Bowling Beavers break the DVR button

SOMETHING HAPPENED IN the Hawaii Bowl that many Beaver fans likely missed. It was subtle, but it had a significant effect. It worked, and it makes one wonder if there are greater changes afoot coming in the Oregon State offense than just a re-dedication to the run game. Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

While the vast majority of the college football world was moving to the fast-as-you-can-snap-it style on offense, the Beavers stayed put.

Indeed, Oregon State this season remained one of the dwindling number of offenses that continued to work fantastically with your DVR. For BeavFans who couldn't watch the game live, or who just wanted to watch it again, it was a nice option. As soon as the Beaver player was tackled, they hit the 30-second skip forward button on their DVR and it took them to just a couple beats before the next snap. Brilliant.

That pace for Oregon State was comfortable. It was what Oregon State has done in the past. It was what Oregon State knows.

And it wasn't seen nearly as much in the Hawaii Bowl as it had been all season.

OREGON STATE – particularly in the decisive first quarter against Boise State in the 38-23 win – went faster between snaps.

And they ripped off huge chunks of yardage in doing it. It wasn't an earth-shattering change of pace, they didn't suddenly try to start going 18-seconds between snaps like some teams strive for (though usually fall short of.)

For the Beavs it was more like 3-4 seconds, maybe five seconds in some cases. But that was significant. When viewers hit the 30-second skip ahead button on their DVR for the Hawaii Bowl with Oregon State on offense, on a number of occasions, the next play was already in progress. And those plays were working.

For the Beavs, long a deliberate sort with the pigskin, those few seconds indeed felt and looked like a tectonic shift.

I DON'T BELIEVE Boise State presented any unique aspect on defense that made Oregon State want to go quicker just because they were playing the Broncos. I don't think there was any substitution pattern outside of the norm with BSU, nor anything bowl game-intrinsic with the extra practices, that made this just a one-off for the Beavers. I don't see any evidence this was only for the bowl game, and not to be seen again.

My guess is OSU wanted to see how that faster pace went, to try it and if things didn't work, it would still give the staff a great starting point this offseason in order to go a little quicker in 2014.

But the thing is, it did work in Hawaii.

So will OSU go quicker in '14? I haven't asked Mike Riley or a single Beaver assistant coach that question yet but if I had to guess, I think Christmas Eve represented a beginning. I don't think Oregon State is going to try to go hyper-fast but I think Riley has seen enough times the benefits enjoyed by offenses that go quicker. I think Riley likes the idea of being able to dictate more when it comes to substitutions, and that he relishes the idea of a more tired bunch across the ball on defense when it comes to money time.

And unless OSU suddenly begins to sign huge, elite offensive linemen – and a lot of them each year – I think Stanford is soon going to be the last successful team in the Pac-12 to stay with the more deliberate, plus-30 second between snaps style.

IT USED TO be a good 30-seconds between snaps throughout college football. And there are still times when the Oregon's and UCLA's and Baylor's do take 30-seconds or more between plays – but those are rare exceptions.

If the 2013 season was any indication, the deliberate offense is fast becoming a relic. Defenses have tried but they've been unable to reverse the trend let alone keep pace. The "slower" offense soon become as common as the wishbone, as obsolete as the halfback and fullback, as rare as the single-wing.

Mike Riley is more of an innovator than he's given credit for, (remember James Rodgers' first season and the fly-sweep?) but for the most part, Riley is loath to chase trends. He likes to stick to the tried and true.

But there's always a tipping point when something is no longer a trend but a proven commodity, one that if you don't adapt and incorporate it, you're falling behind. And that's when Riley tends to change things up.

And there also comes a point where more and more recruiting targets start latching onto certain styles and if you're on the outside looking in, you're on the outside looking in when it comes to recruiting, too.

In re-watching and reviewing the bowl win over Boise State, the Beavs may have not only declared their intention run the ball more in 2014. They may have also just taken their first steps towards truly breaking the DVR button... permanently.

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