AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez

He Said. She Said. Idaho State wrap

The He Said-She Said team watched the Idaho State game from the Reser Stadium press box on Saturday. Here are a few thoughts from our vantage point.

She said: Offense

It is tough to be critical of a win, especially since it had been a year since the Beavers last notched a victory, but Saturday’s game against Idaho State was not what I expected to see at all.

A bright spot - the game was never in question, however the victory seemed to raise more questions than it answered.

After a strong showing against Minnesota, I was left hopeful that I saw growth from last year against Power 5 competition.  Against a lower level FCS school, I expected to see domination by the Beaver offense with big plays and long drives being the norm.  Really a good tune-up ‘scrimmage’ before the season picked up.

While we did see some good plays, we also saw an offensive line that struggled against an FCS defense, a run game that sputtered and an offense that struggled to sustain drives and create any sort of consistency whatsoever.

I liked that we saw quite a few fly sweep motions that set up Victor Bolden’s long run so nicely, but we didn’t see a lot of bubble screens or much of a short passing game when the run game struggled.

There are playmakers on offense and finding ways to get Seth Collins, Paul Lucas and Bolden the ball in space will be imperative going forward, as is better blocking up front by the offensive line.

She said offensive grade:  C

He said Offense:

That was nothing more than an ugly scrimmage for the offense.  It was nowhere near the domination that one would have liked to see over a  Big Sky team picked to finish 11th in their league.  

While there were some big plays thrown in, the inability to consistently sustain drives was quite concerning.

The run game?  A disappointment outside of Garretson’s scrambles and Bolden’s 96 yard fly swee

The pass game?  Less than mediocre.  The Oregon State receivers got little separation against a Big Sky defense and couldn’t string together a solid passing drive.

The offensive line is nowhere near where it needs to be at this point.  Garretson was hurried all day, showing that the Minnesota performance wasn’t an anomaly.  They need to improve a LOT to be competitive in the final 10 games of the season.

Heading into the meat of the schedule, the offensive unit isn’t showing they are anywhere near ready to keep pace with the middle to upper echelon of the conference.

Heck, Nick Porebski got to punt five times! 

He said offensive grade:  D

She said Defense:

Like the offense, the defense didn’t show their hand too much against the Bengals.  We didn’t see any elaborate blitz patterns as Coach Clune kept things pretty basic.  That doesn’t excuse the horrendous tackling on Jakori Ford’s 75-yard touchdown run to start the third quarter.

Arm tackles don’t cut it against FCS opponents and it certainly won’t cut it against Boise State or PAC 12 opponents.

It was an interesting game in that there was a lot of good things that happened.  Five turnovers and four sacks is always a good thing, but the defense also gave up 363 yards of total offense.  For comparison sake, Colorado only allowed 96 total yards to this same Idaho State squad a week ago.

Defensive Grade She said: C

He said Defense:

Outside of the worst display of tackling I’ve ever seen at the FBS level on a single play to open the 3rd quarter, it was a lot of bend but don’t break, which isn’t what you’d like to see against a lower level of competition.  

The secondary struggled for much of the day.   Tackling in general, not even counting that play above, was poor.  Idaho State had receivers running wide open on most plays, especially in the first half.

Idaho State was able to move up and down the field for most of the game.   They just couldn’t avoid the big turnovers that killed most of their scoring opportunities.. 

Positives - they were opportunistic when they needed to be, with the 5 forced turnovers.

Negatives - pretty much everything else.

He said Defense Grade:  D

She Said: Coaching Overall:

It is weird to leave a win and feel bad about the game, but as I left Reser Stadium I was left with a deep feeling of disappointment.  This was a team that Oregon State should have been able to dominate on both sides of the ball, yet they didn’t look like a team motivated to go out and put the pedal to the metal.

It felt like they did what they needed to for the win, but it was not an inspiring performance, nor did it build confidence going into the heart of the season, at least for this writer.

I saw progress in the effort and performance at Minnesota, but this week I saw too many struggles against a FCS team.  I get that for Idaho State it is a big game, it is huge to knock off a bigger opponent, and it is more of a lose-lose for the PAC 12 team (if you don’t win by a large margin fans will think it is a loss).

Going into the season I thought that the Beavers would surprise some people.  Now I’m wondering if I’m the one in for a surprise.  

I’m hopeful that this was just a tough game for the team to get ‘up’ for and the game plan was left vanilla, but this is a team that shouldn’t have a problem getting ‘up’ for anyone and I did expect a more dominating performance this week.

She said grade:  C

He said: Coaching/Overall:

After the last game I said, “I’m still buying what this staff is selling.”    After this performance, it makes me question my statement.   

From all angles except the win column, that game was a dud.

You could say that they did what they were supposed to do, in that they got the win.   While true, that is about all they did that was positive .  

The team looked uninspired for the most part on both sides of the ball.  To come out after halftime and give up all those broken tackles on the very first play, is beyond disconcerting, to say the least.

To me, this was a step backward.  It’s not losing to Sac State backward, but it doesn’t give a lot of confidence going into the long stretch of the season. 

He said grade:  D-

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