NOTEBOOK: Oregon State vs. Hawaii

SO YOU'RE WORRIED about the Beavs today based on what happened in the opener. Vegas isn't. Indeed, Oregon State opened at more than a three-touchdown favorite, and the line has only gone up.

Oregon State now stands as a 27-point favorite over Hawaii. (The Beavs opened as a 23-point favorite.)

And I think they cover that line.

Sometimes football is a complex game, with all sorts of bells and whistles and schemes and such. Sometimes, determining who wins and who loses is relatively simple. Sometimes, it comes down to something really basic..

Like speed.

Hawaii opened the season against USC and Hawaii looked slow. Quite slow, really.

Oregon State, coming off a stunning loss is going to come out with fire in their eyes. If this one is close, it won't be because of a lack of effort. And OSU has some horses, on both sides of the ball.

If there is one thing I would point to as something to watch, it wouldn't be a particular matchup or when either team has the ball. It would be the difference in speed.

HOW MUCH OF a factor is bulletin board material?

"It's over," Brandin Cooks said this week about Hawaii's prospects. "No chance."

First, coaches will tell you all of that stuff goes out the window after the first play – players aren't thinking about anything that happened in the newspapers once the game started.

Second, if you saw something later in the week as Cooks did, it probably doesn't have as much of an effect as it would earlier.

Third, the offended team will often say after the game it was a big factor but that may be more because the media asks the question. The media loves stuff like this, because it garners more interest than boring boilerplate quotes.

Personally, I like that Cooks said it. Oregon State could use a little swagger. And I just don't think it will have any bearing on the outcome.

HAD THE BEAVERS won last week, you would have seen a whole lot of ink splashed around regarding Sean Mannion. His 37-of-43 passing day for 422 yards and 3 TDs was extraordinary. But because it came in a loss, it was an afterthought.

But like most everyone else, I'd like to see the Beavs run it a lot more than they did (24 carries) and I'd like to see Storm Woods with more carries (16).

What OSU needed last week was a 12th man on defense and had Oregon State run it more, if they'd had more balance, the offense could have been that 12th man with more sustained, longer drives.

This Hawaii team should afford the Beavers that opportunity.

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