31.Aug.2014 What We Can Learn from MLB and Some Possible Solutions.

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As many of you know, this idea that “you can’t recruit to Corvallis” drives me nuts. But let’s just pretend for a moment that it’s true.

I’m a big baseball fan…more so than football. And watching the Tigers/Royals fight for the division just reiterates what I instinctually know — that payroll doesn’t matter. It’s how the players on your team play the game that matters. The Tigers have the 4th highest payroll in baseball. The Royals have the 18th highest. I mention these two teams because they’re in the same division. If you want an even more extreme example, take the Dodgers at #1 in payroll and the Oakland A’s at 27th (only 3 teams have a lower payroll). The Dodgers are 76-60, and Oakland is 76-57. What does Oakland do better than the Dodgers? The fundamentals. They pitch well, get on base, and they hit timely. There is also a defined identity (they don’t try to find it every year).

Let’s concede OSU has worse talent than USC and Oregon. Okay, now what? Do we use it as a perpetual crutch, or do we find creative solutions to level it? I argue for the latter. Some ways to do this might be:

  1. Recruit speed. “Speed kills”, as the adage goes, and this is true the lower the level of competition. Recruit raw talent if the speed is there. Especially at skill positions and linebacker.
  2. Recruit an efficient QB who makes good decisions. Someone like Dan LeFevour would be perfect for OSU. Sure, he will not make the NFL, set Pac-12 passing records, and will not “look the part”, but he’ll do everything right. Again, at a lower level like college ball you can get away with not having a big arm if you have everything else. Because everyone has speed in the NFL a guy like LeFevour would be a disaster. But let some other team recruit the prototypical passer and develop him for the NFL, and instead focus on an all world NCAA level QB. We know Riley passed on Kellen Moore…that was another perfect NCAA QB. There are guys like that out there to be had. Completion % is a lot like OBP in MLB, which is how the A’s win. Efficiency is underrated, so recruit it.
  3. Have a nasty secondary. Most NCAA teams pass a lot…make them fear your secondary. Al Afalava was a perfect college safety. 18 year old kids have not yet learned how to be fearless. They will not want to go over the middle if your secondary is loaded with psychopaths.
  4. Spend coaching time on fundamentals rather than mastering a complex playbook. What we see every year are college kids trying to learn Riley’s pro playbook, when 99% of these guys will never turn pro. That is an extremely wasteful use of time. Simply if the playbook, and use all that new found additional time to cleanup the fundamentals (e.g. penalties, false starts, precision execution, etc).
  5. Etc etc. I could go on with many many more ideas, but it’s Labor Day weekend, and I am headed out now. But you get the idea. The Beavs claim they can’t recruit, yet even if we concede that, they cannot claim they’re efficient. In fact, I’d say they are one of the least efficient teams I’ve ever watched. If OSU wants to hire me as a consult just contact me. I’d help change this shit around within weeks.

If you can’t beat them or join them then outsmart them; Mike Riley has to be one of the most stubborn (possibly dense) coaches around. He’s trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. This is not the NFL, this is not even Canadian Football, yet he’s making the game esoteric for young kids, not recognizing  weaknesses, not recognizing undervalued player traits, and just not thinking outside the box or creatively in a town where you have to do that to win. If a person isn’t willing to adapt or change their philosophies they’ll eventually get in their own way. If you try to force something that isn’t natural it’ll eventually fail–this goes from relationships with women to the U.S. Bond Market to NCAA offensive philosophies and everything in between. Forcing = failing. For all Riley’s football knowledge (as the Pollyannas claim), he doesn’t have much common sense or creativity.

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  • wannabeav says:
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    solid post, Angry. Not only does speed kill, as Ron Fairly liked to say, it doesn’t slump either. At the game yesterday I did three vocalizations routinely, not with the thought that the coaches, players or refs would hear me, but that that the neighboring fans would:

    (1) “more low IQ football.” A classic Angry line. Caleb Smith is going to break Mike Remmers career record before he finishes this season.

