to be the best uniforms/look to be realeased next year. I have faith it will be exactly what OSU needs to take another step up the national food chain, aid recruiting and help push Reser Phase 3 momentum so that it is built within the next few years.

Todd Graham’s Sundevils won’t be pushovers tonight and OSU will need to have steady and smart gameplay to build a first half lead and sustain it through to the end. Let the running game get more calls, because that balance is crucial to not forcing throws over the length of a game. 150 yards on the ground should be an every game target for OSU that Riley tells the guys we need to hit if we want to win. Most important is the percentages. We also had fewer plays against Washington as being WAY too pass happy with only a 35-65 ratio of run-pass clearly backfired. Be like the great teams and have 50-50 balance and OSU will win this game and take an important step towards being in control for the Rose Bowl. I expect USC to lose tonight, so as long as OSU wins there will be that many more writers picking the Beavs to play in Pasadena.

I had a dream last night and Cody played well and we won by 10.

OSU 27, Arizona St. 17

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