A win's a win, and Oregon State will take it
CORVALLIS — Having not been on the winning end of a final score in nearly a year, Treston Decoud wasn’t going to get ahead of himself Saturday.
Asked when he thought OSU had its 37-7 non-conference football victory over Idaho State in hand, the senior cornerback said, “When the clock hit zero-zero-zero-zero. (0:00.0)”
Oregon State’s 10-game losing streak dated back to a 35-21 home win over San Jose State on Sept. 19, 2015. It was the Beavers’ longest skid since a 15-gamer over the 1995 and 1996 seasons.
“I can’t speak for all those guys, but it definitely helped my confidence,” said Decoud, who had a pair of interceptions. “I’m pretty sure it helped those guys, too. It felt good, man — it’s been a long time since we got a ‘W’.
“Hats off to Idaho State. They may be Division I-AA (actually Football Championship Subdivision) but it’s still good to get that ‘W’."
Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen said it was nice to finally again see his team smiling at the end of a game.
“I think it’s important for me, personally — being the old, crusty guy that I am — to make sure that I don’t ever forget that,” Andersen said. “And for me, too, because when I go upstairs and see my wife probably the first thing she’s going to do is slap me in the face and say, ‘Shut up and enjoy the win.’
“And I will, and I also want them to do that. I also want them to understand it’s hard to win, no matter who you play … but you have to know what was good, bad and indifferent and jump right back in this thing and keep fighting because we all know we have a lot of work to do.”
The Beavers had quite a bit to feel good about, getting out to a 23-0 lead by halftime. By the time it was over, OSU had gotten big-play scores on a 92-yard run from Victor Bolden and a 75-yard interception return by Decoud.
“I’m just ready to go back to practice,” Decoud said. “There’s work to be done. We’ve got a lot of work to be done and I’m sure my teammates are thinking the same thing. We’re going to enjoy the win, but we know we have a big-time opponent coming up.”
That would be Boise State, a team that has gained a national profile over the past decade. The Broncos visit Oregon State next Saturday, and Andersen said a win over BSU would be “a big step” for the Beavers.
“We have such respect for them,” Andersen said. “Because they’re where they are and we’re where we are, and where they’ve been and where we’re working to go. They’re a quality opponent and I have a ton of respect for what they’ve done. I’ve competed against them a few times in my career and I’ve seen them from afar, and they do a nice job.”
Andersen also noted that Boise State recruits against Oregon State and the other Pacific Northwest schools.
“For us to go into that position and continually play well and get a win in those scenarios, that always helps you recruit if you’re in that position,” Andersen said. “But it will have to be well earned.”
WORK TO BE DONE: While the score was lopsided in the Beavers’ favor throughout the day, other numbers showed the improvement OSU still needs to make. Early in the third quarter, Idaho State trailed 23-7 but had outgained Oregon State 296-229.
Idaho State quarterback Tanner Gueller finished 28-for-46 passing for 227 yards and Josh Cook had 78 receiving yards on six catches; the Bengals’ Jakori Ford rushed for 122 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown to open the second half.
“The quarterback did a nice job of reading and identifying between our man coverages and some of our zone coverages and our concepts as far as where we were blitzing from,” Andersen said. “It’s hard to really see until I get into the tape. Our reaction at times could be cleaner and quicker from the back end, I think our hands can get up even better on the defensive front. They’re going to get some yards and move the ball around a little bit, but we pulled up when we had to ... they had some nice-looking kids out there who made some big plays.”
Oregon State’s offense, meanwhile, sparkled with some big plays but had difficulty moving the ball with consistency. Garretson, who was sacked four times in the season-opener at Minnesota and blindsided into a pair of fumbles in that game, was sacked twice Saturday and often found himself scrambling against the Bengals as well.
“We’ll have to sit back and really study the tape,” Andersen said. “We’ve got to get the ball out … we have enough weapons to get the ball out, but we have to get the ball out. The quarterback cannot sit back there and just have his clock go off. Darrell was back there running for his life, and he did a nice job with some scrambles and did some good things, but it’s going to be a work in progress.”
Garretson did manage to complete 15 of 30 passes for 172 yards with one interception, and he also ran for 46 yards and a touchdown.
The Beavers also had difficulty running the ball with consistency. Take away Bolden’s 92-yard run and OSU averaged just under four yards per carry. In the fourth quarter, they were stopped on a fourth-and-one play from the Bengal 10, with workhorse Ryan Nall actually losing a yard on the play; the Beavers had been stopped in a similar situation at a key point at Minnesota.
“Those are situations that when you roll up your sleeves and play with the big boys like are coming in here a week from right now, you’d better find a way,” Andersen said.
FLAG DAY: Idaho State had the bulk of the game’s penalties early, but by game’s end the Beavers had overtaken the Bengals, being flagged nine times for 95 yards. That included a number of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, including one on Decoud and a teammate for celebrating Decoud’s 75-yard interception return for a touchdown.
“We addressed it,” Andersen said of the penalty. “It’s completely selfish … they know how to celebrate. They talked about it, and they made a selfish decision. It can’t be tolerated if you’re ever going to be a good team, or you’ll just be a bad team forever.
“You cannot make those decisions. Celebrate with your teammates, we have zero issues — they know how to celebrate and we expect them to celebrate the right way. That’s on me as a head coach: it’s my fault. It’s also a position coach’s fault and a coordinator’s fault, so we’ll get them fixed.”
Decoud echoed his head coach on the matter.
“It’s selfish,” he said. “I knew when it happened it was a very selfish moment, and I’ve got to overcome that … you can’t make those mistakes; it will hurt you in the Pac-12, so we can’t make those mistakes.”