The Oregon State Beavers arrived at the “Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl” with a rush of momentum from their season’s end. Seven wins, undefeated at home and a competitive loss against Oregon at Autzen Stadium should have fueled OSU to completely overwhelm a Utah State team that was down to their third-string quarterback playing in his first college football game EVER.
It was a poor performance that left the team with far too many questions than answers.
Where was the defense? The Aggies scored 17 straight points between the second and third quarters. This was during the moments backup quarterback Cooper Legas threw a 62-yard touchdown pass on his first possession EVER. Much of the blame has to go towards stupid penalities that gave Utah State great field positioning. But it’s fair to ask if new defensive coordinator Trent Bray is up to task.
Was the moment too big for Nolan? Oregon State’s sophomore quarterback was asked to play a bigger role for the team, as BJ Baylor and the running attack were stifled most of the night (78 yards on 18 carries). Nolan showed many times his inability to hit receivers in stride and make good decisions under pressure. The Beavers’ quarterback battle will be sure to heat up heading into spring football.
How do the Beavers bounce back? There are a good amount of players returning to the roster next season which should bode well for a team that kicks the season off against Boise State at Reser Stadium. Oregon State should use this moment as a motivation builder for a brighter future.