Overmatched. That's the sad truth. The Cardinal defensive front was too much for the Beavers and it showed in the rushing numbers and first downs most especially.
The pass protection wasn't horrible, but execution came in spurts as the offense sputtered once again to maintain any drives.
Way too many three and outs and throwing short of the sticks. This has become a common theme this season and against the #4 team in the Nation, that isn't going to get it done.
SHE SAYS-GRADE: D
OK, I'm going to try to grade and breakdown as best as I can with the quality of the opponent in mind. Stanford is a top notch team.
The offense had some bright spots in an otherwise dreary Saturday in Corvallis.
Sean Mannion had a decent day throwing, going 18 of 30 for 252 yards and 1 touchdown. And more importantly, he didn't throw an interception.
However, he was sacked and fumbled at a critical point in the game. Stanford recovered in Oregon State territory and drove quickly for a touchdown to go up 31-13. It was game over at that point.
The wide receiver group in general was decent, but did have a couple drops thrown in.
The running backs again didn't do anything of note, but they didn't get too many opportunities either.
HE SAYS-GRADE: D+
Honestly the stats don't look good, but the defense really didn't play too bad. They were really missing Feti Unga and Castro Masaniai who would have helped a ton in run support, but the defensive backs played their best game the year.
Much like the offense, the defensive front was completely out-muscled by the big and physical Cardinal offensive line. Stanford's offensive front is big, really big. Couple that with the lack of sustained drives by the Beaver offense and it was just too much for the defense to overcome.
With all things considered, the Beaver defense played well and gave the offense every opportunity to win the game.
SHE SAYS-GRADE: B
Well, given what they have to work with, and what they were up against, the defense played about as expected.
Angie said that the Oregon State offensive line was mismatched against the Stanford defensive line. It was actually much worse on the flip side.
Stanford's size and experience up front are very impressive. Oregon State's defensive line isn't, so Stanford used that to their full advantage in racking up 300 yards rushing, which allowed them to control the time of possession and ultimately the outcome of the game.
With that said, the Beaver defense played well in spurts. The first half was a fairly inspired effort, with the first quarter especially so. Stanford was forced to punt on their first possession and Andrew Luck threw an interception on their second possession.
As the game wore on, and without any real help from the offense, the defense wore down about as expected.
Lance Mitchell played a great game, especially in light of the pain he looks to be playing through.
Johnny Hekker is becoming a rock star in Corvallis. Not necessarily a good thing as it means that your offense isn't scoring points, but great for Hekker because he's a great guy.
Jordan Poyer had a beautiful return right before half time that set up a chance for the Beavs to score, but the drive ended with another missed field goal (blocked this time).
SHE SAYS-GRADE: B
Good across the board except for the placekicking. This seems to be a recurring theme recently. Hopefully Romaine can find some confidence during the final three games of the season. Shouldn't be much pressure.
HE SAYS-GRADE: B
The past several weeks I've harped on offensive play calling, but against Stanford, I really don't think much more could have been done. The Beavers lost the battle in the trenches and couldn't sustain drives.
That said, the fly sweep (or the variations run off the fly sweep) have been easy five+ yard gains all season. It would be nice to see more fakes ran off the fly and see the Beavers run it until someone is able to stop it consistently.
Clock management was once again an issue as the Beavers looked dazed and confused during the last 40 seconds of the first half. The coaches absolutely need to be better prepared for these 2 minute drill periods. This shouldn't be an issue, especially with a veteran staff.
I thought the defensive coaches did a great job of preparing the group despite being short handed because of injuries.
SHE SAYS- COACHING GRADE: D
Five years ago, Oregon State went down to Palo Alto and beat the Cardinal 30-7. The Beavs dominated that game in every aspect. They rushed for 208 yards, held Stanford to 210 total yards, and had a 39:16 to 20:44 time of possession advantage. Oregon State was by far a more physical, imposing team than Stanford was.
What a difference five years makes. Things have completely flip-flopped. 2006 was Walt Harris' second and final year as coach. That Cardinal team finished 1-11 and he was shown the door.
Enter Jim Harbaugh and his relentless recruiting. Five years later, his efforts in this all-important area was beyond evident in Corvallis Saturday. While Oregon State went on to some great years in 2008 and 2009, Stanford was stockpiling impressive talent. In 2010 and 2011, they have far surpassed anything that Oregon State can put on the field.
If nothing else, one would hope this is a wake-up call to the current Oregon State staff. You cannot win with inferior offensive and defensive lines. Sure they hung around in this game for a while, but it took a yeoman's effort.
Even the playing field and give yourself a better chance. Control what you can control. Pay attention to the now and plan better for the future. Recruit, recruit, and recruit some more. You have the coaching ability, but that's only half the college coaching requirement.