16.Oct.2011 Material & Positional Advantage

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I am more of a nerd than a jock, so sometimes I wonder to myself, "Why are you so enamored with football?"

Well, the real-life drama is an obvious reason, but equally intriguing is the strategy, or mental component. As an avid chess enthusiast, I see similarities between the two games. This is not surprising, since chess mimics the battlefield and football is often described in tactical and bellicose terms.

Along that line of thought, I'd like to present two concepts from chess relevant to Mike Riley and the way he manages the Oregon State Beavers.

The first concept is "Material Advantage."

In chess, this is simply when a player has (a) more pieces than his opponent or (b) has higher valued pieces than his opponent. Both scenarios present a material advantage, since one player's material (i.e. his pieces) are stronger than his opponent's. For those unfamiliar with chess, there is a scoring system where a pawn is worth 1 point, a knight 3, a bishop 3, and so forth, all the way up to a queen, which is worth 9 points. This is similar to football where the QB would be the most valuable piece.

It is fair to say most opponents have a material advantage over the Beavers. Numerically speaking, they do not have more players, but they do have better players. Some would argue that coaches who allow their QBs to run do have "more pieces" since the (mobile) QB requires a dedicated defender. I'd agree with that. Doesn't it feel like the Beavers have a material disadvantage when they face mobile QBs? That is because they do.

In chess, one way to overcome material disadvantage is through positional advantage. For example, while a pawn is, generally speaking, a weak piece, if it is placed in the center of the board it becomes a pillar. Further, an opponent might have stronger pieces, but if they are trapped behind pawns and cannot break their rank, they are rendered useless. Many master level games are won via nothing more than the position of pawns.

Relating this to Beaver football, it is fair to say Mike Riley is a poor tactician. His weak pieces (e.g. offensive linemen) are used in a manner that exaggerates their weakness. A master tactician would turn the weak piece into a strength. How to do this? Possibly through misdirection, shovel passes, tosses to the edge, pulling a guard, etc. Plays that do not require power or long, sustained blocking. Regarding my second point above about pawns restricting stronger pieces from breaking rank…this relates to the Beavers as well. Markus Wheaton was the best player on the field last Saturday, but his impact was minimal, especially when compared to BYU's (less talented) WR Cody Hoffman. Metaphorically speaking, Wheaton was like a queen trapped behind pawns. Why is this? Well, the chess player (i.e. Danny Langsdorf/Mike Riley) does not understand how to free him.

This brings up another point, which is to discuss strategy versus tactic. In chess, strategy would be the big picture (or game plan). Understanding the opponents tendencies, weaknesses, etc, and formulating a general plan. Tactics are specific, short term attacks aimed at executing the strategy and attaining the end goal. The Beavers play aimless football. It makes me wonder what the big picture strategy is, and we all know about Langsdorf's tactics.

A team like Boise State has a material disadvantage, but what makes Chris Peterson a genius is his understanding of positional advantage. BYU is another great example. And even Oregon, with their undersized offensive line, has a material disadvantage which they overcome. How do these master "chess players" do it?

For insight, read this quote by Grand Master Larry Kaufman:

I would like to make reference to a famous brilliancy by Kasparov against Shirov [DH: see 3rd game on linked page.] played in 1994. I consider it one of the greatest games ever because Kasparov sacrificed (successfully!) a full Exchange (rook for knight) for purely positional compensation. Any strong player would have made the sacrifice if it had been the Exchange for a pawn, since Kasparov was left with markedly better pieces and pawn structure, but it seemed to me (and probably to most other masters) that the compensation would not be worth nearly two pawns.

However, considering the principles of this article, since the queen and the extra pair of rooks remained on the board, and since only two pawns had been exchanged (with no files fully opened), the real value of the rook for knight exchange was only about a pawn and a quarter, and since the positional compensation did appear to be worth more than a pawn, I can now see that the sacrifice was at least reasonable, if not clearly favorable.

You can see Kasparov's brilliant yet unorthodox line of thinking in Chris Peterson, Chip Kelly, and Bronco Mendenhall. Chip Kelly's spacing, read option, punt and field goal formations, rarely conceding 4th downs, etc. Mendenhall putting his TE in motion at the goal line, realizing a defender does not have time to close in that short a distance. Peterson matching up his best players on the opponents' weakest player at all times, and then drilling execution into his players until it becomes their nature, etc.

Kasparov and Bobby Fisher are the two greatest chess players in history, and both had the uncanny ability to understand when to sacrifice material to gain position. The Ruy Lopez is probably the most popular chess opening, but Kasparov preferred the unconventional Indian Defense due to it resulting in an open board that allows for better counter play.

In the Pro Set, Mike Riley and Oregon State run the equivalent of the Ruy Lopez. It is tried and true, but so common (and some would argue dated) that over the years opponents have mastered how to defend it. As I tried to explain above, in games of strategy and tactics, many times the value of a piece either do not matter or can be manipulated via positioning. My opinion is that Oregon State lacks dearly in understanding the rules of leverage, spatial relationships, creatively sacrificing, etc. What makes a chess player brilliant is the same thing that makes a head coach brilliant–understanding leverage, or the worth of material relative to situation, space, and time.

Mike Riley does not understand how to leverage position to increase the value of his players. In other words, he uses his material identically at all times. It is for these reasons more than any others that Mike Riley will never be more than an average coach.

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  • angry angry says:
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    And for the record, I think the problem outlined above happens even when Riley has “good teams”…it is a flaw in the coach, not something new this year.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Ahhh…
    The Indian Defense is a black counter, while the Spanish Game is a white attack. Other than that, I feel like I’m reading one of Omar Sharif’s Sunday bridge articles.

    Sorry… did I just let on that I’ve read an Omar Sharif bridge article? How single-dummy of me. I think football is as strategic as a chess game which was only three columns wide. I have never seen a complex enough game to add a fourth column.

  • mike says:
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    I think the Beavers need to get rid of our strength coach & get someone more progressive. All they do is Olympic lifting. Part of it is obviously recruiting bigger, stronger more talented athletes, but you got to work with what we have. The amount of injuries is ridiculous and has been the case for awhile. I worked for an NFL team for years that had similar issues and the rumble in the building was that the training staff & conditioning team were not up to par.
    A friend of mine close to the program says their is no emphasis on the players being more pliable, just bigger & stronger. They got to do something to keep guys on the field or we have no chance. Ugh, so defeating watching this team.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Do any DI programs integrate yoga? I know that may sound crazy, but having tried it, I think it would be a great tool for the strength and conditioning program. Twice a week, probably monday and fridays to help mentally unwind before and after games as well as stretch and develop flexibility.

    • ean says:
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      yeah that is not good if what you say is true. You have to be incorporating plyometrics and proprioception. It is essential in making your strength translate onto the field. Yoga can be huge too when used in combination with a lifting program. Of course with the practice limits maybe the team feels they have to choose one thing over the other.

      • no yoga says:
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        Strenching degrades elasticity. Track and field is my background. Weight throwers and sprinters stay away from trying to increase flexibility while in season. That’s off season stuff. Yoga is fine for offseason.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    One would think Riley would be bored with his own approach by now.

