After a 2nd loss to a FCS program at home in the last 3 years, it is clear to Oregon State fans that Mark Banker has no ability to stop a spread offense, whether Oregon, a bad FBS team, FCS team or Pop Warner football if the QB is mobile. OSU failed to stop Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams from having his team score on even a single drive in the 60 minutes of play. The only time EWU was forced to punt he was deep in the basement of Gill getting an IV shot. Adams did it all on Saturday, passing for 411 yards and running for 107 including the winning score with 18 seconds left as the Eagles embarrassed No. 25 Oregon State 49-46.
Adams threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more. He stated in a post game interview that it felt like OSU was playing with 9 defenders because his receivers were just wide open all game. Indeed, the EWU Eagles amassed a whopping 625 yards of offense as Oregon State was unable to ever stop Adams. CB Sean Martin was repeatedly beat by 4 or more strides by FCS level competition. CB Stephen Jackson only looked slightly less worse. Even players we expect to be solid like Ryan Murphy were getting out of position and beat far too easy for completions and touchdowns. Losing 2 years out of 3 to FCS is a whole new low that is amongst the most rare of events in FBS level football. Riley now has the distinction of being one of the only mortal souls to have ever accomplished this low.
Will he do something about it? Can he just do the obvious and let go of Mark Banker and look for someone with some fresh ideas, and who can recruit the talent he needs? There were about 25 or 30 different times in the game where the QB could have been contained but poor angles were chosen and after slipping through the grasp the QB could then pop it outside or what have you. But on essentially all of those 25 or 30 occasions mistakes were made that broke the containment. On another instance the Beavers rushed their whole line and linebackers only to allow the QB to scramble straight through the middle and score on a 19 yard TD run. Riley is far too loyal to his staff and has too much carte blanche at OSU. Riley not getting rid of Banker has become a Riley issue. BDC is also at fault for signing a contract that treats 6-6 like a golden egg and keeps us stuck with 6-6 being seen as great for even longer any and every time that lowest of bars is achieved.
The fans are not at all happy, and the calls to fire Banker are as loud as they ever have been by almost everyone it seems. OSU has options so don’t listen to the excuses to now frequent FCS losses or justify loyalty to the increasingly dinosaurish defensive schemes of Banker. Losing 2 out of 3 to FCS teams at home means something has got to change now and Beaver Nation is speaking loud and clear that the something needs to be the dismissal of Mark Banker right now. Short of Banker’s release this week or after this year should OSU not make a measely Sun Bowl or better, which looks very doubtful with the sieve-like qualities on display all game from the defense, then Riley will deservedly be putting himself in the crosshairs. Stopping a player on the 4 yard line with 2 minutes left didn’t make much sense with Adams toying with Banker’s defense all game.
I had a very strong feeling of what I was going to possibly see when that final EWU drive was just getting started and then even more so as they moved forward on the OSU side of the field. OSU needed some time as EWU’s defense was not having much success at all in stopping OSU’s offense either. Riley looked amateurish at best as he all to willingly let Banker’s pride inside the 5 yard line try to come up with heroics that had only about a 10% chance of succeeding. If OSU got the ball back with close to 2 minutes left then we would have had atleast a 75% chance of winning in my opinion. Riley trading 75% for 10% to soothe the ego of Banker who was beat all day is again poor game management. There were a few plays after this that could have saved OSU time. Even after that pass interference call they could still have had a full minute for the offense but were more interested in stroking Banker’s “yep we can stop him now” delusions from the 1 yard line rather than saving the time that would have put OSU in a much better position for its offense to have a chance.
This program has issues in its whole infrastructure ever since the BDC contract. Real change is needed but can only be done in deliberate surgical slices. The first cut needs to be the removal of Mark Banker as defensive coordinator.