    (2) “north and south”. Hit he damn hole; quit juking around behind the line.

    (3) and the ultimate taboo: I booed at every screw up, by players, coaches, and refs. This annoyed the sensibilities of some of my neighbors but it’s all that I have left as a recourse. I cut back on donations and seats. I suppose I could quit going altogether but is that a more resourceful response than booing?

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    I especially like point #4 above. Let’s back up and ask the purpose of college FB; is it to prepare players for the NFL, to build the character of SA’s, to excite alumni (read donors), to establish a tradition of winning, to build a monument to coaches and AD’s??

    This “complex playbook” thing has gotten so old, drop the pretense of being an NFL farm club and all the other points in the list are far more likely to occur, even the last one.

    • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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      Absolutely,….but you get a gig in the NFL by running a pro system and having a big playbook….

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    OT: For those who think Gina is a big improvement, a test is coming; she plans to review film and, “examine OSU’s playcalling and execution inside the red zone.” Could be interesting.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Here’s her morning after review, where she too points out the lack of targets/catches by the new WRs and the boneheaded penalties:

      http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2014/08/the_morning_after_lingering_th.html

    • beaverkman beaverkman says:
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      After hearing Snell on the Joe radio and watching some of the Talking Beavers show, Gina is a slam dunk better than her. Snell made no apologies and admitted to the fact that she loves Riley and that should speak towards his charisma. So I would not expect anything but the company line from her.

      Gina been an outsider, covered Okie St the past three seasons seems much more willing to be objective and does not seem to be worried about becoming apart of the program, but stays more objective. But we shall see.

    • angry angry says:
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      Gina is a huge improvement. She gets my seal of approval so far. Just hoping she doesn’t get brainwashed or forced to write BS out of fear for her job.

      • wannabeav says:
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        concur. the Oregonian’s coverage is key part of the DeCarolis/Riley photon shield that protects them. They can’t rely on Canzano any more (if they ever could) and so the beat reporter is a key element re: public perception.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Riley and Banker coach for themselves, not for the kids or victory; they are slow or unwilling to learn and too stubborn to change.

  • FedUpBeav says:
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    I’d add a willingness to replace head coaches not rea hing desired levels of success. Most places you get 3-4 years. Riley has gotten 14 despite leaving before and nothing better than a Sun Bowl win which is firmly in the mediocre only bowl level in a smelly town near a horrible part of Mexico. Practically meaningless in the scheme of things. Our best year came after he left and more good years won’t return until he leaves again.

    You mentioned maybe Sark is underrated and that Riley doesn’t do a very good job recruiting to Corvallis. At this point I would be much happier handing over the program to an exciting upstart much earlier in their career and they could define a meaningful identity. Maybe Justin Wilcox has a decent amount to do with first UW and now USC looking better. I know he recruits well and kids like playing for him. He grew up just 15 or 20 miles outside Corvallis in Junction City. I’d rather ride a new train and hope it got me to my destination quicker than stay on this Riley jallopy. Its tired and has seen its better years many years ago. It just us time for a change very soon and not just being stuck in a rut. Those who fear change don’t adapt well and that gas been playing out under Riley. He isn’t the guy who will take us to the next level so why is he still our coach? Get aggressive and find an upcoming stud coach who WILL recruit. Wilcox is the man I would target. Would be a much more refreshing and hopeful next 6 years under his leadership than Riley’s. The fanbase has completely stalled so this makes sense to me on multiple levels to reinvigorate the program.

