06.Oct.2015 Oregon State @ Arizona
Alright, doods, back on track here.
So as I was saying below, I think the Beavs have weather and start time as the intangible working against them. In order to make up for that handicap, they need to bring their own intangibles, and I actually think they do. Playing a difficult early schedule could help here. Stanford and Michigan, two of the more physical teams in college this year, should have toughened up the Beavs. And this is the most interesting part of the game to me: did the Beavs learn (physicality) from their loses or not? If so, then they were Laevinic defeats. Those are the types of defeats we want: “alright, we lost, but we learned xyz, and it will never happen again.” Riley teams never seemed to have it, and now we see how quickly Andersen can instill that trait.
Another key to this game: Seth Collins has walked a tightrope thus far with turnovers. He should be coughing it up more than he is given his reckless style and iffy throws. Collins has been serviceable so far, if we’re being fair. I just think he has the law of averages working against him.
So my feeling: if Collins luck doesn’t run out, and the Beavs learned how to be physical, they can very easily win this game. And visa versa. In the pre-season I had this marked as a loss. This Conference is erratic, though. Each week we seem to have surprising outcomes (that maybe shouldn’t be surprising anymore). It tells me the teams are all close, even the perceived “bad” teams. And conversely, the teams at the top probably aren’t all that good. Utah might be the best team in the conference. They’ve been the most consistent. Anyway, I am sticking to this one being a loss, but have an underlying positive feeling about it, too. Beav’s depth is so thin, and that might show again as this game goes on. I expect an even game until the 4th quarter when the Beavs finally wear down.
Let’s be clear: this is a season defining game. If they can win this, it changes all expectations and puts the program ahead of schedule. For this reason, it’s a big game. The two games after this (Washington State and Colorado) should be wins, so they can conceivably win three games in a row. They can also drop all three (i.e. the volatility of a young, growing team).