    I think another way to characterize the problem with Riley and his coaching staff, and some of the fan base is the difference between belief and understanding; Riley, believes in Banker and Langsdorf, Banker believes in his scheme, Langsdorf believes in the 3 yard pass on 3rd and 12. Much of the fan base believes in all three of these coaches. What is lacking is understanding – understanding the need for strategy, within game adjustments, and early season performance.

    Belief without understanding is cheap and easy, it’s a form of fundamentalism that requires the stubbornness exuded by Banker et al – if you cannot explain WHY you believe what you believe, an intellectual defense becomes impossible, and one is left only with the emotional defense. ‘Why do you BELIEVE that coaching your db’s to not look for the ball is more effective? I don’t UNDERSTAND.” (Poyer is becoming a rare exception, but he’s starting to look for the ball). Why do you BELIEVE your off-season programs are appropriate when you annually have a losing record in the first four games of the year? I don’t UNDERSTAND.” Why do you BELIEVE Riley and staff are going to be better next year?….

    I don’t see this team being orders of magnitude better next year (e.g. a good bowl game); simply because they offensive line will be young and this staff will not have prepared them. The offense will therefor face the same problems it does this year.

    Understanding the need to change is fundamental to making progress. Riley, Banker, and Langsdorf can continue along, using the same pieces in a strategy vacuum, and eventually it will catch up to them. Either BDC does something or is forced to. By then, all of the program progress that Riley had achieved earlier in his tenure will have dissolved, diluted into multiple seasons of mediocrity.

    BDC needs to be proactive this year and implement strategic change at the O & D coordinator level (at the right time), instead of reacting to pressure years from now. The staff needs to work overtime to keep the recruits from which it has verbals.

    The most interesting things about beaver football right now (because the coaching staff actually discourages interest) is 1) seeing if young players can avoid a losing mentality and show up every week with effort, and 2) reading this site.

    • helmsley says:
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      How could they avoid a losing mentality? They probably just want this to be over with which doesn’t translate into effort.

      Whilst the rest of you were suffering, I was watching Montana State vs. Northern Arizona in Bozeman. It was good fun. I know your thoughts about the Big Sky conference – please don’t comment.

      • slamadam says:
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        Don’t comment on the players effort if you aren’t even watching the game that’s completely unfair. I couldn’t care less about the big sky, but that doesen’t lead me to assume that the players don’t either if their team isn’t good.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    “Thomas_Tyner: New twitter pic… Tell me who can blow a bubble at that young of age! #GOML”
    –http://twitter.com/Thomas_Tyner/status/125815875424096257

    His profile pic has him sandwiched between two oregon duck cheerleaders. He’s gone folks!

    • TheAntiAngryBeaver says:
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      Why are you stalking a 16 year old boy on twitter? Creepy!

      • OSU4Life says:
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        I guess I’m stalking about 200 other people too? I also have around 200 people stalking me. Except on Twitter, it’s called “following”. New technology, I know, it’s creepy.

        • TheAntiAngryBeaver says:
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          I am aware of twitter and how it works. Tyner is a boy, he’s a junior in HS and you’re (who I am assuming) a grown man is ‘following’ him and giving us constant updates on him. It’s weird!

          He’s 16-17 years old and can’t even make official visits yet. Who knows what the NCAA has in store for Oregon.

          So his profile pic has him sandwiched with UO cheerleaders? What HS Jr wouldn’t be stoked to be flanked be amazingly hot college cheerleaders? Relax and stop worring about what a HS junior has on his twitter page.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Agreed.

            I’m already on record as not liking him as a football player because it will likely kill his track talent. And I would cheer for the kid no matter where he went to school if he did concentrate solely on running instead. I don’t know if I could cheer for him in football even as a Beav. It would just be too much a waste of a special talent for me to bear.

            Anyway, I don’t really care what he’s doing with his every breath. Neither should any of us. That sort of infatuation should be reserved for old men who live near schoolyards and Duck fans.

          • OSU4Life says:
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            TheAntiAngryBeaver & JackBeav,

            I understand what both of you are saying. I was only trying to keep people on this site “in the know” and help with current information. I agree with his track talent vs his football talent. I think he would go further and has a brighter future with track. For track it is a no brainer where he should go. I’m sorry that you both have the wrong perception of me, as I am neither of those you mentioned.

            The bigger picture is that if OSU can’t retain the best in state talent, how can they get the best talent out of state? He was supposedly an OSU fan for a long time. With the season OSU is having, combined with the current coaching staff”s lack of recruiting it is disappointing. But at the same time, not surprising.

          • ean says:
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            everyone keeps saying he should go to school for track. I don’t know a ton but UofO is not really known for their sprinters. I thought the big time track schools were Texas and LSU? I always thought UofO was known for distance running not track in general?

  • OStateBro says:
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    Like I said, the BYU game is a measuring stick for the coaching staff. For me personally, the have eliminated any doubt that they are a poor staff, with an outdated scheme that, AT BEST, can win 8 games a year. Sad.

    • TheAntiAngryBeaver says:
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      ” AT BEST, can win 8 games a year. Sad.” 10 wins in 06, 9 wins in 07, 9 wins in 08
      Did you just become a fan in 2009?

      I agree that the scheme is outdated and Banker and Langsdorf need to be shown the door. I will give credit where credit is due though. This staff has proven it can win 9-10 games a year. Sadly, they and mostly I mean Banker refuse to change up their schemes and plays, and now teams know exactly what they are running.

      After the UCLA game I was listening to the post game Radio show with Jim WIlson. I don’t recall the exact question, but Wilson point blank said every team knows what OSU is going to do. They’ve been doing it the same way for 8 years now. Banker is to damn stubborn to think outside the box and thinks is scheme is the best. He feels he can stop the other team, even when they know what we are doing. OSU doesn’t hid anything on either offense or defense. And that is one of the biggest problems we’ve seen the last 1.5 years. Teams know what we are doing and we don’t have the talent (especially) on the lines to over come the fact that we are predictable.

  • beavers4life says:
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    What you all need to understand is that we aren’t being blown out except when we played Wisconsin. Otherwise, we have been in every game thus far, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot on every loss. We’ve blocked a punt and returned it for a TD. We’ve blocked I believe 3-4 field goals this season and returned a punt for a TD. Special teams have kept us in games, but turnovers is what makes us lose games. I’m optimistic about next season because it cannot get any worse than this season.

    • beaverbeliver says:
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      The blowouts are coming: Washington, Stanford and Oregon will destroy us.

  • ean says:
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    yeah coaching was bad. I thought it was decent verse AZ then kind of took a step back last game. The run where Agnew fumbled they pulled Enger and it looked like a solid design on the play but then the Beavers went away from it. I think the Beavers philosophy of easing into the play book needs to change to a more jump right in approach. Why limit yourself?

    They need to do something about the running QB’s. The DE’s always over-pursue… give up on getting the sack and play contain… that would help a lot and is a relatively minor adjustment.

    Also I thought with the injury predicament the Beavers made poor adjustments. BYU was ripping off 5 or 6 yards every time so we play with 5 DB’s? Why not bring Wynn in at MLB to try and stop or reduce the run.