    • OStater says:
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      I agree. That North Dakota Bison coach ain’t too shabby either. Realistically there are more than a hundred coaches in America who would have played PSU better than Riley with less penalties, better preparation and playcalling. OSU as a member of the Pac-12 could land half of them, so let’s dispel that myth right there. Problems 1A and 1B are BDC and Riley because they are dinosaurs. Move on and the culture will improve. A good coach will lock up a Pac-12 job for 5-6 years, do all he can to jumpstart the program towards better bowls and not look back. We will know what not to do next time and that includes being so satisfied with 6-6 that we reward it with extensions. What kind of culture do you think this would create? Mediocrity is tolerated at OSU because it fits with BDC and Riley getting maximum time for minimum results.

      • Jack says:
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        The NDSU once-named-Sioux enjoy the analysis of Oregon State Ducks such as yourself.

        • Numbers says:
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          University of North Dakota is the Sioux. NDSU has always been Bison

  • beaverkman beaverkman says:
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    I think this is some of the best things I have read on here. I agree #4 really seems right on point. It seems like these spread teams run just a couple of plays, but use their speed andpace of play to create an advantage. They all do these few plays very well, and very efficiently.

    Riley is asking these kids to master a more complex system usually doing it in positions that they had to move into. We hear from the coaches all the time about how the players need to understand the scheme to use their speed. Speed is one thing but if you are thinking too much then you play slower.

  • steveEbeaver says:
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    The complexity of the play book hasn’t seemed to be a problem for the opposing defensive coordinators. Especially once the Beavs get to the red zone.

  • Issaquahbeav says:
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    Conversely, I was watching the WSU/Rutgers game and the announcer said that Leach essentially runs only 7 different plays. Of course, they have no running game which really hurt them in that loss.

  • Hellobeavers says:
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    Quite ridiculous how the Beavers easily beat Portland State and you guys act like we just lost to EWU again. It won’t take much to be more efficient in the red zone, even against better talent. It seems like every time we got to the red zone there was a penalty that sort of took away our opportunity to run. Or we tried to run and got stuffed. On the other hand I would expect more criticism from this bunch towards Woods/Ward. They both go down too easily.

    While it wasn’t always pretty, did you guys ever really feel like we might lose? PSU couldn’t do much and got some lucky breaks, but it always felt like we had the game under control.

    I imagine you guys would also give your left nut to have a coach like Leach or Peterson at Oregon State. Would you then call for BDC to fire them for their shitty performances on opening weekend? Why can’t leach teach the fundamentals like ball security? He’s had 4 years to develop a run game and a defense that can compete in the PAC 12. Peterson should be fired because that gimmiky shit doesn’t work at this level.

    Chill out for a few weeks before you throw in the towel.

    • angry angry says:
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      So when the Beavs were losing at halftime and the opposing QB had 100 yards rushing, you felt like the Beavs had the game under control? Okay.

      It won’t take much to be more efficient in the red zone, even against better talent. It seems like every time we got to the red zone there was a penalty that sort of took away our opportunity to run. Or we tried to run and got stuffed.

      Right. So how can you see the effects and not comprehend the causes?

    • wannabeav says:
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      I was in the stadium and not only did I think it was conceivable that the Beavs could lose most everyone around me thought the same thing. It was clear that the Beavs were a bigger and faster team but “low IQ football” is a great equalizer and we saw a LOT of that from the Beavs all game long.

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      Only a die-hard koolaid drinker could have seen that game and not been concerned that the Beavs could blow it. As for PSU getting lucky breaks, you either make your own breaks or take advantage of the shortcomings of the opposition; PSU did both Saturday.

      Apparently Riley didn’t feel confident enough in victory to get ANY playing time for Vanderveen, a mistake which will likely bite the Beavs, if not this season, for sure next.

      • Hellobeavers says:
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        So is it fair to say that our defense gets credit for 5 turnovers? We created or took advantage of their mistakes too didn’t we?

        Oregon State made half time adjustments and completely shut down PSU. How on earth can you not be pleased with that?

        • oneoldbeav says:
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          Straw man.
          Nobody has said they weren’t glad to see defensive adjustments.

