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CU at Oregon State – A Preview

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Colorado at Oregon State: “T.I.P.S.” as Buffs take on OSU’s interim coach Cory Hall

 

He couldn’t have waited one more week?

Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen and the school parted ways Monday, ending Andersen’s two-and-a-half year run in Corvallis. The former Utah State and Wisconsin head coach finished with a 7-23 overall record at Oregon State. Many questions as to the bases for the decision, as well as questions about the timing, remain unanswered.

Whether the Andersen departure is good news or bad news for Colorado remains to be seen.

Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre stated that he expects the Beavers to come out and fight hard on behalf of their former head coach, with the remaining coaching staff – perhaps auditioning to keep their jobs with the new coach or land somewhere else come December – pulling out all of the stops to produce a victory.

If nothing else, the game Colorado (3-3, 1-5) and Oregon State (1-5, 0-3) will generate more national attention than it would have otherwise …

 

This week’s “T.I.P.S.” for CU at Oregon State … Saturday, 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

 

T – Talent 

In the past month, Oregon State has lost its starting quarterback … its starting running back … and now its head coach.

One of the three may be back for the CU game.

Beaver quarterback Josh Luton was injured in OSU’s game against Washington State three weeks ago, with a diagnosis of a “thoracic spine fracture”. Luton is described as “week-to-week” in his recovery, but is not expected back in time to face the Buffs.

In Luton’s stead, senior Darrell Garretson has been getting the starts. Garretson was the starting quarterback for the first half of the 2016 season, including a forgettable 5-for-16, 55-yard outing in Oregon State’s 47-6 loss to Colorado in Boulder. In two starts since Luton went down, Garretson has gone 27-for-51 for 271 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception as the Beavers have fallen to Washington State (42-7) and USC (38-10).

If Garretson is not an appealing option for the Beavers, interim coach Cory Hall may go back to the future and reinstate Seth Collins, a former quarterback who has been playing wide receiver the past two seasons.

An early season absentee for Oregon State who is more likely to see action than quarterback Josh Luton is star running back Ryan Nall. The junior has an ankle injury, and missed the USC game. “Wrecking Nall” had a game for the ages in the 2016 season finale, going for 155 yards and four touchdowns in leading Oregon State to a 34-24 win over Oregon, but has yet to have a break out game this fall.

If Nall can’t go, the first man up has been Artavis Pierce. The sophomore got the start last weekend, with 12 carries for 60 yards and Oregon State’s only touchdown against USC. Another option is former five-star recruit and former Oregon Duck Thomas Tyner. The senior transfer has only 95 yards rushing so far this year, but Tyner ran for almost 1,300 yards in two seasons in Eugene.

If the Oregon State running backs watched the tape of Arizona rushing for over 400 yards against Colorado, though, you know they’ll be anxious to get on the field to take on the Buffs.

Oregon State has yet to produce a standout wide receiver this fall. Four receivers have at least a dozen catches, though the leading receiver, tight end Noah Togiai, has only 201 yards receiving (by contrast, the four “under-performing’ Blackout Boyz all have at least 224 yards receiving, with three over 300 yards).

On the defensive side of the ball, the Beavers have been less than impressive. Oregon State is 121st nationally in total defense, giving up almost 500 yards per game (493.8 ypg.), and 127th in scoring defense (45.0 ppg.).

Sounds good for the Buffs, but recall UCLA is ranked 124th in total defense (506.6 ypg.) and 119th in scoring defense (39.2 ppg.) … and the Buffs didn’t exactly have their way against the Bruin defense.

 

I – Intangibles

Where is the leadership?

Once you get past Phillip Lindsay, who on the team is out there, demanding excellence? Refusing to accept mediocrity? Rallying the troops on the sideline and in the huddle?

“He’s an amazing young man and excellent player,” said MacIntyre of Lindsay. “You can always count on him. It definitely resonates with his teammates. They see him doing it and him pushing and going.”

Who else?

Perhaps we should have seen the writing on the wall when two of CU’s captains were suspended for the first two games of the season for undisclosed violation of team rules.

If your senior captains don’t follow the rules, why should anyone else on the team? If your captains are – consciously or unconsciously – taking actions that put themselves ahead of their teammates, how can Buff fans expect “players to make plays” in the fourth quarter when the game is on the line?