  • matt b says:
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    Strategy and match up tactics were strengths of Bill Walsh. In his first super bowl year, he had a starting offensive tackle weaker than Remmers but Walsh did not consistently put him in a position to fail (match up blocking for 5-7 step drops). He had a starting running back that year that couldn’t make the team the next year. Walsh was able to creatively use tackle Dan Audick and rb Ricky Patton to mask their weaknesses and make the best of their few strengths. Too often we hear from OSU fans that we should bench or get rid of this guy or that guy. But the suggestions about what to next after benching or firing certain people are so vague as to be less than helpful. There are two seven foot high jumpers on the OSU team. Why isn’t the jump ball used for goal line or third down plays? Why are there not more clear out routes to isolate Wheaton or Cooks underneath? Have they though of leaving tackles in 2 point stance for obvious passing plays? Why aren’t the three OSU good defensive ends on the field together for more plays?

    • angry angry says:
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      Thanks for making a good post that is on topic. Didn’t Walsh invent the 3 step drop or am I wrong?

      Either way, why don’t the Beavs use shorter drops?

      Everyone acted like it was genius when the Beavs started using the fly sweep. That fell into their lap, though. And they should have thought that up on their own years ago based on the type of players they recruit. I want to give this staff credit for something…but they just don’t give me much opportunity. When they come up with a play, formation, idea on their own that marginalizes their team’s weakness, I’ll be the first to point it out.

      • slamadam says:
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        I do give the staff credit for reaching out to Mark Speckman and learning the fly sweep, but that was in 2007.

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        Was that at Linfield? I think we do have to give Riley credit for applying it when needed, but he was not the innovator. Mike Leach always bitches that there is nothing new under the sun in football. The Wildcat is just the single wing.

        • JackBeav says:
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          Speckman is at Willamette. But I think Locey picked it up and ran it at Linfield before coming to Corvallis.

  • StarcraftSquall says:
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    Phil Steele has written up his midseason All-Pac 12 four teams. The list can be found here:
    http://www.philsteele.com/All_Conference/2011midseason/Pac12.html

    Feel free to say “How did THAT guy make the list?”

  • JackBeav says:
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    I’ve been saying for years that we have great 3-4 personnel. But right now we don’t have a true NT who can play it. Thompson will likely be that player next year. now that we no viable MLB, I would like to see people like Rosa and Tuivailala line up about three yards off the C and just run at the QB on every play. Move our DT’s outside the OG’s, and stand Wynn and Crichton up outside for some fun zone blitzes. Crichton, Wynn, Henry and Fernando would all make excellent OLB’s in a 3-4.

    • WFO WFO says:
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      I agree with all of this 100%.

      The times Banker has changed it up from 4-3 the D has looked much better. Of course it helps to not have half of your starters in the locker room hurt…

      • JackBeav says:
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        Murphy and Welch looked really good. It was mostly Frahm getting handled at the point of attack and Robinson running weird angles in the gap. There were a couple times I watched Robinson take the gap with a suddenness I’d never seen from him, only to watch him just stop on the wrong side of the FB while TB ran through the hole he vacated. He didn’t even use his momentum to try to blow up the FB block. He just sort of stopped and played patty-cakes.

        • slamadam says:
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          I disagree about Murphy, he doesen’t tackle he just launches himself a the ball carriers knees. welch is a beast though i was glad to see him get snaps at lb and not just special teams.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Yeah, I saw Murphy do that too. But he displayed some good fundamentals on other plays also. I think he took a look at Alisa and figured he wasn’t gonna get anything except a ride downfield if he tried to take him head-on.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    Many of us have used Boise State as an example of a program that does more with less. This includes, talent, money, facilities, location, etc… 1996 was Boise State’s first year in Division I-A! Before that they were basically Portland State! Since OSU went to the “Fiesta Bowl” in 2000, The two programs have gone in opposite directions. None of us ever thought back then, that Boise State would become a better program than Oregon State. But they are a much better program, and it isn’t even close. Oregon State has received better recruiting classes than Boise State every year, yet Boise State wins the games they are supposed to, and they beat us with supposed “lesser talent”. They win games their games on ESPN. They adapt, change, mix things up. From time to time, they run a few trick plays. But if they need to get physical and run a Power-I formation, they can do that. They have had coaching changes, lost coordinators to other programs, but they just keep winning year after year. Their fanbase expects to win now, it’s been the norm for them for over 15 years!

    Oregon State is in the Pac-12, they have the facilities needed to compete (sure there are improvements needed). There is no reason why Oregon State can’t be more competitive than Boise State.

    The difference is Boise State surrounds their staff with BCS Division-1 level coaches, and they run a scheme that adapts.

    Where would you rank Mark Banker or Danny Langsdorf with the other Pac-12 coaches? I rank them at the bottom, and that is just the Pac-12! Where would they rank in the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, or the ACC?

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Boise State program and what they do. It makes me sick thinking that “That could be OSU”. I know they play in the WAC, now Mountain West, and if they played a Pac-12 schedule it would be different. But, would it? They probably wouldn’t go undefeated in the Pac-12, but they would be right up there with Stanford and the team down south! What if you reversed the argument? What if Oregon State played in the WAC, or Mountain West; could they ever go undefeated? I highly doubt it. They would probably lose to some team they had no business losing to, like a New Mexico, or Idaho. It is just the Beaver way.

    This is the mindset that needs to change. Oregon State should be able to go out and dominate their opponents and see every game as winnable. Oregon State has not been able to do that since the 2000 “Fiesta Bowl” team. Oregon State needs to have a swagger, and run an offense that lights up the scoreboard. Last time I checked, in football whoever scores the most points wins! When was the last time OSU scored more than 42 points? When was the last time OSU had a shut-out? When was the last time OSU was ranked in the top of the Pac-10/12, let alone top 25 in offense or defense? If OSU wants to be a Top 25 program, and win a Pac-12 Championship they must raise the bar, and raise the expectations!

    I laughed at the team down south during the beginning of the season in 2009 when their players said they wanted to win a “National Championship” Then, look where they ended up! They faked it until they made it. Would we ever hear that from an Oregon State player? Or an Oregon State coach? Why not aim for the top? If you aim for winning 12 games and you end up winning only 10, is that a bad thing? At OSU the aim is to win 6 or 7 games, and make a bowl game. Last year fell short and won 5, this year looks like 1-11 for 2011.

    It is time to change the mindset, to a winning mindset.

  • Beavker says:
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    Off topic, because on topic is depressing at this point.

    Should Beavs uni’s look more like Beaverton’s. They look to have moved from their white helmet to Black. I like the look, especially since Oklahoma state now has a uni with Black Helmets and their OSU on the side of it…

    http://photos.oregonlive.com/oregonian/2011/10/prep_football_beaverton_at_wes_14.html

  • Joe_Avezzano says:
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    Geez, all this spilled ink on the blog and no mention of how turnovers may have been more of a factor in this game than anything else. A little more ball control and the rest of this is largely moot.

    Maybe we WERE spoiled by Quizz.

    • WFO WFO says:
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      Yeah 3 straight possessions in the second half lost to turnovers is hard to overcome. Even if those possessions ended in field goals that’s 9 points. Add the other 2 misses by headcase boy and you’ve got a win.

      Anybody else miss Serna?

    • beavers4life says:
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      We weren’t just spoiled with quizz, we were spoiled with Yveson Bernard, Stephen Jackson, and K Simonton. Those were our last 3 running backs in the last decade or so.

    • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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      You are correct that OSU could have beaten BYU on Saturday if we had eliminated the four turnovers. Even though BYU rushed for almost 300 yards and we rushed for a net of 59 yards, we still could’ve won Saturday’s game if we had taken better care of the ball.

      Recall that after Mannion’s bomb to Brandin Cooks it was 21-24 with more than two minutes to go in the third quarter. Because of Poyer’s earlier pick-6 and an opportunistic Beaver passing attack, OSU found itself very much in the game at that point.

      But when it came down to crunch time, BYU ran the ball down OSU’s throat, and the Beavs couldn’t do anything about it. That’s the main reason why we lost to BYU. And to UCLA. And to ASU. It’s hard to win D-1 football games consistently when you are outgained by over 200 yards on the ground.

      Fans can play “what if” games to rationalize any individual loss, arguing that turnovers, or busted coverages, or other mistakes made the difference. Where teams are more or less evenly matched up front, it’s true that such mistakes often dictate the outcome.

      But statistics show that the team that controls the line of scrimmage usually wins the game, especially where one team clearly dominates the other up front (as BYU dominated OSU on Saturday). Until the Beavers start dominating up front, OSU will not win consistently. That’s what much of the ink on this blog is about….and rightly so.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      I’ll go one step further…last season would have been the beginning of the disaster except for fairly conservative decisions by Katz in the passing game and otherworldly ball control by Quizz. You just can’t expect to have ZERO fumbles by your running back for three seasons. Turnovers and either running the ball or stopping the run decide most games.

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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    I didn’t get to see the TV broadcast since I was at the game. What was up with all of the BYU injuries? Did they look legit? Seemed like they had 8 or 9 defensive players get “injured” which would stop a Beaver drive, then they would hop up and run off the field. It felt like they’re were faking the injuries to stop the clock, even though I know they didn’t need to do that since they Beavers turned it over several times anyway. I remember Big Suke on the radio one time talking about how they used to fake injuries at BYU when he played there as a way to catch their breath between plays. How did things seem on tv?

    • beavers4life says:
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      Now that you mention it, it did feel that way in the game for sure.

    • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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      Agreed. I was at Reser, too, and that’s how it looked to me (and to my kids, who asked me about it after it happened for the third or fourth time….)

      • ean says:
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        BYU was also holding and committing PI a lot. Smart coaching by BYU… bend the rules if the refs will let you. OSU should be doing that too.

        • Beavker says:
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          They’d never get away with doing anything like that. They get called for shit they don’t do half the time…it keeps the order of the Universe intact I guess.

        • JackBeav says:
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          Some of those non-calls were disturbing. Wynn was clothes-lined in the gap and bent backwards for all to see on one. Crichton’s retaliation foul was in response to a just plain dirty hit. And Romaine’s foul was the biggest bunch of bullshit I’ve ever seen. He was hammered into the BYU player, and if he didn’t catch himself before they collided, there could have been another injury. I don’t know how the refs missed the BYU player hitting him late but still managed to see him fly into the innocent BYU player.

          And then the o-linemen start yelling at HIM? Maybe they were jealous that he could lay a hit… even if it wasn’t intentional.

          • osbeavs says:
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            I couldn’t see the Romaine “PF” on TV. But I loved the PF on Crichton. It came after a number of turnovers (and our team looked like it didn’t care). It showed me that Crichton still very much cared about the game. I love watching Crichton and Wynn, they are the only players that give me joy on this team.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Part of me wonders if this is the same Duck fan who left a note on Halahuni’s car last year.
    http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday
    But even he wasn’t disturbed enough to key Joe’s car.

  • ReasonableDoubt says:
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    @OP:

    I think that parallels to chess are often relevant to football, and initiative appears to be more relevant to Saturday’s game. While it is true that their more mobile quarterback was able to capitalize on our defense, the main thing to keep in mind is wasted initiative, which (as in chess) often comes back to cost a team the game. In the 3rd quarter, the Beavers had the initiative and a chance to begin taking control of the game. They then proceeded to hand the ball back to BYU three times in a row. Chess (like football) is a game about capitalizing off mistakes and taking opportunities, and when you don’t take advantage of the initiative you are given it’s hard to expect to win the game. The main thing that the Beavers need to focus on in my opinion is going back to basics for the moment and taking care of the ball.

    • angry angry says:
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      Yes, pretty much, and what you mention covers tactics (in game attacks) and position (where to move pieces to execute those tactics successfully).

      I think this post is the most important and definitive I’ve ever written, because even in the Beavers good years they were terrible at tactics and position. When I harp on things like “they do not pay attention to detail/execution” it’s a general, watered down version of what I detailed in this post. This post describes exactly why things will never change under Riley. Even if he gets better “material” via recruiting, he fails at both tactics and position. I’d love to test Riley/Chip Kelly’s IQ, because I feel as if Riley’s shortcomings scream “lack of spatial recognition” (and visa versa with Chip). I know the post might seem esoteric to those who don’t play chess, but I highly encourage them to try to understand it and/or ask me to clarify points they don’t understand.

      • JackBeav says:
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        I found this line partly disturbing:
        “It was suggested that maybe defensive coordinator Mark Banker should switch to a 3-4 instead of a 4-3 and Riley politely said that isn’t going to happen given the loss of Masaniai and OSU’s shortage of healthy linebackers.”
        http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2011/10/oregon_state_football_riley_no_1.html

        Yes, a 3-4 defense needs a monster NT. And with Masaniai and Thompson out we don’t have anyone besides maybe Tuivailala who can fill that role. But Riley does know that our DE’s are (and have been under him) prototypical 5-techs (OLB’s) in a 3-4 system. Doesn’t he? There’s a reason someone like Gabe Miller was drafted into a 3-4 system despite not being a productive 4-3 DE. But I thought Miller should have been a MLB anyway with his skill set.

      • matt b says:
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        We get it but do not necessarily agree. Chipper was able to run hs backyard offense to an extent at New Hampshire but he was asked specifically to expand concepts at Oregon that had been implemented by Belotti and Crowton and others including Tedford and Petersen. He even incorporated high pressure ideas from Nicky Joe’s defense into his offense schemes. I think you are making way to mush of this supposed intelligence gap. The difference between the programs is of course related to cash and more related to ambition and complacency. The UO coach is involved in the machinery as a mechanic where as the OSU coach is more of a CEO. It’s a tale akin to the story of modern corporate America, hands on management vs hands off. PS Chris Petersen is not some cerebral master strategist. He is a hardworking , no nonsense, humble ex jc football player, who fell into a system with a long history of success.

        • Mckalk Mckalk says:
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          What’s in the water in Boise that those before Petersen could not duplicate? Remember Hawkins was everyone’s darling and now he is persona non grata.

          • matt b says:
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            There is a long history of success at Boise from the 1970’s. Unfortunately most of the guys prior to Petersen thought of Boise as merely a stepping stone. As the old Indian tale goes, each coach looked into the flowing water and fell in love with the reflected image that they saw. Most of the predecessors believed that were in fact the genius responsible for the glory and therefore wanted to cash in on the handsome image. This goes back at least to Houston Nutt. To his credit, Petersen is smart enough to know that his skills and good fortune do not necessarily translate to other venues.

