Colorado Daily – Oregon State

October 4th

… CU in a few minutes …

Christian Powell out for Oregon State game

CU running back Christian Powell, the Buffs’ leading rusher so far this season, will not play against Oregon State.

Powell reportedly suffered a concussion during the Cal game, but did not tell trainers until Monday. He was evaluated, but not cleared to play against the Beavers.

Powell has 274 yards to date. With Michael Adkins still suffering from an ankle injury, the rushing load will fall to the Buffs’ two smallest backs, Tony Jones and Phillip Lindsay.


October 3rd

… CU in a few minutes …

A number of preview stories have been posted in anticipation of Saturday’s game between Colorado and Oregon State (2:00 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).

Enjoy …

– Senior Buff kicker Will Oliver, who missed three field goal attempts in the double-overtime loss to California, is ready to move on, according to this story in the Daily Camera … “One thing I pride myself on is being able to move on, because you have to have a short memory,” Oliver said. “There’s nothing that can possibly be done about the past, but if I let it affect the future, that’s on me.”

– B.G. Brooks at has posted a lengthy story concerning the Colorado wide receivers, with an interview with wide receivers coach Troy Walters … “I thought we had good enough receivers to put up those numbers,” Walters said of Nelson Spruce’s record-setting start to the 2014 season. “Now at the same time you want to be balanced and be able to run the ball. You don’t want to be too skewed and throw it all the time . . . we want to be known as playmakers in the pass game and run game, blocking downfield – and I think we can get better at that. But overall, this offense is getting to where we thought it could be.”

In an article for the Corvallis Gazette-Times, the paths of two wide receivers from the Recruiting Class of 2011 are discussed, CU’s Nelson Spruce and Oregon State’s Richard Mullaney. The pair played against each other in southern California. Spruce was a three-star prospect from Westlake Village; Mullaney a three-star prospect out of nearby Thousand Oaks. Mullaney was the No. 69 rated player out of the state of California by Rivals; Spruce did not make the top 100.

“Him and Mullaney were in the same league back in high school and when those two guys came up they were the two top receivers in that part of California,” OSU defensive coordinator Mark Banker said. “We had talked to Spruce and it really came down to him and Mullaney. We only had the one spot and we went with Richard. Richard had set the California state record of receptions.”

– In coming to Boulder for the first time since 1988, Oregon State is actually talking about playing at elevation. From the Corvallis Gazette-Times

Gavin Andrews remembers his first football game of his senior season at Granite Bay High in California. The team traveled to Nevada and quickly encountered the thin air of an elevation well above 4,000 feet. “When you’re actually playing, it’s a whole lot different than sitting on the sideline. It’s a really tough challenge,” Andrews said. “It’s harder to breathe, you get sore faster, you can’t get enough oxygen to your system.”

Andrews and the Oregon State football team will face similar conditions on Saturday when the Beavers take on Colorado in Boulder. Many of the current team members played at Utah last season or even at Brigham Young in 2012. Salt Lake City sits 4,265 feet above sea level and Provo a bit higher at 4,550.

Boulder’s elevation is 5,430 feet.

– Brian Howell at the Daily Camera has a story on wide receiver Donovan Lee, who was expected to redshirt this season, but is now not only playing, but seeing increased playing time … “That Wednesday before the (Arizona State game on Sept. 13), they told me and gave me the green light,” Lee said. “When the game against ASU opened up for my role to expand a little bit more, I was ready for it. Hopefully it keeps expanding.”

Lee had a 45-yard run during that game, putting the Buffs in scoring position. Last week at California, Lee had a 2-yard run and caught three passes – the first three catches of his career – for 18 yards. He also was one of two Buffs deep for kick returns, although Phillip Lindsay handled all the returns



October 1st

Oregon State has issues along the defensive line due to injuries

From the Oregonian … Throughout the first half Saturday at USC, Jalen Grimble reveled in a breakout performance. The Oregon State defensive tackle, finally playing with no back pain, was dominating the point of attack and occupying blockers.

