Oregon State’s win over Boise State felt good for about 18 hours. Then the focus was not so much on this week’s opponent, Fresno State, as on the horror show that took place, at times, against the Broncos.
The foundation of Oregon State’s offense is taking care of the ball. Offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said it’s the first thing he addresses with his players at the start of spring practice and preseason camp.
It was no different Sunday afternoon when the team met at Valley Football Center. The Beavers had three turnovers against Boise State, and it could have been five without the help of the replay booth.
“We have to figure those things out because we’re not going to win a lot of games the rest of the year when you turn the ball over three times,” Lindgren said. “Fortunately, our defense was able to create one more number, but we have to do a better job.”
It wasn’t just the turnovers. Penalties were a huge setback for the offense. There were seven offensive penalties, most holding or false starts.
How is it fixed? There is no magic solution other than going back to basics, reinforcing the principles and some post-practice punishment. Five or 10 minutes of ups and downs on penalties after a long, hot practice often emphasizes the point.
“It all comes down to focus. It’s not like we do those hard counts sometimes. That’s part of our offense,” Lindgren said. “They know that he killed us in multiple units.”
About Nolan: Lindgren’s take on what he saw Saturday night from quarterback Chance Nolan that he didn’t see a year ago wasn’t too different from what fans thought. The long passing game is now a big part of Nolan’s game.
It was a game-changer against Boise State, particularly early in the game. Four of Nolan’s first eight completions went for more than 25 yards.
Two of Nolan’s best long pitches came in stressful situations, though one was a knockdown. On third-and-two from the Boise 47, Nolan hit Tre’Shaun Harrison a few yards from the end zone, but his receiver couldn’t contain the pass.
“He had some pressure, and it’s early in the game and he has some adrenaline. It was cool to see him drop that thing there,” Lindgren said.
The other, a 74-yard pass play to Anthony Gould during the third quarter, Nolan had to throw the ball while standing in OSU’s end zone.
“Anytime you’re in the end zone, it’s tough sometimes. He stood there, knew he was going to try a little bit and was able to put it in the money for Ant,” Lindgren said. “It gives you confidence to call more of those.”
blues racing game: Junior running back Deshaun Fenwick was blunt in his assessment of the Beavers’ running game against Boise State.
“It’s not good enough at all,” he said. “All the runners think we ran pretty average. Not to our standard by any means.”
It wasn’t terrible at the Purdue level, when OSU managed just 78 yards on 25 carries in the 2021 season opener against the Boilermakers. The Beavers had 178 rushing yards, though no one had more than 44.
It wasn’t all bad, Fenwick said.
“I think they put an emphasis on stopping the running game, so it opened up a lot for our receivers. It worked in our favor,” Fenwick said.
crackling ash: The state of Oregon could avoid the worst of the heat wave sweeping through central California as the latest weather forecast shows a high of 98 on Saturday. Which is hot, but not Monday’s thermometer reading of 113.
But stay tuned, because the weather calls for 106 degrees on Friday. Which means 98 for Saturday is not set in cement. Regardless, it’s going to be hot, and Oregon State is gearing up for a sizzle at Valley Children’s Stadium.
While the Beavers aren’t practicing in the heat of the day this week — it was Monday ’91 in Corvallis — they are heeding advice from the nutritionists on staff. Among the recommendations is to put more salt in the player’s diet.
“Everyone is preaching hydration at the beginning of the week,” Lindgren said. “That doesn’t just start on Friday when we get there. It’s getting ready all week and getting ready to shoot.”
Fenwick says to turn on the heat.
“I’m from Florida, so it’s really nothing to me,” Fenwick said. “I am ready for the challenge.”
— Nick Daschel reported from Corvallis