COMMENTARY: Beavs have to commit more to run

YOU CAN'T RUN the ball if you don't try. Oregon State is last in rushing attempts – not just in the Pac-12 conference, but in the nation. And this week's opponent, Cal, is stout against the run. But there's the deal, and there's no way to get around it.

Oregon State has to try to run the ball.

Not just pay lip service to that goal, no, they need to commit to it -- and then try, try again.

Now, the defense does need to do its part and keep OSU from falling behind to the level they need to pass more and try to catch up.

But OSU has gone away from the run so early, in so many games, and they can't continue to do that and expect to win.

HOW BAD has it become? OSU now ranks last in the nation in rushing against FBS competition (202), in yards (585) and in yards per game (73).

"We're hitting some rough sledding, but that's not going to diminish our will to run the football," Riley said this week.

The problem is he's said something similar most weeks this season. And then the game comes and OSU fills the air with footballs.

The Beavs don't need to go run-crazy here, their strength is their receiving corps and they need to utilize them. But if all a defense has to do is play pass, if they can forget the run, a stop corps far less talented than Cal's will win the battle.

The offensive line, the tight ends, the running backs, everyone needs to rededicate themselves to making the running game work.

And the coaches have to play their part, too. They can't start calling pass after pass after pass if things don't go well on the ground.

Why not change things up. Run a draw or misdirection pitch on downs and formations you normally pass on. Catch Cal by surprise. Make a big part of their film study on OSU obsolete. You don't have to reinvent the wheel or start asking your guys to do things they haven't done. But why not tweak a few things here and there.

Otherwise, Sean Mannion will throw it 50-plus, again. And the end result will be a Beaver loss, again.

BeaverBlitz Top Stories