The Buffs committed 12 penalties for 110 yards against Arizona, while the Wildcats committed only two penalties for ten yards. “I would say we’ll drastically cut down (on penalties) in the last half of the year,” said MacIntyre. “I’d be extremely disappointed if we don’t.”

So will we … so will we all.

“I have had teams that have lost hope,” said MacIntyre when asked if the Buffs can bounce back. “I do not think that this team has gotten even close to losing hope. I think this team has just gotten mad. That’s a good emotion when you push it the correct way. What we’ve told them, you don’t get all mad and get out there all hyped up. You have to put your energy and emotions into your preparation.”

We’ll see …

 

P – Preparation / Schedule

Colorado at Oregon State was supposed to be the battle for the basement, the game to decide which team with an 0-3 record in Pac-12 play would finish Saturday afternoon with an 0-4 record and the title of the Pac-12’s worst team.

Now the game means so much more.

With the departure of head coach Gary Andersen, the matchup with Colorado (2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks) has taken on a different life.

How will the Beavers react? Will they rise to the occasion, and play for their now departed coach? Will they respond positively to their new interim coach?

“I do expect an emotional aspect as far as that I do know that their players do like Gary Andersen,” said Mike MacIntyre. “I think they’re going to come out and play in a way of thanking Gary. I know a lot of the guys on his staff have been with him and know him well and believe in him. I think they’ll have extra energy on that side of it for sure. At the same time, they kind of have nothing to lose in a way, even as a staff. You can take more gambles and more risks I would imagine. We’ve got to be ready for that. If they do that type of thing, we’ll prepared enough to take advantage of it if we can make a play on it. I’ve gone against teams before where this has happened as an assistant coach and head coach. It was a little bit of a different atmosphere and energy in the beginning of it.”

For those who only see the coaching situation at Oregon State being an advantage for the Buffs, I have two words for you …

Brian … Cabral.

A little history lesson. In November, 2010, Colorado went on the road to face Kansas. The Buffs were 3-5, and had lost four in a row. The opponent, though, was Kansas, a 2-5 team going nowhere. The Buffs blew a 28-point fourth quarter lead, falling 52-45. Fifth-year head coach Dan Hawkins was fired on the way home from Lawrence, with assistant coach Brian Cabral named interim coach.

The Buffs? They went on to win their next two games, beating Iowa State, 34-14, and Kansas State, 44-36.

A cautionary tale.

 

S – Statistics

Dave Plati special of the week … In 1987, Colorado started tracking first downs earned; it caught on in the NFL a few years later but never in college, but it’s a cool stat: a player is credited with one when he earns one by rushing or receiving, and the quarterback also gets credited when throwing one. Tailback Phillip Lindsay had a game for the ages in this regard last Saturday against Arizona, as he tied the school mark for a non-quarterback with 17 (a record 16 of which were rushing); the late Rashaan Salaam set the mark on Oct. 1, 1994 when he had 15 rushing and two receiving. Even more remarkable was that 11 of those came on third (8) and fourth (3) downs: Lindsay was 8-of-11 on third downs and made all three of his fourth down tries.

— Colorado takes to the road next weekend to play Washington State. CU’s record in the Pac-12 in back-to-back conference games? 1-11 … never winning the first game, with only a season-ending win against Utah in 2011 keeping the Buffs from being winless in such games;

— Including the two long drives against Arizona last weekend, Colorado has posted three drives of 15 plays or longer this year, tied for the most in FBS so far this season;

Nota bene … Oregon State is 1-5, and in those five losses has been out-scored by the opposition, 238-81. That 157-point differential should bode well for the Buffs. Bear in mind the following, however. Oregon State was only behind Colorado State, 24-20, at halftime (58-27 final) … Against Minnesota, it was 20-14 at halftime (48-14 final) … Against Washington State, it was 14-9 late in the second quarter (52-23 final) … Against Washington, it was 7-0 at halftime (42-7 final) … Against USC, it was 14-3 in the second quarter (38-10 final). The Buffs should not panic if the Beavers stay close in the first half. If CU stays with the game plan, they should be able to pull away in the second half;

 

Bottom Line … I’m tired.

I’m tired of waiting for the Buffs to get their act together and play a full game on both sides of the ball.

The defensive effort against Arizona was all too reminiscent of the days when CU was routinely getting gashed for 500 yards and 40 points per game.

