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Beavers look to regroup after loss

CORVALLIS — Gary Andersen was able to spend some of the time during his Monday press conference talking about Oregon State's next opponent, Portland State.

But it was no surprise that most of the questions revolved around the Beavers' 58-27 loss at Colorado State.

The Beavers returned from the game and the coaches went to work looking at the game tape and evaluating the position groups and special teams.

Then the Beavers held a team meeting. It's all standard procedure, but this one was particularly important after a tough loss to start a season in which there are strong expectations of improvement.

Andersen said they talked about the positives and negatives of the game and how to play to win.

"They can learn a lot from that tape, obviously," Andersen said. "Did it go the way we wanted it to go? No."

Andersen said he's going to remain aggressive. He's not going to quit on the players and believes that they can win.

"Always going to keep swinging, always going to keep fighting in those settings when people say why don't you just punt the ball and move along or whatever," he said. "It was a 10-point game with 11 minutes and change left and yeah, it got out of hand. It absolutely got out of hand because of their execution and what Colorado State did and what we weren't able to do as a whole. Not as an individual, not as an offense, not as a defense, not as one coach, as a whole. And that was one of my messages to them."

Defensive breakdowns

The Beavers had a rough game on defense, particularly in the second half.

There were several big plays due to mental mistakes and players getting caught out of position.

Andersen does not believe that a lack of communication was the biggest problem for the defense; instead, he cited self-inflicted wounds.

"Was there some functional issue? You have a guy running wide open, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that they screwed up the coverage," Andersen said. "That goes back on us as coaches first. You've got to be able to make the calls and get it done the right way.

"We'll get better at it. The young players will learn a ton from this game. Their ability to line up and their ability to be able to get in position to be able to play."

Run game struggles

The Beavers had some success on offense, but the Rams were able to take away the run game for the most part.

Aside from Ryan Nall's 75-yard touchdown dash, the Beavers had 77 yards on 28 carries.

Andersen said the run game was not up to OSU's standards and praised the Rams for stuffing the box and making it work.

"Colorado State did a fantastic job of taking away what we do in our core," he said. "And when I say that, they built a seven-man box consistently, they were bringing the safety down in the box and did a very good job with it. Not to get too technical, they were plus-one or plus-two in the box in the run game and when you do that, I don't care where you're at or what the situation is, it's going to be tough sledding running the football, which it was in that setting.

"We need to adjust the scheme, we need to be able to be more proactive and handle that and apparently we need to coach them better to make the big plays that were in the throw game for us that were there to make."

Luton spreading it out

The Beavers did have some success in the passing game as Jake Luton threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns. He did have three interceptions.

Luton completed passes to nine different receivers, hitting receiver Jordan Villamin and tight end Noah Togiai with seven throws each.

"I think it's a good thing," Andersen said. "We were getting the ball to different spots. The thing you see about Jake is he has the ability to throw the ball across the field if it's on the hash to an opposite hash. I think that's a trait of a quarterback with a strong arm.

"He threw some nice deep balls. There's always balls you want to have back. There's not a perfect scenario out there for any quarterback or any receiver or so-on."

Luton wound up throwing 47 times with 31 coming in the first half.

Andersen said he wants to have a 60-40 team that runs more than passes, but the Rams' defense allowed for more pass attempts.

"At the end of the day we'd love to be a 60-40 team, but when you're a spread team the way we're a spread team and a team lines up and says, 'Hey, we're going to 100 percent plus-two you in the box here' and do a good job of that, there should be some coverage scenarios that you can take advantage of," Andersen said. "And I thought we did that and we left some out there, there's no question."

Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen directs his players in the first half of last Saturday's season opener. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS]