Will the real Oregon State Beavers please stand up.
Mike Riley was moving ever so close to the hot seat as head coach of the Oregon State Beavers entering last year, after losing 13 of 17 (source: Yahoo! Sports). However, a six game winning streak to start the 2012 season removed any ideas of firing the longtime football leader in Corvallis, Oregon.
Not much was expected of the Beavers in 2012 and certainly they had to be the surprise squad in the Pac-12 Conference – almost like winning the lottery (see video). For 2013, they have most of the same package that won the team nine games last season and a spot in the Alamo Bowl. However, don’t expect schools to be surprised this year when they line up against Oregon State – whichever team appears this season.
To best preview how Riley’s Beavers will do in 2013, it’s best to look at the schedule. Notice it starts easy but then the second half is daunting.
Oregon State will play their first two games at home against Eastern Washington and the Hawaii Warriors. Apart from being an early season contest when play can be sloppy, these are games they should win without much problem.
The Beavers then are on the road and play a Pac-12 opener in Salt Lake City against the Utah Utes. The following week they have a non-conference showdown in Southern California against a decent San Diego State Aztecs club. Oregon State heads home and back into Pac-12 play versus the Colorado Buffaloes – their first meeting in 25 years. The Beavs get the first of two bye weeks after playing the Buffs and if Oregon State’s success last season carries over into 2013, they could be 5-0 at this point.
The Beavers head back on to the road for a couple games with first up being a trip out to Pullman to play the rebuilding Washington State Cougars. Next, they head down to Berkeley to take on another rebuilding project, the California Golden Bears. Could Oregon State be undefeated at this point?
It gets serious
Regardless whether they’re undefeated or not, they have what may be the biggest gridiron battle of the year in Corvallis with the Stanford Cardinal coming to town for Homecoming. It doesn’t get any easier as the Beavers stay home for a following Friday night affair against the USC Trojans. A much needed bye after these huge games precedes a trip to the desert to play the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Oregon State heads back to Corvallis to play their final home game of the year with the Washington Huskies. That’s followed by a Friday Civil War contest in Eugene versus their nemesis the Oregon Ducks.
It should be pointed out that the Beavers stumbled a bit in the second half of last season losing four of seven contests. However, it’s only fair to mention that those losses were at Washington and Stanford, along with Oregon and Texas – all bowl teams. Except for the 24 point loss to their rivals the Ducks, Oregon State lost the other three combined games by a total of just 11 points.
Questions and answers?
What team will present itself this season? Will it be the nine win team from last season or the team that lost 16 games over a two year period (2010 and 2011)? Can the Oregon State Beavers be successful again in 2013? It will be tough to match last year, not because they don’t have the same talent – they appear as solid as last season. However, not too many people or opponents expected such a surprising performance from the Beavers in 2012, but they will this year. The folks in Corvallis will be happy with a decent bowl and winning record with the possibility of a Top 25 … that is the prediction here.
Additional sources: Oregon State University
Hawaii’s quarterback for 2013: Taylor Graham
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