          And, how is it that PSU “got some lucky breaks” while the Beavs “created or took advantage of their mistakes” Seems like it depends on point of view.

      • bendbeaver bendbeaver says:
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        Ugly wins bring out these kind of reactions on AB. Most of the problems in the game are fixable, thankfully. I’m not sure why people think Vanderveen should’ve played. They only won by 15. If Vanderveen comes in and drops a turd, then it’s an 8 point game. There would be a shit storm in here if that happened. Vanderveen will get in during junk time, which is 25 or more points for Riley.

        • steveEbeaver says:
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          The point is that the Beavs SHOULD have put up enough point to get him in the game. Missed opportunity.

          • oneoldbeav says:
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            Yes, the point is the Beavs should have controlled the game against this level of competition and, by doing so, gotten actual game action for younger guys. But to Hellobeavers it “always felt like we had the game under control”, apparently to Riley…not so much.

  • angry angry says:
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    Dylan Wynn might be a good coach or DC one day.
    https://oregonstate.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1676036

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      How do you feel about Wynn as a player right now?
      In the past I’ve had a higher opinion than you of his value in the Beavs D, primarily because of his passion.

      Side point: DeLa Salle puts out some good players, glad the Beavs seem to have a good link there (just recently learned that Nick Aliotti’s brother coaches there).

      • angry angry says:
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        I think he’s Kevin Frahm. High motor with no results. Wynn just seems to always be a hair away from making the big play…he’s a tweener who could dominate HS but then be a second too slow for college. He’s does bring intensity and effort, which I very much appreciate. But for the most part he hasn’t produced. He has the DeLa Salle pedigree and had a high rivals rating and “looks the part” (he looks like Brian Urlacher!), but he just does not disrupt enough. I thought PSUs DEs were better than OSUs….at least on Saturday.

        • oneoldbeav says:
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          PSU’s DE’s did benefit from the Beavs O-line, but yeah, they did seem focused and well coached.

        • WFO WFO says:
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          I thought Wynn looked better before he added that last 20 pounds. It looks like that slowed him down just *that* much to put him where he is now. I always thought he should have slimmed down and focused on speed and agility and played linebacker.

  • alex says:
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    Pretty good article by Eggers if you missed it:
    http://portlandtribune.com/pt/12-sports/231950-96262-riley-sees-good-bad-in-beavers-opener-vs-psu

    Eggers has some criticisms related to have Riley and Garrett both on the field, as well as the end-of-half fiasco.

    Sounds like that time management is on Mannion…or else Riley is throwing him under the bus. Of course, with Riley coaching you in clock management, what kind of results can you expect?

    Honestly, I think clock/timeout management is objectively Riley’s most significant weakness/failing as a coach. We see it every year in multiple games, and it has not ever improved. He needs to recognize the weakness, and outsource that part of the game to someone who is capable (Garrett?)

    • angry angry says:
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      Pass coverage was superb. The Vikings were 10 for 27 passing for 83 yards.

      Another good example of statistics painting a flawed picture.

      Was pass coverage superb? I saw Viking QBs who could not get the ball within 5 yards of their receivers. Again, I expect pass coverage to look much less “superb” once they play better competition. Though I do love Nelson and think he’ll be a pro corner. IMO Scott will get picked on a lot as this season goes on, and the safties are so so. Beavs have 1 great player in the secondary and a bunch of meh. Justin Strong could be very good. That one tackle won me over for now…just perfect technique. We’ll see how he progresses.

    • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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      Since Riley clearly doesnt give a shit about such trivia as clock management, he is not going to do anything about it. Expect more of the same.

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    Nothing to add regarding the game. Typical opening day effort. PSU picked eighth in Big Sky would probably lost that game to Big Sky teams 1 through 4. Hawaii should be interesting after a near miss against the Dogs.

    After all the summer discussion of a tartan end zone, does BDC think those two little tartan tampons supporting the goal posts constitutes a tartan end zone? Looks like a weird, cheap afterthought.