“Sometimes it was just missed tackles and sometimes it was missed execution of certain calls,” explained senior linebacker and team captain Derek McCartney. “It’s more technique. Honestly our guys are playing hard and that’s why I’m proud of our team. We’re playing hard and that’s why we’re not getting blown out in these games because we’re playing hard.”

Read that last sentence again.

“Not getting blown out?” … by an Arizona team which went 3-9 in 2016, and had on its resume wins this fall over Northern Arizona and winless UTEP?

This weekend, the Buffs take on an Oregon State team which is 1-5.

The Beavers lone victory was over Portland State (a team which is 0-5, by the way), and that was a 35-32 victory which required a touchdown in the last two minutes avoid the upset.

Oregon State lost to USC last weekend, 38-10 … and that is as close as the Beavers have been against an FBS opponent this season. But … as noted above, they have not been blown out right from the start by anyone … and that includes the last three games, all against ranked opponents.

I expect Oregon State and its fans to come out Saturday in high spirits. If the Buffs can avoid the initial waves of emotion from the Beavers (and that remains and “if“), then the Colorado offense should be able to find its groove as the game goes on, while the Colorado defense should be able to restrain a very pedestrian Oregon State offense.

It won’t be pretty, but the Buffs finally find a way to get it done …

Colorado 31, Oregon State 20

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12 Responses to “CU at Oregon State – A Preview”

  1. NW Buff

    Geared up and headed to the game! Even though I will be with family in the Beaver’s Homecoming section, with everyone around me will in orange and black, I’ll be driving home with a W.

    The OSU – CSU game exposed some team issues that are not going to be resolved by Andersen’s resignation. I have no doubt that their squad will have a little extra emotional fight for this game, but their divisions run deep.

    CU 31 – OSU 13

  2. Yo Stuart,

    Is the writing on the wall for how this game will turn out? Hardly. Number 2 Clemson and #8 Washington State both lost last night even though they were big favorites. Sad Friday the 13th’s for Dabo Swinney and Mike Leach.

    The Cal game in a couple weeks looks a whole lot tougher after their big win over the Cougars. But, they also showed that Washington State was not unbeatable. I’m hoping the Beavers are not too inspired by the upsets.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

  3. tired, surely. confused, yep. dispirited, i don’t know.

    i must take issue with Derek’s statement about ‘not getting blown out’. the defense certainly was blown out – AZ had more yards in less time and with fewer snaps than CU. i’m too lazy to check the stats but ANYTIME an opponent scores 45 that IS a blowout. Sure, Derek is trying to keep his ‘mates morale from sinking further. and AZ wasn’t a terrific offense up to their game with CU, right? and, when CU needed a stop late in the 4th, it couldn’t come close.

    CU’s O needed some desperation 4th down conversions to stay close. to CU’s credit, it did show some good game planning and game calling on O. i don’t know if the pressure Montez faces is an Oline, personnel (NOTE: CU’s depth chart this week shows Haigler starting at right guard.). or was it pass plays with slow developing patterns? recall UCLA’s last drive? it was a series of crisp underneath patterns to empty spots in CU’s D. we don’t seem to do that much anymore. and, AZ’s defense was not highly rated.

    i don’t know what to expect from the Buffs this weekend. but i do have some hope.

    good luck, Buffs.

  4. buffnaustin

    The OSU game is upon us. Wow I have no prediction. But I do have hope. Our offense does just enough and the defense holds on for one more play than the OSU defense.

    GO BUFFS

  5. ep

    All this stuff about Anderson being gone is hard for me to figure. Are we looking for an excuse already?

    I can see the OSU players taking another look at themselves as some kind of redemption but it shouldn’t make a damn bit of difference when the 2 teams hit the field.

    This is the battle to be the worst team in the conference. Who wants it the most?

  6. Yo Stuart,

    Have a good time at the game and enjoying family in Corvallis. Family being the much more important thing.

    I really don’t know what to think about this game. The UCLA game was a bellwether moment, and the Arizona game was backs against the wall.

    What does that make this game? The CPR or Defibrillation game?

    The Buffs should beat the Beavers handily. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? What happens if they don’t win easily, or, perish the thought, actually lose? Who knows.

    What concerns me more is that Colorado will win easily and then brag about having turned things around just in time for the trip to Washington State. The set-up for the fall in Pullman scares me in what it will do to what’s left of their confidence.

    Of course, if they lose this weekend, there will be no confidence to worry about. All I know for sure is that if the Buffs win, it’ll be because of the brilliant coaching of Mickey Mac. If they lose, it’ll be the players at fault.

