12.Oct.2016 Utah @ Oregon State Pregame
To me, Utah fans are the worst in the conference (yes, worse than Duck fans — at least they earned their bragging rights). Utah fans are a bigger-than-their britches and delusional fan base from all the years of bullying borderline D1 teams. Can’t stand them, so this game means a lot to me on an emotional level. If the Beavs lay an egg and get blown out I’m going to be an unhappy camper.
On to the game. GA says in the press conferences that he doesn’t see the Beavs having much running room versus Utah and the pass game will have to click. That sounds about right. There’s more to it, though, as readers here have pointed out, in that the short to intermediate passing game is the problem. It shouldn’t be so difficult to complete those passes. The Beavs can also try to use Lucas on the outside/sweep plays if they can’t get anything going up the middle. IMO Arizona is about as good/bad as the Beavs, and they averaged just 3.4 yards per carry. However, they averaged 22 yards per catch.
So the game plan should be pretty obvious: throw a lot of 10 to 15 yard routes and have the WRs block like crazy to get extra yardage, run sweeps or jet sweeps with your speed guys, only pound up the middle when necessary in short yardage or to test the D/wear them out a bit, throw in a trick play with Collins (why nothing yet? This is a good week to try it), and if momentum is going against you have a fake punt package in place. Then it’s just who wants it more in the trenches. The Beavs will want it badly after getting a taste of victory, and that can be contagious. Utah will just do their bland thing and hand the ball off, run with the QB a little, and stop the run. No surprises. So the Beavs need to just out will them mentally and then execute the pass game here. Both are keys to winning. Can they do it? Yes, but until they do, why think they will? I expect a close game that the Beavs can (and will) win if they get 300 yards passing, otherwise it goes to Utah.