By Bobby Curran.
Oregon State opened last week with a 30-21 road loss to Purdue. It’s always hard to gauge the meaning of a first game. Almost certainly, fourth-year year head coach Jonathan Smith will hear rumblings of a QB controversy. Colorado transfer and Oregon native Sam Noyer started and did not fare well. Noyer was 10-21 for 64 yards with an INT. He was pulled in the third quarter for Chance Nolan, who went 10-16 for 157 yards at a 63% clip. All three OSU TDs came on the ground, but even the rushing attack was anemic, gaining just 78 yards on 25 carries. Clearly, work needs to be done here.
Defensively OSU was decent against the run, surrendering only 88 yards on 33 attempts. Against the pass, OSU allowed Purdue to go 29-42 for 313 yards and 2 TDs.
Hawaii looked much better on offense last week. Much of that was surely due to a significant drop in the level of competition, but Hawaii played with great tempo and led 28-0 after the opening quarter. Chevan Cordeiro finished 18-25 for 305 yards with 3 TD’s and an INT, good for 72%. A number of UH receivers looked good, including Calvin Turner (5-82), Nick Mariner (4-97, TD), Jared Smart (4-96, TD), Aaron Cepheus (2 rec, TD), and Tru Edwards (2-19).
Hawaii was no twithout fault. The secondary gave up 400 yards passing. Granted, PSU was way down and threw a lot, and still didn’t complete 50% of its passes. But the worst of it was this: Hawaii put the ball on the ground 9 (yes 9) times! That’s six fumbles, two muffed punts, and a kickoff return that went through the UH return man’s legs and resulted in a Viking TD.
Oregon State will benefit from a home crowd for sure. But this is not the talent disparity that UH suffered against UCLA. Hawaii will be better at QB and receiver, and fairly even at running back, but might not be better in a number of defensive positions. Overall, this is close enough on the personnel side that execution and ball security will likely determine the outcome. Go Bows!
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