All the talk in the offseason for college football is over. Now the bullets starting flying for real for the 2017 season. Oregon State came into the opening game with Colorado State with the thought of making this game a springboard to a bowl qualifying season.
That springboard snapped in a big way against Colorado State. The Rams took the Beavers to the woodshed in a 58-27 win.
It’s only one game, but Beaver fans have to pump the breaks on the bowl game thoughts.
There is a ton of work that needs to be done between now and Oregon State’s next game with Portland State and certainly with Minnesota in two weeks.
The momentum that the Beavers had with winning The Civil War is long gone by now and the realization that the next step to be taken by Oregon State might be further away than previously thought.
Defense wins games and there was no defense by the Beavers in this game. They could not keep the Colorado State offense off the field. The high altitude may give some people a convenient excuse for some of the defensive mistakes and the tired look on the Beavers faces, but the truth is the Beavers are not just ready for primetime just yet.
The game started off like any other first games. Both teams first possessions were quick and done.
On the second possession the Beavers starting quarterback, Jake Luton, found Tommy Hernandez for a 35 yard touchdown and the Beavers took the early lead at 7-0. Momentum was with the Beavers.
A little over three minutes later the momentum was over when Colorado State’s Izzy Matthews rumbled into the end zone to even the score at seven.
From that moment until halftime the two teams exchanged scores and it appeared that the Beavers and Rams would go into halftime all tied up at 24. Like I said. Appeared.
Tight end, Noah Togiai, appeared to catch a rocket side-armed pass from Jake Luton to tie the score at 24. The play went under review because the on field official called it incomplete, but the replays showed that Togiai clearly caught the ball and had his knee down for an apparent touchdown.
The replay official said “hold my beer.”
The call on the field was upheld and Oregon State settled for a field goal and went into the half down 24-20.
The call took the wind out of the Beaver sails.
After the teams came out for the second half it seemed that Oregon State left their game in the locker room.
The Beavers could not do anything to move the ball or to stop the Rams from scoring.
Jake Luton who was making his first start as the Oregon State quarterback looked good in spots, but also struggled like a first time major quarterback would. Luton was 27-47, 304 yards, two touchdowns, and three interceptions.
We all know that turnovers kill a team’s momentum and provide easy scoring opportunities for the opposition. Well, that is exactly what happened when the Beavers put the ball on the ground or when Jake Luton threw it to the Rams.
Once the floodgates opened with the turnovers for the Beavers, it was over. The body language of the offense and defense of Oregon State said as much. Missed tackles ensued and scoring for Colorado State was easy.
This game for Oregon State was ugly. There is no getting around that. However, you don't want to lose faith after a single game. There were bright spots.
Ryan Nall was the Wrecking Nall. He was exactly what we have become accustomed to seeing. Nall finished the game with 115 yards, including a 75 yard run for a TD. Jake Luton, despite the turnovers looked good in spots and you can only assume that Coach Andersen and his staff will get those kinks worked out. Tight end, Noah Togiai, looks like he has raised his game, and Jordan Villamin looked good catching the ball as well after a disappointing 2016 season.
It will be a week of major film room study for Oregon State. The Beavers get to go back to the friendly confines of Reser Stadium and make things right next week. Beaver Believers are understandably down after this performance, but the cupboard isn’t bare for this team. There are parts to work with in Corvallis.
Keep the faith Beaver fans. There are more games.