    On the tv broadcast I thought I heard the freakin chainsaw in the background. Wasn’t that eliminated last year along with the high school like “that’s another OSU first down!” JB

    • beavblazer beavblazer says:
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      Tartan end zones arent happening. Was talking to people in marketing who said the paint used to make that busy pattern fades at different rates depending on the color, and by mid season it would look terrible.(probably would look terrible in the preseasons even) the goal posts have been tartan since last year i think.

      Regarding the 1st down chant. I was sitting in the psu section and even they were saying “what the hell are they doing?” when the crowd would half assed tommahawk chop their first down chant. Its even more embarrasing just before half time when the band has already left the stands, yet the fans still do it in silence, all at different tempos. Its really cool when everybody says “Huah!!” at different times.

      • FedUpBeav says:
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        Not according to Massari. He said a few weeks ago that after the season Tartan and other enhanced endzone options would get serious vetting to go along with the VFC overhaul. Originall they were to piant the endzones in 2012 for a permanent install in 2013. However, right now I think they are using paint but don’t need to once they decide what they want for the next say 5 years. They should be able to put permanent tartan designs that hold color pretty well. I have seen plenty of rich colored fields that hardly fade at all. Technology has to be available. Checkerboard OK but tartan unique to only OSU and would liven up the gameday experience and atmosphere.

  • FedUpBeav says:
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    Regarding the 13 wasted seconds at the 34 yard line that took it from 28 to 15 seconds, that is simply inexcuseable. We still have a decent shot for a TD there if managed right and instead we barely gave ourselves a shot at a missed 50 yard field goal.

    The situation and time remaining with 2 timeouts warranted an immediate one used right there. If you for some not very good reason as head coach allow a few seconds for an audible it HAS to stop at a few seconds. Riley has a tendancy to watch things for too long if he thinks something is about to occur.

    What happwbed is Sean took 13 full seconds deciding if what he was hoping could be an option might develop any better for him to take the snap when part of him realized a timeout was wiser and then only after said 13 seconfs did he finally just call a timeout after wasting nearly half of our remaining time.

    The 34 is an easy place to have premium options from the playbook from as well. Everthing from a quick 5 yard out to make an easier FG to anthing over the middle at plenty of depths to a shot for the endzone are doable. One of the easier places to get another first down from with decent coaching.

    Bottom line Riley has to call timeout and give his team a goid shot for a TD before half and mire worst case should have been something like a 35 yard field goal. 28 seconds is a ton of time. Teams frequently move half a field in less time than that.

    • Dwill03 Dwill03 says:
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      In stadium we were all super confused on that play because we got the first down, and had to wait to the officials to move the chains who didn’t stop the play clock. Was there a rule change? Doesn’t the clock stop after every first down. Frustrating play for sure

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        Have you made your trip to NYC yet? If so…how did go. JB

        • Dwill03 Dwill03 says:
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          Yes. I loved it. Wife was glad she went but wouldn’t go back anytime soon. More of a beach/island gal.

          We crammed about as much as possible into the 4 days: used Subways, Walked the Villages, Saw World Trade Memorial, Wall Street, Walked the Brooklyn Bridge, Took a water taxi by Ellis Island and around Manhattan, Book of Morman on Broadway (Ordered 2 drinks at the bar right before the show: Vodka Water and a Whisky 7 total was $75.00 lol, 1/3 off for refills though so we had that going for us), Soho, Park Ave, Madison Ave, Did the Met and Central park. Walked through Time Square, but at 2:00 am when it was close to empty. Only way to do it. During the day there are way too many people. A lot of roof top bars: The Rooftop @ the Standard High Line in Meat Packing had one of the best city views probably in the US, Birreria at Eatly, The Rooftop @ The Viceroy twice because it was next door to our Hotel. Brunch at a restaurant called Prune was great. If your looking for good, fresh tasting Italian food we went to a place called Rosemary’s in Greenwich Village. Amazing. They have their own rooftop garden where they grow their own herbs.