        • angry angry says:
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          No, you are missing the point. Even with cash and ambition, OSU would not make a meaningful bowl due to the reasons I outline above. Riley is the equivalent of a “candidate master”, but he is not a grand master. He’s never beaten one. He beats other CMs like Tedford, Bellotti, Wulff, etc. To get to a meaningful bowl game he’ll have to beat a GM level coach, and he can’t do it because he does not understand tactics or spatial/positional leverage.

          If you believe Riley would have taken Oregon to the National Title game you are just wrong. Sorry. Not trying to be a dick, just trying to enlighten fans so we can all admit and understand what we have.

          • BeaverBeliever21 says:
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            This is true. If Riley coached the Ducks last year they would have lost to Cal for sure. Probably would have lost to ASU and Stanford as well. They would go 9-3 at the very best.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Just a reminder to all…

    Matt Moore is starting for Miami tonight (8:30 ET) against the Jersey Jets.

    • HopefulBeav says:
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      Let’s see if we get a nice Oregon State shout out from the announcers regarding Moore. At this point of the season I’ll take baby victories when I can find them.

      • HopefulBeav says:
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        Lol wow not even a mention of his college while announcing him. Damn.

  • JackBeav says:
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    For good laugh:
    http://www.oregonlive.com/beavers/index.ssf/2011/10/oregon_state_report_card.html
    Hoo boy!!!

    Cav is getting the most from his o-line? I think if he played the second team he would get better results. If I have to watch Remmers and Johnson wandering around doing nothing productive, then I’m supposing Buker is doing it too. I’m a Cav fan, but this year and the previous two years of poor personnel decisions are really trying my patience.

    I think the only coaches doing what they can with the players they have are Seumalo and Bennett. And Seumalo just doesn’t have much to work with on the inside.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    October 17, 2011

    TO: JackBeav Uniform #TBD (conditional)

    FROM: Pending Head Coach Pettibonehead

    At the mid-point of each year I give my players written feedback on their performance. Both the good points and the bad. The good we reinforce, the bad we correct or in coach speak “coach up.”

    JackBeav: Your results fall into the bad category and will require a 1:1 with the old coach. It’s not too late to get you “back in the game.”

    The specific concerns we need to address in your game are: 1.) You seem to have lost your dominating spirit. Your last several posts indicate a willingness to “match wits with a half wit” that is unacceptable! Where did JackBeav DOMINATOR!!! go? Come on.. now!! 2.) You haven’t graded out well, way too many minus votes on the site. You just aren’t putting in the effort! I suspect alcohol use in some of your late night posts. 3.) Internal conflict: You have been involved in spats with well-intentioned teammates that are concerned over your declining performance. 4.) Generally acting like a “tool”.

    Since we are unable to do this in person I am going to send your “personal mid-year plan” via this website. Just imagine me, goofy glasses and all, in your face at the 50 yard line at Parker..err Reser. So, here’s your plan… lets go… READY!! (imagine loud voice)

    1.) Skip to #2. #1 involves running steps and I can’t imaging you living with any steps.
    2.) Stand up move the squalor around and find a mirror. Focus on the image. In real life this would be me: Shout.. “I am JACKBEAV” (turn head respond..who are you?) (return to mirror) “I am JACKBEAV!! Repeat at least three times.
    3.) Touch your knees ten times. They are down there below the waistband of your sweatpants.

    Every team, every workplace every civic organization love their omniscient guy, that’s your role here. Step up!! Dig deep!! The team relies on you!!

    That’s all, you’re done.,, now get back in there and show some real effort. You are JACKBEAV!

    “Pettibonehead Low-Performance Labs Inc. cc 1993,4,5,6. All rights reserved llc, pat pending

    • blakesgotanewface says:
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      this is incredible

    • osubaby osubaby says:
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      Hey Pettbitch, you are a loser “swooshbag” who needs to go back to his quack blog. Why don’t you go show chip belly some coaching civics since your are obviously the expert. Stop worrying about old OSU and go give your real love down south some love. You were wearing a yellow shirt in our stadium you duck loving queer!

    • JackBeav says:
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      My domination is complete. Doggie has seen himself in the mirror, and he is me. Do you know how incredibly hard it was to bring you to this point little guy? You deserve a bone for this. So I’ll play fetch with you.

      1) See above. The master has trained the doggie. You don’t continue domination when you already have it. Silly boy.
      2) I will teach you about self worth in yet another lesson. Rating yourself based on likes or dislikes on a sports blog can lead to things like obsessive stalking and crying out while staring in the mirror. I’m glad you suspected alcohol use on some of my late night posts. Nothing gets by my doggie, not even my posting that I drank some good beers. Mmmm… Snow Cap and Jubelale are some damn good beers. One day, my doggie, I will show you a world beyond the puddles of Keystone Light you lap off the floor of the frat basement you live in. I know you think Keith Stone is smooth, but sometimes when he’s standing in the corner spilling beer, he’s not really spilling beer. It just happens to taste like the beer you think you love because you know no better.
      3) Awwww… that’s kinda cute. Doggie is still innocent enough to think that family never fights. I love my doggie.
      4) I get it. It’s no fun being hammered into oblivion. It does get better. Dogs with your skills will meet other masters who will act like tools as well. You will know many employment masters who will bring the axe down on you, and you will look back on this time in your life and think, “Woof? Woof woof woof woof. Woof woof woof woof woof.”

      So you got that going for you.

      Some notes on your PT regimen:
      1a. Please do not begin your PT with “READY!!”, “READY, OK!!” or any other line you learned at cheerleading camp. They told me about your unfortunate past at the pound. But you’re safe now.
      1b. I don’t think the dog to English translator worked on your #1. When you’re talking about running steps and living with steps, are you talking about real, physical steps, or are you talking about the ones they teach you in those meetings they make you and Keith Stone go to?
      2. Yeah, we’ve been through this already. Doggie lives in squalor… doggie has seen himself in the mirror, and he is me… doggie shouts “I am JACKBEAV”… yada, yada, yada. I do wish I could have been there for this moment. I imagine it was just like the moment when Bruce Willis figured out why Haley Joel Osment could see him but his wife couldn’t. I have a question. Did you only scream three times? Or is that just as high as you can count, and “at least three times” is the only way to express an amount greater than three. You can tell me. I won’t tell anyone else.
      3. Umm… doggie? You do realize this was a figurative mirror. Don’t you? You’re actually talking to a real mirror? THAT is great stuff! You are a good boy. Yes you are. You’re a good boy.

      Not bad. You’ve shown some effort for once. Now I know why you were gone for so long. You had to google each word before you put it on your “pooter” screen. You were easier than most stalkers though. I think it’s because you’re just a nice little stalker. Now, my little stalker doggie, I can move on to step two.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      If he had any sense of etiquette he would take this to the forum and we could choose to follow his “comedic” exploits there if we so desire.. In my opinion, his postings have become a running non-sequitter. If he was unique to this website, I might cut him a little slack, but he’s casting his net on other sites trying to land a bite.

  • angry angry says:
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    I’d like to hear Pettibonehead’s feedback about my performance. heh

    • Billy says:
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      Like it or not, Pettiboner is getting funnier all the time!!

