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He Said. She Said. Boise State wrap up

From high above the turf inside Reser Stadium, inside the press box, the He said-She said duo took in the Beavers game against Boise State. How did we each see things shake out?

She said: Offense

What a tale of two halves.

A day later as I re-watch and think about the game, my tone has changed somewhat.

Yes, there was a lot of ugliness in that game.  The first half and specifically the second quarter was abysmal on both sides of the ball.

In the first quarter, the Beavers responded nicely to the Bronco’s opening drive with a touchdown of their own.  With 12 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the score was 7-7.  

But then things stalled out.

After getting some good field position due to turnovers, the Beavers were unable to capitalize and managed a paltry 67 total yards of offense for the first half.  


However, the second half was much more encouraging as the Beavers managed to string together a few nice drives and made a game of things again.  

Unknown true freshman walk-on Conor Blount provided the spark.  While it didn’t turn out to be a Cinderella story, he was impressive to say the least.

Where I thought the offensive line struggled, it also was clear that Garretson held onto the ball too long at times, as Blount was able to make some things happen behind the same line and against the same defense.  

Nothing against Garretson, but he didn’t seem to be scrambling as much or as well as he has.  It must have been the injury (unspecified).

Ryan Nall ran well for the most part and was moving the chains in the second half.  Artavis Pierce was as well, but it seemed that the Beavers were gave up on the run too easily in the game, in both halves.

She said offensive grade:  First half: F; Second half: B

He said Offense:

Lot of excitement on the first drive.  Trick plays and tempo led to a touchdown.  

The rest of the half...a disaster.

Then...hello Conor Blount.

While he didn’t set the world on fire, he came into his first ever game action and showed a calmness well beyond his experience.   He was more than impressive given the situation he inherited (down 31-7).  

Play calling again was a bit of a headscratcher.  Nall was running well for the most part, but wasn’t used enough.  As Angie noted, Garretson was holding on to the ball too long.  But passes were continuously called.   

Even later in the game, I thought we would see more run calls with Blout out there.  Rather, we saw a lot of first down throws, which weren’t very successful in the fourth quarter.

It was good to see Seth Collins involved in the offense even more.  He has become the leading receiver in quick order.

Jordan Villamin was again quiet which is a continuing concern.  

Bottom line, this offense (still) has a long way to go to be competitive.  

He said offensive grade:  D-

She said Defense:

LIke the offense, the defense looked like two different teams depending on the half.  The first half was a debacle as Boise State was able to tack on 435 yards on the Beaver defense, and that is with a couple turnovers by the Beaver D.

The second half it is like they woke up from a nap and played the way they are capable of playing.  In the third quarter, Boise State was held to 10 total yards.  That must have been some halftime speech.  

More speed off the edge will be important, but the team should have some confidence going into PAC 12 play that they can compete, but it is going to take their best effort on every snap.  Taking a play or two off is not a luxury afforded to a team that is rebuilding.

Defensive Grade She said: First half: F; Second Half: A

He said Defense:

The bend but don’t break defense of last week, against an inferior team, unsurprisingly became the bend and break against a solid team.

Boise racked up 435 yards of the first half!!

Then, a second half defense showed up that was unrecognizable from the first.

Boise State didn’t register a first down in the second half until halfway through the 4th quarter!  It was almost like the Beaver defense didn’t get the game plan until halftime.  

After that, they executed almost flawlessly.   

The Boise State offense was as inept in the second half as the Beaver offense was in the first.   The Oregon State defense held them to 77 total yards in the half.  

Unfortunately, the damage had been done.  

He said Defense Grade:  D+

She Said: Coaching Overall:

You have to give credit to Coach Andersen and his staff.  They are clawing and fighting along with the players.  The move to Conor Blount to come in for a ‘not 100%’ Darell Garretson was gutsy and proved Andersen wanted to do something to spark the offense.  

The team is in complete re-build mode and while recruiting is hugely important, developing the young players and getting the best combination of players and play calls on the field for each play is equally important.  

I know that fans are impatient.  I’m sure if you asked Andersen and the players, they are impatient too, but I still think this staff is on the right track.  They are getting better and we see mental lapses from young players from time to time that is to be expected.

Right now I see recruiting offensive linemen and wide receivers to be hugely important and adding depth in the secondary. I hear a lot that the Beavers need more pass rush, but there are some developing guys there in Isaac Garcia, Shemiah Unutoa-Whitson and Joah Robinett.

It is getting there, it just takes patience.  If you need a reality check go look at Colorado.  They are finally seeing the fruits of their labor in year four of Coach MacIntyre’s rebuild.   

She said grade:  C

He said: Coaching/Overall: 

Where’s the improvement?  It isn’t visible yet.   

OK, that’s what I wrote at halftime.

Anderson blew up the offense and defense last year after taking over the program.   Three games into his second year, it looked in the first half like they had just learned the systems last week.

But then he blew it up again in the second half on the offensive side.  And lo and behold, we might have found the next walk-on Jonathan Smith story.  

Of course, while the walk-on story is nice, it’s disconcerting to continue to see the offense struggle three games into Andersen’s second year.   

Not to mention the fact that we even have to reach for a walk-on QB at this point in the program's history.  Although, it didn’t work out too badly in 1998, I thought those dark days were in the rearview mirror.

But sometimes in your darkest hour, a faint light of hope emerges...

He said grade:  D

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