Scouting the Opposition

… Previews for Colorado State, Texas State, Northern Colorado and Washington can be found here … UCLA preview can be found here … Arizona preview can be found here

Game Seven – at Oregon State – October 14th

October 1, 2016 – Colorado 47, Oregon State 6 … Steven Montez and Shay Fields hooked up for three first-half touchdowns, leading the Buffs to a 47-6 rout of Oregon State. Montez went 19-for-27 for 293 yards in three quarters of action, with Fields collecting seven of those passes for 169 yards. Fields tied a school record for touchdown receptions in a game, with 160 of his 169 yards coming in the first half as the Buffs turned an early 3-0 deficit into a 37-6 blowout by halftime.

Phillip Lindsay was the leading rusher for the Buffs, with 90 yards and a score in 16 carries. The defense was also stellar, holding the Beavers to 226 yards of total offense. While holding the Oregon State offense out of the end zone, the Colorado defense was able to get there on its own, with linebacker Rick Gamboa scoring on a 20-yard interception return.

“It proves we’re legitimate, maybe, that we can do it,” Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. “Everybody kept asking me all week, `Are they going to have a letdown? Did they play out of their minds?’ Like I said since Day 1, we’re a good football team.”

… The 2016 CU/Oregon State game story, “A Let Down? Not so Much …“, can be found here …

2016 Oregon State results – 4-8 (3-6 in Pac-12 play)

– Returning starters, Offense: 6 … Returning starters, Defense: 5

– 2016 National Rankings (Offense)

— Scoring – 86th … 26.2 points per game  (Colorado – 51st … 31.1 points per game)

— Rushing – 49th … 191.7 yards per game  (Colorado – 56th … 182.6 yards per game)

— Passing – 110th … 173.8 yards per game  (Colorado – 47th … 254.5 yards per game)

— Total – 105th … 365.5 yards per game  (Colorado – 47th … 437.1 yards per game)

– 2016 National Rankings (Defense)

— Scoring – 82nd … 30.5 points per game  (Colorado – 20th … 21.7 points per game)

— Rushing – 102nd … 218.0 yards per game  (Colorado – 44th … 148.9 yards per game)

— Passing – 44th … 211.2 yards per game  (Colorado – 20th … 193.6 yards per game)

— Total – 79th … 429.2 yards per game  (Colorado – 19th … 342.5 yards per game)

How the Buffs fit into the Beavers’ 2017 schedule

Oregon State will have the full attention of the Buff Nation on August 26th, when the Beavers play in the first college game of the season, taking on Colorado State in Ft. Collins. The Beavers then return home to face Portland State from the Big Sky Conference, and Minnesota from the Big Ten.

If Oregon State can survive its non-conference schedule, the Beavers open Pac-12 play with a tough slate. Oregon State start with Washington State on the road before getting Washington at home after a bye week. The week before taking on Colorado in Corvallis, the Beavers must face USC in Los Angeles.

A winning record in the first half of the season is unlikely for Oregon State. If the Beavers are 3-3 when Colorado hits town, they will represent a real threat to the Buffs.

Street and Smith’s has Oregon State as the No. 4 team in the Pac-12 North, projected to make it to the Las Vegas Bowl with a 6-6 record.

After Gary Andersen won three Pac-12 games last season, the Oregon State coach was rewarded with a one-year contract extension that will eventually push his salary over the $3 million mark.

That’s reflective of how tough things have been in Corvallis. The Beavers didn’t win a single conference game in Andersen’s first season, when a mediocre roster left behind by his predecessor Mike Reilly struggled to adjust after Riley’s move to Nebraska.

… There are questions here, but the Beavers are slowly building and growing into a team that can win as many as it loses. For now, that’s progress at OSU


Lindy’s has Oregon State as the No. 5 team in the Pac-12 North (9th overall in the Pac-12), the No. 62 team in the nation

Primary Strengths … Expectations are high for running back Ryan Nell, whose blend of size, power and speed helped him tally 951 rushing yards on 147 attempts (6.5 yards per carry) and 13 touchdowns in 2016. The Beavers, who are getting faster on defense, return a Freshman All-American at cornerback in Xavier Crawford.

Potential Problems … The Beavers have not solidified their starting quarterback heading into fall camp, an issue throughout Andersen’s tenure so far in Corvallis. Oregon State struggled to rush the passer and stop the run last season, though many pieces of that front seven return and should improve in 2017.

Overview … Oregon State made noticeable strides in Gary Andersen’s second season. The Beavers finished with two consecutive wins, including their first Civil War victory over Oregon since 2007. Returning to a bowl for the first time since 2013 is the natural – and plausible – next step.

Athlon has Oregon State as the No. 5 team in the Pac-12 North, the No. 65 team in the nation (CU is 3rd in the Pac-12 South; No. 34 overall) … Projected record: 5-7, 3-6

Final Analysis … Following a disastrous 2-10 debut season for Andersen, Oregon State showed noticeable progress in 2016 by doubling its win total, notching three Pac-12 victories, and closing the season with a blowout of Arizona and a come-from-behind win over Oregon. The Beavers identified some clear strengths, with Nall pacing a tough-minded rushing attack and a secondary spearheading a defense that ranked in the top 50 nationally in pass defense.

Though this program is still in the thick of its rebuild, there’s reason for optimism in 2017. Returning to a bowl game for the first time since 2013 is not an outlandish expectation.



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