      • beaverbeliver says:
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        I hate to admit that Billy is right, that post is pretty good. That guy probably calls into the Rome show on a regular basis. That last line is awesome:

        ““Pettibonehead Low-Performance Labs Inc. cc 1993,4,5,6. All rights reserved llc, pat pending”

      • JackBeav says:
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        I like it. He took a big leap in his development. Assimilation will be easy with this one.

        I wonder if he knows we’re talking about him.

        Meh… oh well.

  • HopefulBeav says:
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    Great article. Probably one of the most clever and well thought articles I’ve ever read about the Beavers.

  • matt b says:
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    Where Riley has messed up is not being in tune with the evolution of the game and not being in touch with new energetic guys from different backgrounds. Mac Brown realized that he had become complacent and his young bucks began to get restless and leave. He was forced to innovate and bring in new blood to rejuvenate the system. Saying that he cleaned house is not exactly true. Obviously with his deep pockets, Mac can buy a lot of talent to keep the wolves off his back. The new coach hires at OSU were a good start, but it appears the new guys are just here to follow orders (and recruit specific geographic areas of interest). I really want to see Mike Riley succeed and get redemption. But he is going to have to work harder than Pat Fitzgerald, Gary Anderson, June Jones or Bill Snyder to bring OSU back.

    • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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      Agreed. Evolution works best in the presence of diversity. Inbreeding, in contrast, produces idiots (and bad football teams).

      Mike Riley and OSU football are in a rut. Riley needs to escape that rut by firing Banker and Langsdorf, and replacing them after this season with an OC and DC who have cut their teeth in other, more successful programs.

      A new OC and DC will inject much-needed energy and new, successful ideas into OSU’s football program. They will reinvigorate Mike Riley, who appears to need it. And they will set higher standards and aspirations at OSU (rather than being satisfied with mediocrity).

      It’s become clear that all of this needs to happen. It will probably become even clearer in another month or so…..

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        It would be interesting to me, if someone from the distinguished Oregon media has a candid interview with MR at the end of the season as just asks something like “setting aside injuries and youth (because every program faces those challenges), what has happened to your program Mike? Not sure he would even know what to say.

  • FatDog says:
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    Okay, let’s fantasize for a minute. We lose to WSU (again) next weekend and finally there is enough pressure from fat cat boosters (no offense intended from a FatDog) to push BDC to push MR (remember: fantasy). Let’s say MR fires Banker and Langsdorf (…fantasy). It’s mid-season. Do we move Cavanaugh up to OC or does Riley take over offense. What about defense?

    • BeaverBeliever21 says:
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      I think Locey would take over as OC. I think Heyward would take over as DC. Both guys would be interim. I wouldn’t mind Heyward being let go but it would be midseason. Doubt a DC and Secondary coach would both be fired, that would put the team in a real tough spot. But, seeing Banker be fired and even Langsdorf being demoted would make me extremely happy.

      • Loomis dickson says:
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        OC and DC should not only be fired, they should be shot. That way some of the commenters on this board can sleep well at night. It’s not enough to give the quackers material or give players and recruits a warm welcome to beaver nation. We should be just like tOSU, have a great season only to hand it back for infractions, but hey we would win some games and give all the ex high school jocks on the board happy

        • BeaverBeliever21 says:
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          Dude, really? Talk about an overreaction. Fans want change to be made cause the program is embarrassing right now. Really no way around it. Do you really think Banker should keep his job? Be honest. I don’t necessarily think Langsdorf needs to be fired. To be honest I wouldn’t have a huge problem if Langsdorf retained play calling duties. I’ve been having less issues with his play calling lately. He makes the occasional call that backfires like the double reverse Saturday but his play calling has made more sense lately, IMO. But Banker HAS to go. He is horrible. You simply cannot defend the guy at all. I’ve been wanting him fired for many years, he has done nothing to prove hes a good coach. Teaches horrible technique and can’t adjust at all. He needs to go.

          • matt b says:
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            Guys who want coaches fired now are like the mob that voted for Barabas, only interested in instant gratification. Before you fire anybody, have a plan or at least a vision in place, and show some respect/support for the kids rather than treat them like dogs.

          • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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            This is not personal. It’s based on (poor) performance. There has to be accountability for poor performance. That’s true for players, and it’s true for coaches.

            Banker and Langsdorf should be fired at the end of the season, not now. After the season is over, job #1 for BDC and MR should be to replace our DC and OC with first-class talent from successful programs. That’s the best way to get the OSU football program — and Mike Riley — out of their respective ruts. New blood and new ideas are needed at OSU to reinvigorate the program. Does anyone really doubt that?

          • matt b says:
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            No doubt that changes need to be made but big changes right now only create more confusion. Gypsy Greg Byrne was only looking after his own skin when he axed Mike Stoops (agreed he is a bad head coach) in mid season. If North Korea needed an AD and it paid more than Arizona, Byrne would have his resumee in yesterday.

          • mckalk mckalk says:
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            I don’t doubt it, but how do you or I know that Mike Riley isn’t the problem? Why is he held up as the sacred cow? He got rid of Greg Newhouse and the team isn’t performing any better.

            I’m just saying long term, what’s the point of moving out assistants if the head coach has the say in new hires and he continues to hire those that are like minded. How does the strategy ever change? What a lot of people are saying in essence is that they want Riley as a “figurehead”. I don’t see that as a successful formula for the long term unless maybe OSU is the next Penn St.

          • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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            Fair point. Perhaps Mike Riley is the problem. Hard to say for sure. But I think it makes sense to start next season with a new OC and a new DC, both working under MR. With those changes, plus the young talent in the pipeline, let’s see if things improve over the next couple of years. If so, great. if not, it will be time for MR to move on.

          • sparkyd73 says:
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            Mike Riley is not a sacred cow. He is just too expensive to buy out at this point. And, two short years ago he did have us within a game of the Rose Bowl. He is untouchable this year, but his good will is getting burnt up.

    • WFO WFO says:
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      I think Langsdorf has been mostly demoted already. Riley has been on the headset for the last few games and the offense has been attempting to play to it’s strengths (66 passes anyone?) rather than run/run/pass/punt Langsdorf signature placalling.

      I think Riley has retaken more of the game planning and in game playcalling back on his own shoulders. His animation during games shows me he’s more emotionally invested in the game,wanting his play to be successfully executed and he’s starting to get pissed when it doesn’t happen. Did anyone else notice the chewing he gave Tank when he dropped that pass?

      • Mckalk Mckalk says:
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        That was good to see. On tv it looked like Tank whiffed on a good throw and needed first down. MR looked truly pissed for once.

