The Oregon State Beavers seem to always be a different team in non-conference play. By different, I mean bad. They seem to always drop a game they shouldn't drop. Then they play to the level of their competition and struggle to get by even the most mediocre opponent. And then they get into Pac-12 play and upset a big team here and there. And then we get roped back into them next year and believe they're ready to make the jump next year.
And then they lose to Eastern Washington and Sacramento State. Then we think they're done. Then they end up making bowl games nonetheless.
EVERY YEAR! EVERY YEAR!
Oregon State had a lot of issues this year in out-of-conference matchups. They lost to Eastern Washington. They scrounged their way through Hawaii. Then they went on the road to San Diego State and struggled throughout the game before making one of the most improbable rallies everywhere. This non-conference win is definitely one of the weirdest ones this year, but it's pretty marquee.
For more on this win, check out Building The Dam.
Clearly, Oregon St. was largely unsuccessful in finding a rushing game, and though the Beavers did get a couple of key runs, the inability to pick up a 2nd quarter 4th and 1 at midfield underscored how much this is a Mannion or bust offense.
And while the late 4th quarter heroics by the defense won the game, it was another game where the Oregon St. defense wasn't mentally prepared to play. The problem isn't with base alignments that have no chance, as was the case a couple of years ago, and there's no lack of enthusiasm or effort. And its not as though there aren't personnel package changes and adjustments being made; there were plenty of both again tonight.