          We have some friends who live there who gave us a lot of tips on food, so I think we did a really good job. I think if we were to try and plan the trip 100% on our own it would’ve been overwhelming and we would’ve spent too much time in the touristy areas. The trip kind of made me wish I would’ve travelled a bit more right out of school, and maybe tried living somewhere like NY for a year or two instead of just staying home and getting a job.

          Thanks for asking. Hope your feeling better.

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            Sounds like you did it right. Next time you build on the good things, eliminate the ones you didn’t enjoy. Glad you had a good time. JB

      • beavblazer beavblazer says:
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        Agreed, refs didnt stop the clock when they were supposed to which made everything look even worse. Still, we should have seen the clock running amd used one of our 3 remaining timeouts. Could have fit in 2 more pass plays.

  • oneoldbeav says:
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    Here is a story by Gina that you’d never see written by Snell: (even if it does feature “Stormy”)
    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2014/09/why_it_worked_inside_storm_woo.html#incart_river

    • helmsley says:
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      I’m not sure Snell knows an inside screen or a blitz when she sees one. Not sure I do either, but I’m not trying to be a sportswriter. Mizell either knows or does a great job of plugging in the language.

  • willey997 says:
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    Give Haskins a try at running in the red zone. Couldn’t be any worse than what we had and probably a lot better.

    • HelloBeavers says:
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      Read similar comment in multiple places, but wasn’t Haskins out Saturday due to injury? I think he is back this week at Hawaii.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Hoping for Haskins return, and some carries. Granted, this is the international bowl, but look at his feet, always moving. Then there’s the shot on the defender on the trick play:

  • rsteve503 rsteve503 says:
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    Riley is asked if the sideline should have called a timeout with 28 sec left, and a first down at the PSU 34.

    “Sean was trying to read the defense and tried to audible into something,” Riley said. “I couldn’t believe how much time it was taking. He finally wound up taking a timeout.”

    In other words, “Hey, guys, I am just a spectator here….you want me to tell the team what to do? What do you think I am, the head coach??”

    I cant believe he can say something like this. So for me, he should become a spectator. Fire him — he isnt on the job anyway.

    • Jack says:
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      Overheard during the first half after yet another penalty kills one of our drives and the announcers were talking about how Mike Riley was visibly upset and huffing down the sideline:

      “Gee! I wonder if he’s looking for the person responsible for not instilling a sense of discipline in this team. Maybe he should go yell at that guy.”

      • angry angry says:
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        They should show Riley on the jumbotron at all times. Maybe he’ll get the hint then. But no, they will show Randy the Logger instead.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Based on practice reports, Read like to sit in the bleachers too while his kicker is working his way off the team….maybe he and Riley can go in on a season ticket package?

  • ObjCritic says:
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    OT, but if you want to see some high quality images of the low quality PSU game, go here:

    https://oregonstatebeavers.exposure.co/beavers-defeat-portland-state

    As one who practices photography, I enjoy a site with this quality of photos. Also, in the limited amount of effort I’ve had on football photography, I know how challenging it is to get good action photos. Digital SLRs with high storage capacity are a blessing, as one must shoot MANY photos. Or I must anyway.

    I thought the white/orange/white looked good myself…much sharper than the play.

    • angry angry says:
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      What gear do you use?

      • ObjCritic says:
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        Nikon D300, 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses. Adobe LightRoom. I love the D300, but it’s about 6-7 years old now. I should upgrade the body and LightRoom software.

        I also have a LensBaby I play around with sometimes. Kinda fun.