    I’m tired too.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

    • cjbuffco

      I agree with the last two sentences. What I have not heard from Mac, which is why I made some comments in a recent post, when the Buffs lose: “That loss is on me, I own it, I will do what it takes to ensure that doesn’t happen again.”

      Or

      “The team was flat. That is my responsibility to get them ready and prepared for each and every game of the season. Mine.”

      Every loss is owned at the top. Every win is graciously given to players and assistant coaches.

      That is what true leadership, servant style leadership, looks and sounds like.

  7. Early VKB

    ” …we should have seen the writing on the wall when two of CU’s captains were suspended for the first two games of the season for undisclosed violation of team rules.

    “…Honestly our guys are playing hard and that’s why I’m proud of our team. We’re playing hard and that’s why we’re not getting blown out in these games because we’re playing hard.”…

    First quote was the indicator. We missed it. Stuart is right. But so am I. (See don’t go down the rat hole” All the hype hid it. Remember no announcement. I just happened first game. We found out then. Discipline issues?

    Second quote is McCartney being ‘whipped back into the company line’ after his
    “We were flat”comment. Which was of course Macky’s “McCartney doesn’t know what he his talking about” response.

    And hidden for whatever are the players that were supposed to have an impact this year and are no longer here. Discipline issues.

    Mentioned early on there was “Trouble right here in Boulder City.” Ol kodger (where is he by the way) got all pissy, bankerboy increased his drug intake and promised it would all be better., Stuart, began adding stuff to my posts.

    You can argue that Mac is a genuis and Leavitt was just lucky he had all those great players and the Buffs couldn’t afford Leavit and blah blah blah.

    But again, The offense has been “fair to midland” for five years. Five years. Mac and BL had players too. Still “fair to midland” offense. 2nd year of leavitt at CU wasn’t good it was great. He was and is the deal.

    Ignore it at your own perils……………..Like Mac2 has.

    Hawkins believed he was the guy and took all the credit for his Oc
    Mac believes he is the thy guy and took all the credit for his DC

    I don’t care if ya like that or not. It is in front of your eyes.

    Now am I saying Mac2 is Hawkins? Nope, not yet, hope not, please no, but the “Genes are there”. Chev has been silent. No tweets. So ….”there is trouble right here in River City

    Buffs.

    “Sir we don’t have Tator-tots”

    “Then, I will have Nachos!”

    And for those who be part of the “Charge of the Light Brigade

    Pac 12 games only cause that is where counts and the season really is

    ……………..2016………………2017

    total def
    Buffs……..#3……………………..#9……(includes pac 12 champ loss)
    Ducks……..#12…………………….#3

    Scoring def
    Buffs……..#3…………………….#9
    Ducks……..#12……………………#6

    Special Note…………. But hey there are 6 games to go. And they Coaches and the players have been saving it for the second have. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

    9-3 (6-3)……… Holy krappaloonie there bankerbaby.

    And ol fdgger dodger hope you are well. Painful isn’t it. Get Off Your Lawn

  8. Jim

    Before Anderson left i wasn’t sure about this game. I am still not 100% but i trust the BUFFS will find a way and get this win. I do think the Beavers will be fired up to play this game and feel they have something to prove and that concerns me. But only a little. Every game is a must win from here on out. Lose this one and the season is finished.

    COLORADO 29 OREGON STATE 16

    GO BUFFS !!!!!

  9. cjbuffco

    I will not be able to watch the game due to another family commitment. I can honestly say, for the first time this season and last, that missing the game live does not bother me given the lack of passion shown by the team last week. Though the O showed improvement last week and comments have been made that the D will not allow last week’s debacle to happen again, I feel that there is something critical missing when a team does not care enough (Lindsay excepted) to come out fired up. For the last few weeks, we had the opponent (UCLA) with the horrible defense and lost, the opponent (AZ) with the horrible road record (and backup QB) and lost, and now a change with the Beavers coach and supposedly a horrible team. I am taking nothing for granted, just hope that when I check the score around dinner time, that the Buffs find a win in Corvallis. IMO, the end score will be a lot closer than expected:

    CU 27 OSU 21

    If the Buffs win, then I expect they will gain some passion, regain some momentum, and then regardless of the tough matchup against the Cougs, I will be ready to watch a team that wants to play.

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