Then his knee buckled on a chop block during the first play of the second half. An MRI revealed internal damage, and Grimble expects to miss three to four weeks after undergoing surgery next Monday. He hopes to return after OSU’s Oct. 25 matchup at Stanford and play the Beavers’ final five regular-season games.

… The defensive line suffered another blow on USC’s second drive of the second half. Sophomore Noke Tago, Grimble’s backup at left tackle, also suffered a knee injury on a chop block. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker said he believes Tago, who had an MRI on Monday, will miss the rest of the season.

It hardly helps that defensive tackle Siale Hautau was limited during Tuesday’s workout with a nagging shoulder injury. The Beavers are hopeful Hautau will be ready for Saturday’s matchup at Colorado, Banker said. If he isn’t, though, OSU will continue leaning on its next-man-up philosophy.

… If the USC loss is any indicator, the injuries at defensive tackle could hamper the Beavers’ rush defense. OSU squelched a dynamic run game in the first half Saturday, holding the Trojans to just 13 yards entering intermission.

When the injuries arrived, however, USC began establishing its ground attack. The Trojans totaled 187 rushing yards over the final two quarters. Fatigue surely contributed to the letdown, of course. A sputtering offense gave the defense little respite.



September 30th

… CU in a few minutes …

Statistics of note …

It’s finally fun again to look at the stats sheet for the University of Colorado, as there are as many positive numbers as negative.

If you want to play along, the CU stats sheet can be found here, while the NCAA rankings are available here.

Checking out some of the participation stats in the defensive backfield … How important is safety Tedric Thompson? Thompson had an interception on the first defensive play of th game, and had a big hit on the Bears’ next series. Thompson was on the field for only 18 plays on defense, though, going out with a “sternum contusion”. He was listed as “day-to-day” on Sunday, but at his Tuesday press conference, coach MacIntyre indicated that he expected to have Thompson back. When Thompson left the game, CU had a 21-7 lead over Cal. After that, it was 52-35, Bears … Transfer defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon, the star of the Spring game, has been in on only 12 plays on defense all season (all of them against UMass). Witherspoon was injured and missed the CSU game, but has been healthy since, participating only on special teams the last two weeks … Terrel Smith, presumed starter at safety and team captain, has been on the field for only eight defensive snaps all season (four vs. ASU; four vs. Cal). Even with Thompson out with an injury, Smith did not see much action … The player that did see more playing time last weekend was Marques Mosley. Relegated to special teams play prior to the Cal game, Mosley was in on 16 plays against the Bears, registering his first tackle of the season.

Buffs more fun to watch … If you think that it has been more relaxing to watch the Buffs play this season, there is a reason. No, it’s not all of the records being set by Nelson Spruce and Sefo Liufau … it’s the Buffs are actually spending time in the lead. Against Cal, the Buffs were in the lead for 33:40 of game clock (to 6:07 for Cal), which is consistent with what the Buff Nation has seen this season. So far this year, Colorado has been in the lead for 162:49 of game time, to 91:25 for Buff opponents (45:46 tied). Compare: In all of 2013, Colorado was in the lead for 197:19 of game time (to 413:47 for the opposition). What to cringe? In 2012, the numbers were 77:38 and 530:40 … Yes, Buff fans, things are getting better.

Nationally ranked Buffs

Nelson Spruce is No. 1 in the nation in receiving touchdowns, with 10 – no on else in the nation has more than six … Spruce’s 694 receiving yards are also tops in the nation, and his 138.8 yards per game rank him 3rd nationally … Spruce is averaging 11.2 catches per contest, also No. 1 in the nation … Spruce is also 17th in the nation in all-purpose yards (150.0) per game and fifth in scoring, with an average of 12.0 points per game.

Sefo Liufau has 17 passing touchdowns, good enough for 4th in the country (but only 3rd in the Pac-12, behind WSU’s Connor Halliday and Cal’s Jared Goff) … Liufau’s 1573 passing yards rank him 5th in the country, with his 314.6 yards passing per game ranked 15th … In passing efficiency, calculated by means I have never been able to understand, Liufau is ranked 55th nationally … Liufau is 4th in the nation in completions per game, with 31.20 per contest … Finally, Liufau is 10th in the country in total offense, at 339.2 yards per game.