        • angry angry says:
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          I’d recommend a full frame sensor, a fixed/prime lens, and photoshop. For sports get the 400mm 5.6 lens and up your ISO if 5.6 isn’t fast enough. All these will result in a world of difference, assuming you fully understand the three basic technical aspects of photography (f/stop, shutter speed, and iso). I guess an argument could be made the 1.5x crop sensor you have gives a slight telephoto effect but I’d rather go full frame and then add 100mm via the 400mm prime.

          • ObjCritic says:
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            Thanks for the tips. What I found more challenging, is getting a usable action shot that looks like action. Even shooting at 6 FPS it’s easy to wind up with shots with players with their eyes closed, or some moment in time that just looks static.

            I attended the OSU @ WSU game in Pullman years back. Canfield at QB. Quizz and James on the team. Wheaton a true FR. The stadium was empty, and we were able to sit right behind the Beaver bench the whole game. Probably the most useable action shot I got was a Canfield handoff to Quizz. I got a shot of Canfield throwing the strangest hail mary I have ever seen; he didn’t even look to the players in the end zone, he looked up at the sky as if he were throwing for a point/apex in the sky. Needless to say it was inaccurate and underthrown. The year before that I got a good shot of a Canfield throw to Catchings forty yards downfield. The pictures show the route developing perfectly for Catchings, who had several steps on his defender. He dropped the pass.

            I needed – besides a better lens – a better vantage point, and to have shot a whole lot more photos…but there’s a trade off. If you’re shooting an event, it’s not the same as just experiencing it. At least for me. I’m focused more on composition than experiencing the events as they happen.

          • angry angry says:
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            Yeah the closed eye thing is all luck. There’s no way to get around that other than what you’re doing by taking a lot of shots. And vantage point does matter a lot, too. If you’re pictures look too static lower the shutter speed a little (you should be in shutter priority mode most of the time). For shots of the players off the field or not in game action I might go aperture priority f/5.6 to isolate them a little.

            A 400mm prime will be tack sharp where as the zoon will be soft. This is due to all the extra glass in a zoom and the physics of optics. The 400mm 5.6 is a Canon lens, but Nikon probably has something similar. I think the original Canon 5D can be had for $300 now for the body, and it’s a full frame sensor. Best value imo. I mostly shoot landscapes and the longest lens I actually own is 50mm…haha. I use the Zeiss lenses for Canon. They are amazing.

  • Jack says:
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    So… since some want to compare this win with the 2000 EWU win, let’s go ahead and point out all the coincidental parallels from that era.

    Like 2013, 1999 was a season of streaks. We won three, lost three, won four and lost two (including the loss in the bowl game in Honolulu). We played the best 1AA team in the nation and scraped by in a shootout… instead of losing. We looked great at times (UCLA). We looked pathetic at times (UW).

    The difference was the expectations at that time. When we beat Cal we knew we finally had something we hadn’t seen in almost three decades, a winning regular season. We weren’t talking about not playing a bowl game because we didn’t think we deserved it. We were talking about not playing in one (tongue in cheek) so we could preserve a +.500 season and not possibly fall to .500 with the loss. Then we beat UA, and that joke went away.

    We had no idea what we had when that 2000 season started. We knew we had some hype. And we finally had a winning season to build on. That EWU win was more of a “whew!” moment than anything. There was a lot of laundry on the field that day too. But that was a part of the DE identity. Instead of being up in the turnover count I could swear we were minus four for the day, including one that almost lost it.

    And then we went to UNM and eked out another rough game against a less than average team. It wasn’t until we came home and played SDSU in game three that we finally started looking like that 2000 team we all now remember. And then we beat USC in game four.

    But that’s where our coincidences end. What I remember about those four early 2000 games is that we ran the goddamn ball about twice as much as we threw it. We may have been roug around the edges, but we were going to shove that ball down our opponents’ throats until we were good at it or until they broke… or both. I don’t recall us being great at the run much that season. But I remember having more and more confidence in our Oline as the season wore on. And I remember we just ran the ball so much to start the season. Not every play was a success. But you could tell there was cumulative effect in both our opponents’ and our mindsets.