  • slamadam says:
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    I loved the post, you are far smarter than I angry. I only understand chess at its most basic level, but I agree that its a very similar game to football in that with good strategy one can overcome the advantages in ability the opponent might have by putting their players/pieces in the right position, thus getting “more with less”, otherwise known as the tag line for oregon state football from 06-09. So much attention was given to the fact that Riley was having success despite factors that his predecessors weren’t able to, it was ignored to an extent that Riley and his staff have been blessed with extremely effective players/pieces, not to mention some of which fell into their laps. Mike Hass won a Belitnickoff award for a 5 and 6 team. Alexis Serna won a Groza the same year. Most of Riley’s time at oregon state he has had the luxury of a running back good enough to finish their career in the top ten in conference history in rushing yards. (Simonton, Jackson, Bernard, Quizz) In the years where he hasn’t had that luxury, the beavers haven’t finished better than 7 and 5, and that was in 2004. (Suck it, Notre Dame.) As I understand the game, Riley is like a chess player who uses their queens and bishops(?) effectively, but dosen’t excel at getting the most out of the pawns around them, so they typically (not quite always…) lose to the best opponents, and once in a while an opponent he should never lose to. Under Riley, the beavers have established an excellent tradition of putting players in the NFL. This is a fact Riley and his staff should be proud of, but also shake their heads’ at for not getting one of these groups to a rose bowl. Everybody talks about 08 and 09, but the groups in 06 and 07 were damn good as well, and all four teams lost at least one game they CLEARLY shouldn’t have, for reasons that we’ve all heard a million times.
    I hate being tough on Riley. There’s so much to like about the guy that its easy for me to point out what he’s accomplished in his coaching career and say hes a damn good coach, if not Knute Rockne. He’s established continuity at old OSU in a lot some positive ways, and I really feel that 98 was the year the beavers drew the line and went from an afterthought to a respectable program. All the while he’s been a likeable leader who for the most part seems to have fostered a unique family type feel to the program which is something people should respect. He’s also established continuity in some not so good ways as well though, the crappy starts, the vanilla schemes, the frustrating play calling, yada yada yada. Hopefully these last six games we see more improvements and changes for the better, and next year brings a more prepared and talented team, before that though I hope we kick some cougar ass. because damn if I don’t love when that smiling bastard yells hip hip hooray.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Grant Bays!!!!

    • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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      link?

      • JackBeav says:
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        http://oregonstate.scout.com/

        • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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          Great news. Sorry for not paying close enough attention, but weren’t there other players linked to Grant Bays that some people on this site thought were likely to follow him? Maybe I have the wrong player?

          Also, looking at the current crop of recruits along the O-line, plus Darryl Jackson, how does that factor into peoples’ thoughts on Riley if he is indeed fired or quits? Do you risk losing such a solid O-line recruiting class or would you rather see where this leads? If Riley goes, I’m assuming Seumalo goes too. Would it create a domino effect?

          • JackBeav says:
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            Riley’s not going anywhere. I think the frustration over the stale schemes is justified, but there are very few of us who waste our time thinking about Riley being forced out. That’s why calls for Langsdorf’s demotion and Banker’s dismissal are the more prevalent trains of thought. Maybe change can be affected by fans who point out that if we were opposing coaches, we would know exactly what to do to counter our schemes… because we see nothing different from year to year.

            Regardless, we’re going to be forced to see where this leads. And the talent we’re seeing in our young players and the next class SHOULD lead to something big. Also, as much as I hate seeing players hurt, it seems to be the only way these same coaches are willing to throw that talent into the mix. And the talent is proving that they are gamers. Yes they make some mistakes, but they show progression by learning from their mistakes and using their superior talent to actually make plays. For all the “inexperienced” excuses, there seem to be very few examples of the young players being the weakest links on this team. And none of those examples are as consistent as the poor play from some of the “experienced” players we continue to see on the field.

    • ean says:
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      great pickup for the Beavs… should have a great O-line in 3 years… but I want to win now!

      • ean says:
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        I wonder if any of the linemen play as true freshman… it probably makes the most sense to redshirt them all.

        • angry angry says:
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          Next year, a core of Enger, Andrews, Philipp is a good start. Fill in with Kelly, Sapulo, Jackson, Garner etc, and redshirt the new guys. Seumalo could probably start if needed (still hoping he moves to DT since we can’t recruit any and have a bunch of good OL in the pipeline).

          Next year’s line will be much better. Doesn’t matter though since we don’t have a grand master tactician leading them! 😀

          • HopefulBeav says:
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            I agree I’d love to see Seumalo on the d-line. Seumalo next to Fred Thompson would be a fun combination to watch anchor the defense in the coming years.

          • ean says:
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            yeah it might be good to see but Seumalo is a coaches son and his best shot at the NFL is at OG. So I imagine he stays at OG but who knows. I wonder if Glover is back next year? I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rosa switch to DT. I wonder if Tuivala (sp?) is going to do anything? The older Seumalo seems to have some moments but lacks consistency. Also I wonder about some of the kids that went the JC route that committed a while back they might get transfer degrees? I wouldn’t be opposed to Seumalo switching to DT but I doubt it is in the cards.

          • angry angry says:
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            I read somewhere that Molesi still has interest. Not sure if the Beavs are recruiting him, but they should.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Molesi and Iona are both at Arizona Western. D’vante Henry went there also.

            AW is killing their opponents this year. And Molesi is one of the big reasons why:
            http://www.njcaa.org/colleges_college_player.cfm?sid=11&collegeid=1239&category=Roster&slid=5&teamid=119120&athleteid=300778

          • ean says:
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            yeah that is kind of what I was thinking. I am a little worried about Center. Sapulo is still small but sounds like a guy that is quick enough he could pull real well. Garner looks soft to me but I haven’t really seen him play. I heard good things about Beaton (can’t remember where from) so he might be in the mix too. If Jackson is the real deal I could see a (from left to right) Jackson, Phillip, Center?, Andrews, Enger lineup being solid but I bet the coaching staff sticks with Phillip at OT. Of course I like Engers speed so keeping him at guard would not be too bad as long as we occasionally pull him to utilize that athleticism. I hope Phillip comes back solid next season… he seemed to regress a bit his sophomore year.

            I don’t know if I agree with your master technicians comment. I understand the frustration but with a good enough O-line any offensive coordinator can score consistently. Not that our line will be THAT good so we probably do need some better play calling.

          • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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            Seumalo was at nearly every practice this summer watching the O-line group intently. He was standing right there with the group listening to Cav’s instructions. There’s no way the guy is going to switch positions. He already has nearly a year of training camp experience (albeit, hands off) under his belt without burning a year of eligibility.

          • angry angry says:
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            I am not saying it is likely, I am saying we have 1legit DT (Fred Thompson). So, it would be nice to have 2.

          • WFO WFO says:
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            Seems the logical move would be to recruit one? 😀

          • silverstream055 silverstream055 says:
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            I watched Isaac Seumalo play against my son’s high school football team the past two years. Seumalo was good on both sides of the ball, but I thought he was more dominant as an offensive lineman. My guess is that he’ll stick with OL. He already uses good technique as an OL. Big question is whether he will have the size and strength to start on the OL next year for OSU. If not, he’ll redshirt next year, and likely start for four years after that….

  • JackBeav says:
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    Maybe a lack of professional sports in Oregon is the problem with some of our fans. I’ve never run into fellow Blazer fans who settle for not making the play-offs or getting knocked out in the first round. And I’ve never run into one who demands the media ask only softball questions. I’d like to think that football is the only sport in which OSU fans are this way, but all the talk about “supporting” last year’s hoops seniors through thick and thin was equally silly.

    But this stupidity takes the cake:
    http://www.oregonlive.com/ducks/index.ssf/2011/10/oregon_ducks_rundown_is_the_ro.html

    What is it with college sports fans in this state? Well, in this case it’s a coach being an idiot. But the question remains.