Darragh O’Neill is averaging 45.44 yards per kick, good enough for 7th nationally.



Oregon State head coach Mike Riley: “Now we find out how tough we are”

From the Corvallis Gazette-Times … Oregon State returned to practice Monday for the first time this season following a loss.

The Beavers failed to score an offensive touchdown in their Pac-12 Conference-opening 35-10 loss at then-No. 18 USC on Saturday in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

“That’s a test,” coach Mike Riley said after practice. “I told them this morning that’s exactly what is going to be asked: How tough are you mentally?

“… It’s a good test. Now we find out how tough we are.”

The Beavers have a veteran team with leaders who have been through plenty of ups and downs the past few seasons.

Quarterback Sean Mannion is among them as he tries to put his worst game in terms of yards passing behind him.

“He’s been here a long time, he’s been through a lot of good things and a lot of hard things,” Riley said. ” It’s not new to him. And that’s where we’ve got to rely on our seniors to have a good week of practice and bring this team along. It’s time to be a good leader and Sean will be that.”

Storm Woods said that experience should help the Beavers not panic and that he doesn’t expect a snowball effect that plagued the Beavers in 2011, when they finished 3-9, and again late in the season last year when they lost their final five regular-season games.

“We won’t let that happen,” Woods said. “Our leaders are too good, we’ve worked too hard to let that happen and our coaches are holding us very accountable so that won’t happen again.”



September 29th

... CU in a few minutes …

Tony Jones on Cal game: “That was last week and we just got to pretty much flush it down the toilet and move on”

In an interview with the Daily Camera, senior running back Tony Jones talks about the disappointment from the Cal game, preparations for Oregon State, and what it means to be a senior playing his final season.

Some quotes …

“That was last week and we just got to pretty much flush it down the toilet and move on,” Jones said when asked for his perspective on what went wrong.

“It’s definitely frustrating,” Jones said. “It’s so frustrating that sometimes you don’t even want to talk to anybody. You just want to wait to that next game to be able to play. It’s just so frustrating to have that game at the end and coming up short. We’re going to fix things and we’re going to get better though.”

Jones joked that he didn’t know if it was a good or bad thing when he hears people say he looks like a different player at times this season with the ball in his hands.

“Nothing really changed,” Jones said. “It’s kind of just I just want to make plays really. … With the O-line and the way they’re progressing each week, I definitely think it has a big factor in the way that our running backs are running and the way that we’re doing things.”

Buffs confidence raised despite loss to California

A story from the Daily Camera … A good article about how the Buff players are responding to the disappointing loss to the Cal Bears …

A great line … “Two years ago, CU fans couldn’t wait for the season to end. Two years later, they can’t wait to see what happens next week”.

And quotes from Coach MacIntyre: “I think what they have learned is they keep fighting and trying to win,” coach Mike MacIntyre said of his team after the 59-56 loss at Memorial Stadium. “They’re never down and out. They never say die. That’s the thing that I’ve seen us change completely.

“So if we just keep doing that, which we will, and we do a better job coaching ’em in certain situations and kids will play a little bit more, still a lot of young kids out there with some situations, we’ll get those.”

Oregon State offense “disrupted” by USC

From the Oregonian … Coach Mike Riley can easily identify the real reason why the Beavers fell 35-10 to USC in their Pac-12 opener Saturday night.

An inept offense that never reached the end zone for the first time since 2011, could not sustain a drive and forced the Beavers defense to stay on the field for far too long.

“I would say we were disrupted,” Riley said. “That’s probably the best way to put our offensive performance … the story of the game was we never responded offensively to score points, to control the ball, and our defense wore out.”

The numbers are ugly.

The Beavers compiled just 181 total yards, including 35 in the second half.

They averaged 3.2 yards per play and held the ball for nearly 10 fewer minutes than USC.

They punted eight times, including on every possession in the second half and after four three-and-outs following intermission.

They gained 17 total first downs, but seven came via a USC penalty.

They went 1-of-10 on third down.

Their only trip to the red zone resulted in a 38-yard field goal by Trevor Romaine.