    Oh… and the play action actually worked.

    What we saw Saturday was not a repeat of that EWU game by any stretch. What Saturday reminded me of was sitting in the stands in the late 80’s watching Erik Wilhelm move the ball between the 20s. And while I want to believe we can build on last year’s “winning” record, it seems to be more of a slide back into obscurity given the direction of our win totals.

    What is different about this team and, say, the 1988 team is that we have much more talent now. But you wouldn’t know it by watching the other day. I could swear I was watching Wilhelm throw screens and swings to Chaffey and Taylor.

    • angry angry says:
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      Those people trying to compare Saturday to 1999 are making a shallow argument. About a million variables have changed since then, including the entire roster several times over. Just because one variable (OSU the team playing the game) remains constant doesn’t make the comparison valid. Again, this just shows fan irrationality and the levels some will stoop to rationalize their entrenched beliefs.
      The big picture is that Riley has not changed at all and is making all the same errors. Everything else is semantics.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      “What is different about this team and, say, the 1988 team is that we have much more talent now. But you wouldn’t know it by watching the other day. I could swear I was watching Wilhelm throw screens and swings to Chaffey and Taylor.”

      Scary, but accurate observation. The talent discrepancy is significant, but the play isn’t. Gee, what could be the problem?

  • wannabeav says:
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    Excellent commentary and analysis, Jack. I didn’t become a fan until my son invited me down for the dad’s weekend game (vs. Cal) that guaranteed a winning season. At the time, it was sorta like a religious conversion experience. Case in point: I was at all of the first four games of the 2000 season that you cite. I can remember thinking we were fortunate to win against Eastern, and the NM game reminded me a lot of this past Saturday’s game in some respects; a lot of missed opportunities. What REALLy stands out from that game was the revelation that was OSU linebacker play. Having hung around the program now for what, 15 years, I ‘ve concluded that LB play is the key variable in how well the team will do; at least, how well OSU will do.

  • Jack says:
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    And then there is this:
    http://www.oregonlive.com/recruiting/index.ssf/2014/09/tres_tinkle_stephen_thompson_j.html

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this before. At least I can’t remember anything like it. Two targets of a school are going to live chat in one of the major papers for the region before anything is announced about their intentions for committing or not committing to said school?

    I know their conditions are a little different than other PSAs, being the sons of coaches for said school. But I can think of only one question for the both of them that I want answered before I have any other questions. And then I don’t think I’d care about the rest of the answers anyway.

    Retweeted by Derrick Bruce:
    http://twitter.com/tres_tinkle3/status/506864407151136768

  • GOBeavs GOBeavs says:
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    Recruiting just for speed or athletic ability isn’t just going to make everything suddenly work out. Are you saying you want a team full of obum gwachams?

    Riley and everyone other than BSU, Idaho, and Eastern Washington passed on Kellen Moore… If finding a Moore or a LeFevour was easy then a lot more people would do it.

    I agree that OSU should probably change the offense. There’s some benefit to being so much different than other offenses, but even Mannion (redshirt, 4 year starter) wasn’t making the correct decisions against PSU this weekend. I don’t see Riley changing it too much so close to his retiring (I’m assuming…) Any idea when he will retire? All I’ve heard from media is how he could keep coaching for years (please, no).

  • Issaquahbeav says:
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    Being at the game this past weekend, I felt our receivers time and again we’re getting tackled with no YAC. Seemed to be several one on one situations against PSU secondary and they couldnt shake the guy. Pretty disturbing considering the lower competition.

  • GOBeavs GOBeavs says:
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    “All three Beavers targets will now be in our live chat at 4. Could be a big day for OSU hoops.”

    https://twitter.com/ConnOregonian/status/506887854564585473

    So OSU has commits (knock on wood) from the 74, 88, 123, and 133 rated players for the 2015 class.

    Not bad Mr. Tinkle, not bad.

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