Oregon State Beats Washington 38-21: Rapid Reaction


After UW lost in an ugly showing in Corvallis, Oregon this afternoon. A couple of the husky haul writers decided to breakdown the game in their own words and in their own opinions. Mitchell Larsen works for ESPN and has recently worked for Rivals. He is now a frequent contributor for the husky haul. Mark Knight is the lead editor for the site.

Opening Thoughts:

Mitchell- The Dawgs are not as close as I had thought they were to returning to their glory days. Before the season I had high expectations and through the first half of the season they had met those expectations. Now on a three game skid, it’s clear the Huskies are an average team, this is a game that they should have been able to win regardless of the quarterback situation. With Chris Polk and the supporting cast of pass catchers the offense should’ve been more productive, but they weren’t and that killed the Huskies.

Mark- This game was not a game that the Huskies could really afford to lose, momentum wise. Going into the apple cup with a defeated team is never a good thing. I think Coach Sark and company assumed that they would win this game with or without Keith Price in and thus let Nick Montana play, this was the wrong plan and wrong idea. Montana struggled, the defense struggled, thus Oregon State wins. 

The Husky Defense:

Mitchell- While the Husky offense didn’t do the defense many favors by scoring early in the game, the defense had its own troubles getting off of the field. It seemed that Oregon State was able to convert every third down they tried, they ended up converting 8-14 and 2-2 fourth downs. The biggest problem with the Husky defense is tackling; the players look timid and afraid to make a tackle. They aren’t making hits, they are being hit, and that’s resulting in big plays against and too many points on the board. 

Mark- The defense looked as bad as ever in this game. The only high points were when they were able to force turnovers and when Oregon State botched their own plays. At this point with all the talent that is on the defensive side of the ball, you have to ask, ‘why are they still so bad?’ I can assure you there will be people calling for Nick Holt’s job once again this week. It may be warranted, getting worked by a awful Oregon State offense is not something that should happen. It wasn’t even close, the Beavers could seemingly do whatever they wanted in this game; run or pass. Not pretty. 

Nick Montana:

Mitchell- Personally, I believe that if his name was John Smith, he would not be a quarterback in the Pac-12 and he further proved that against Oregon State. I don’t recall any throws that were ‘on the money,’ rather the completed passes were often times just good enough to catch. He struggled to lead receivers on passes, but then would overthrow by several yards just a few plays later. His job was to manage the game on Saturday without turning the ball over; he failed to do that, turning it over twice. 

Mark- Chalk up a lot of it to never starting a game before, but I just don’t see the talent there. He may be a serviceable backup but honestly, I wouldn’t mind not seeing him ever start again and others probably would agree with that. The talent that is above him and now that is coming in behind him, I doubt we see him ever be the “starter” as a Husky. 

The Husky Offense:

Mitchell- It was obvious that the Huskies wanted to run the ball all game long against the Beavers, but with no passing attack at all, Oregon State was able to focus on shutting down the run. Polk ended up with a solid game, going over 100 yards, but he needed to have a huge game to off-set the 79 yards passing my Montana. One bright spot for the Huskies was that Austin Seferian-Jenkins had a huge game catching six passes and two scores, but he did drop one long pass that would’ve been his third touchdown of the game.

Mark- The Husky offense was poor with Montana under center. He was just not able to execute the playbook or make much of anything happen. Chris Polk was effective early but then quickly Sark switched play calling as Oregon State began to stack the box. Then the Beavers took a sizable lead and there was no way Montana was going to be able to bring the Dawgs back in it. 

Turning Point:

Mitchell-The Huskies second possession in the second half. Washington trailed 17-14 and started at the 4 following a Sean Parker interception, there were two plays that stand out that turned the momentum back to the Beavers. Montana threw deep to Kasen Williams on 2nd down, but the ball was underthrown, giving the defender the opportunity to make a play on the ball. If Montana leads Williams, it could’ve been a long go ahead score for Washington. Three plays later Seferian-Jenkins was wide open downfield and dropped what would’ve also been a go ahead score. The Huskies were forced to punt to the Beavers two plays later. While OSU turned the ball back over quickly on their next drive, Washington didn’t respond with a score and the Beavers took advantage getting out to a 17 point lead that they never relinquished. 

Mark– It was probably a lot earlier than this but I think the biggest turning point was when Oregon State was up by 10 and then Montana fumbled as he stood in the pocket to long. They then took that fumble down for a touchdown and went up by 17. The game became immediately dire for the Huskies at this point. 

What We Learned:

Mitchell- One thing above all else that I learned is that the Huskies need Keith Price in order to win football games. Yes he threw an interception that was critical, but when he came in the offense clicked. He is a much better passer than Montana and the Huskies will need him to get healthy and lead them next week in the Apple Cup. On defense I learned that the Huskies aren’t improving at all, they continue to allow big plays and miss tackles. It’s been the problem all season and there seems to be no consistent improvement on that side of the football.

Mark- Keith Price is a lot better than Nick Montana. I am not sure we really “learned” this but if there were any doubts in anyone’s minds-proof was in this game. We also learned that it’s not just “great” teams that find holes in the Husky defense but all teams are starting to find ways to beat Holt’s squad. 

What are your thoughts? Include them below if you feel so inclined.