BF.C COMMENTARY: ‘At least it’s a win’

CORVALLIS - It’s just one game into the season but already, this year’s edition of the Beavers (1-0) has a different feel than the last. Around this time a year ago, the Beavers were searching for answers after an upset loss to Eastern Washington. There were several blank stares in the press conference as players and coaches alike were taking in all that had happened. That didn’t happen this time.

Instead, when the Beavers were faced with another FCS team with not one but two mobile quarterbacks, the Beavers actually pulled out a win: OSU 29, PSU 14. Consequently, players and coaches were no longer ashamed to look into the eyes of the reporters asking them questions.

Today’s game wasn’t pretty, nor did it confirm the notion that the Beavers are a great or even a good team, but at least they can sleep easily tonight.

However, it might be a different story come Monday when the team will review tape of today’s game.

When that happens they’ll have to relive how the Vikings pulled ahead of them at two different points in the game.

They’ll have to relive how the OSU offense had five or six trips to the red zone and only came away with one touchdown.

They’ll have to relive how they botched a two-minute drill as the first half was coming to a close, and they’ll have to relive how they committed 53 yards worth of penalties in a single drive.

One thing they won’t have to relive, and this may trump them all, is the heavy feeling of having lost a game they shouldn’t have.

Thus, tonight should be a celebration of the Beavers’ highlights.

Newly enshrined starting kicker Garrett Owens set a new school record for field goal attempts, which I don’t think anyone, certainly not Mike Riley, saw that one coming.

Owens did well, making five of them, and one of his misses came from 50 yards out. He is one of several Beaver players embodying the theme that there is still room for improvement.

Sean Mannion completed 26-of-45 passes for 328 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Additionally, he also had one rushing touchdown.

Wait, what?

Yes, for only the second time in his career at Oregon State, Mannion scored a touchdown with his legs. His only other rushing touchdown was way back in 2011, and it came against BYU.

The Beavers also rattled off 205 rushing yards, not including sacks, led by the 125 hashes via Storm Woods (16 carries, 7.8 ypc.)

The running game was a year-long weakness last year, but it appears to have a pulse this year.

Defensively, there were a number of highlights.

They along with the special teams unit produced a total of five turnovers, two of which were interceptions and three of which were fumble recoveries.

Even so, this was still just a game against objectively inferior competition, and the game was still very much in doubt until near the end of the third quarter.

And with however many words I’ve written on the game, Mike Riley probably summed it up better than anyone.

As he was leaving the press conference he thought out loud:

“At least it’s a win.”

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