Andersen's Beavers adjust to adversity
CORVALLIS — Gary Andersen was prepared for this.
With a young team, a true freshman quarterback, and a new offensive and defensive schemes, the first-year Oregon State coach figured there would be growing pains.
The Beavers' 35-7 loss at Michigan was one of those pains. The Beavers hung for a while but the Wolverines pulled away in the second half for a 35-7 victory in new coach Jim Harbaugh's home debut.
Andersen and Oregon State (1-1) are trying to regroup before hosting San Jose State (1-1) at Reser Stadium on Saturday.
"You can't let the Michigan loss turn around and help us lose again," Andersen said. "You've got to get over it and move forward, but there's gotta be part of you in your competitive body that says, 'I'm never gonna forget that. I know why it happened. I know what I can do better.'"
It will be interesting to see how the Beavers respond Saturday, the latest test in Anderson's first year as coach at Oregon State. He took over — after two seasons at Wisconsin — when Mike Riley departed for Nebraska, inheriting a team that had just 11 returning seniors on scholarship.
During fall camp, Andersen often said there would be challenges. He addressed it at Pac-12 media day.
"First time we get smacked in the face, what's going to happen? Are we going to put our tail between our legs and go sit in a corner or are we going to ball up and fight? We are going to face adversity. It may be the first day of camp. It may be the first game. Who knows what it's going to be?" he said. "But how we can grind through those situations and fight through it with our youth will be imperative."
This week he ticked off the issues against Michigan, including 22 missed tackles. An errant snap on a punt led to a Wolverines touchdown late in the second quarter and Oregon State couldn't get its offense going in the second half.
"We did not have the ability to move the football. Our defense was basically on the field, and once they got off the field, they didn't have very long to get a drink and they were right back out on the field again. And that's hard," Andersen said earlier this week. "That's where Michigan wants you to be, right?"
Seth Collins completed nine of 16 passes for 79 yards against Michigan. The true freshman won the starting job following Oregon State's 26-7 season-opening victory over Weber State, throwing for 92 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a team-high 152 yards.
Andersen has played both Collins and redshirt freshman Marcus McMaryion at quarterback to make sure that both are prepared.
San Jose State defeated New Hampshire 43-13 before falling to Air Force 37-16 in Colorado Springs last weekend. The Spartans have also used two quarterbacks, Kenny Potter and Joe Gray, and running back Tyler Ervin has rushed for 248 yards and four touchdowns for the first two games.
Oregon State is 3-2 in the series against San Jose State, with the last Spartans' win in 1982.
Andersen said the Beavers will be ready.
"What we do is right. The way we do it is the right way," he said. "It's a process, and we knew we would run into some adversity along the way. We've run into some adversity and we'll keep doing what we do and we'll get prepared to play again."