    • oneoldbeav says:
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      A coach being an idiot? I can’t go that far, Jack.

      Frankly, I wouldn’t mind having a coach with enough swagger to think it “out of the question” to pick against his team. Especially when he has the record to back it up.

      The un-named coach may have slipped off the rails after that statement in the linked article, but I sure liked the way he started out.

      • JackBeav says:
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        It should have ended at some friendly ribbing. You back it up by saying, “Ha! Goes to show what you get for betting against us!” And you leave victoriously.

        To expect a reporter to be a fan though? That’s idiocy. It doesn’t really sound like he was going off the rails either. He was certainly being bellicose with veiled threats (if those indeed were stated). And that’s another issue entirely. But it’s idiocy to think someone who is supposed to be objective is some evil incarnate because he makes a pick.

        This was probably more due to the investigation than it was some stupid pick. I believe Chip probably got the coach’s name and gave him a couple ears full… if The Cleaner didn’t do it first. There’s a reason Nikegon athletics are on media silence.

        • Mckalk Mckalk says:
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          It starts with Kelly, he loathes the local media. Nikegon thinks of themselves on a national scale.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Another OT…
    Eddie Vanderdoes IV will be on an unofficial to Corvallis this weekend.

    • ean says:
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      looks like he is class of 2013

    • beaverbeliver says:
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      That is too bad for us since the team is in Seattle this weekend. On second thought this may be good. Perhaps our new recruiting strategy is to have the kids see the stadium and facilities without our crappy team actually stinking it up. Hope we get this guy!

  • NCAA_viOlation NCAA_viOlation says:
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    Maybe it’s a good thing the game will be in Seattle this weekend.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Ha…

      Yeah, he’s a d-line prospect for 2013. But he’s coming to check out Goss and talk to Casey.

  • BeavBuff47 says:
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    Anyone know anything about this new commit? Grant Bays – Center from CA? 3* 5.6 on rivals

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    Subscribing

  • SalemBeav says:
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    I found the original post interesting as to my observations last weekend. Seemed like BYU ran around the ends quite often and gained a lot of yards. What I wonder, is if you have a weak OL is it smart to run between the tackles over and over again, especially with over a thousand pounds on the DL? I also watched a little of the Oregon game and they also ran around the ends a lot. If you know your line sucks, what would be the best run plays? They ran a reverse fly sweep, that if it stayed with James might of had a good gain instead of the lost 11.

  • Jayson_L says:
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    Angry et al,
    Breaking news…I have a friend that goes to Stanford, he tells me that no way Luck transfers to OSU. He says most likely declares for the draft rather then look for a program OSU has that Stanford does not.

    Someone get to Riley and tell him quick…Suck for Luck, not going to work. Maybe ok for the Colts, but we need another plan.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Please thank your friend who goes to Stanford. His immense investigative skills are appreciated.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      You need a clever name if you are going to troll successfully. Reference “Pettibonehead” above. “Jayson_L” isn’t going to make it.

      • JackBeav says:
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        Is he trolling? I didn’t catch that. I thought he was just trying to make a funny.

        • mckalk mckalk says:
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          I don’t know. It was so random, I thought it was another Duckie making fun of the “dire straits” of the program.

        • Jayson_L says:
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          No, really just meant to be funny. I really was talking to a friend that is at Stanford right now, he’s a big Niners fan and we were talking about the “Suck for Luck” that surrounded JH at the beginning of the season. I was joking with him about needing “Luck” for my Beavs. Just meant to chuckle a little, I have no great insight on this topic (wish I was that smart!). One of the most interesting articles/post I have read.

  • matt b says:
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    The analagy of football and chess is interesting but has a very significant hole. Time. Angry, your discussion of the BYU age advantage is much more useful. Mike Riley has had a successful strategy in the past with tactics that have been advantageous. He brings in kids that have not won the genetic lottery and sits them for at least a year. You call them redshirt freshmen and I call them second year players. ( some kids have been hot housed in elementary or high school and may have an additional year advantage before getting to the University campus) Mike has been able to match up his more mature players against the lottery winners by carefully selecting and matching his seedlings in a controlled time trial. The trouble is, Mike has had a couple of crop failures and the opponents have turned the predictable time trial on its head thru no huddle, call the play at the line and cram in as many plays as possible to prevent OSU and others from making corrections, substitutions and adjustments with their fifth or sixth year players. Tempo was not a big deal in the past. Everyone talked about rhythm. Well, if you use the rhytm method today to win football games or prevent pregnancy, you are…in trouble

    • JackBeav says:
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      The simple direct analogy of football to chess is a failure because you’re comparing an extremely thoughtful, very complex game to football. But angry does a good job of not comparing the games themselves. Rather, he compares the intangibles and the intrinsic methods of those who succeed at either. His premise applies even more (to football) when you play a speed game instead of a “normal” game. When the actors play by rote methods and strategies, they are more likely to succeed due to a mistake the opponent makes rather than their own brilliance.

      But the analogy sort of breaks down there. If only one actor was playing speed chess while the other played at championship pace, the one taking his or her time would stomp the other at an alarming rate (given they are somewhat equal in a normal game). When both are forced to play the speed game, the odds return to their normal level.

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        Kelly is playing chess, Riley is playing chinese checkers at this point.

        • OSUBABY OSUBABY says:
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          I would think the opposite. Fast paced offense, a lot of quick moves with not a lot of thought process while going for broke each time.

          • ean says:
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            I agree what makes Kelly’s system so good is the fact it is so simple. Kelly just does the 3 move check mate every time and because the football world moves at a snails pace no one has caught up.

          • mckalk mckalk says:
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            I was being somewhat flippant in my comment, but I was thinking more of the planning that goes into it and not the actually game day performance. Kelly put a lot of thought into how he wants his program to perform over the long haul. Riley is kind of slapping pieces around in desperation due to numerous factors.

        • JackBeav says:
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          That’s funny. When I first read the analogy, I was prepared to rail against it because football is so two-dimensional compared to chess. The board game I was going to liken it to was Chinese checkers played by only two players. But the strategic methods outlined work better when describing chess than they do trying to explain the amorphous strategy of taking and occupying space as is done in Chinese checkers. The game may be more apropos as a direct analogy, but there aren’t the same 147,283 books written on it to try to describe the psychology and different strategies involved.

          So maybe a better metaphor would be that Riley is playing Go in a Gobang tourney.

      • matt b says:
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        The game is not normal. They are playing speed chess on the clock and championship chess ie Bobby Fisher taking days to make a single move, is not very effective. CK at Oregon is not necessarily brilliant. He has faster players, in better physical condition and he tries to force mistakes by the other team a la speed chess. Someone once said on this site that we really did not know how difficult it was to call a play during a 30 second timeout because of all of the assistant coaches (consultants) that had to be involved with the personnel groupings, formation etc. Group discussions and pondedrous communication systems are part of the problem on and off the field for OSU. Jim Harbaugh has simplified/sped up the adjustment calls at the line of scrimmage for both the QB and OLine and it has worked wonders.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    People might want to chime in over here:

    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2011/10/19/beavers-wont-quit/

    Angry, JackBeav, Ean, MCtalk, Beaver21, JasontheBeaver, and others should see what other fans are posting. I think we all could help enlighten them.

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