The reasons for those numbers?

Start with quarterback Sean Mannion’s forgettable night. The senior completed just 15-of-32 passes for 123 yards — the first time he hasn’t reached 200 yards in a start in his career — and two critical interceptions. One was a first-quarter pick-six by Su’a Cravens for the Trojans’ first score. The other came in the end zone when OSU appeared to be driving to take the lead late in the first half.

“It was just sloppy on my part,” Mannion said. “I take full responsibility for our offensive performance tonight. I expect a lot more out of myself, and I’m certainly not satisfied in any way with the way I played and the way our offense played as a whole.




September 28th

Colorado a touchdown underdog to Oregon State

According to … Colorado is either a 6.5 or 7.5 point underdog to Oregon State this weekend


Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion: “There are two ways we can take this, the right way or the wrong way”

From the Corvallis Gazette-Times

Sean Mannion quotes …

“I think in the locker room right now, there are two ways we can take this, the right way or the wrong way,” Mannion said. “We have eight more games to make the most of it. I think as an offense and as a team we need to collectively take this the right way.”

Mannion finished with 123 yards through the air.

“It was just sloppy on my part and I take full responsibility for our offensive performance tonight,” Mannion said. “I expect a lot more out of myself and I’m certainly not satisfied in any way with the way I played and the way our offense played as a whole.”

Regarding the Trojans defense, Mannion said, “They’re a good team with great athletes. They’re well coached and will play good football. I think for portions of the game we played good football. I thought our offensive line did a good job and were really tough at the line of scrimmage. I think (USC) adjusted just as we do.”

Oregon State head coach Mike Riley: “We never really established anything”

Quotable Quotes from ESPN

Oregon State head coach Mike Riley comments:

On the game: “I thought the story of the game, we never really responded by scoring points or controlling the ball and our defense wore out. But I thought we played a lot of good defense and special-team play. But we couldn’t put points on the board, and had we done that our defense could’ve maintained a better game.”

On the Beavers’ offense: “We never really established anything. Early on, we ran the ball a little, but we never really complemented it with anything down the field of any substance. The coverage was tight and good and the pressure at other times was good. I would say we were probably disrupted. That’s probably the best way to put it.”

On the Hail Mary: “It looked like we got too many guys deep down the field. It didn’t look like we had guys on the goal line but drifted down past it and nobody in front to make a play.”

On the effects of the Hail Mary: “I thought our team was pretty good at the half, knowing they (USC) had completed (the Hail Mary) and some did some things really well. Even though we weren’t doing much on offense, our defense had played good for a long time, and at one point the only thing they (the Trojans) had really done is intercept a pass and run it back. Our team had some confidence we could do some stuff.”


USC 35, Oregon State 10

Recap: Oregon State fails to score an offensive touchdown in 35-10 loss to USC

From ESPN … When Su’a Cravens intercepted Sean Mannion’s pass and returned it 31 yards untouched for the game’s first score, he perked up everybody on the Southern California sideline.

The Trojans’ two-week hangover from an embarrassing loss evaporated in a surge of big plays against Oregon State, keeping USC right on course in the Pac-12 race.

Cody Kessler passed for 261 yards and two touchdowns, and Justin Davis scored twice in No. 18 USC’s 35-10 victory over Oregon State on Saturday night.

Darreus Rogers caught a 48-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass at the halftime gun as the Trojans (3-1, 2-0 Pac-12) rebounded smartly from their first loss with solid defense and another stellar game from Kessler, who went 24-for-32 while leading a 461-yard offensive performance.

“We just had to get back to the basics to get over a loss,” said Cravens, who also had a team-leading six tackles and a sack. “We had to do our job and execute.”

Despite 14 penalties for 124 yards, the Trojans moved the ball steadily when their defense wasn’t thoroughly stifling Oregon State, which managed only 63 yards and no points after taking a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Ryan Murphy returned a kickoff 97 yards for a TD for Oregon State (3-1, 0-1), which struggled in its first serious test of the season. Mannion went 15-of-32 for 123 yards with two interceptions for the Beavers, who haven’t won at the Coliseum since 1960.


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