Beavers, Vikings look for winning edge
CORVALLIS — Oregon State coach Gary Andersen is urging the Beavers to get edgier now that the season's underway.
Already 0-1 after a loss to Colorado State in Week Zero, the Beavers look to rebound today when they host the Portland State Vikings.
Andersen says he'll never get over the 58-27 loss to the Rams, and he hopes his players never do either.
"We need to be even a little bit more edgy than we have been in the past. Am I? Hell yeah I am. I'm more edgy, and I'm not going to stop. I'm not going to stop pushing them. I'm not going to stop expecting them to carry themselves at a high level," Andersen said at his weekly news conference. "But I refuse to let them make excuses. We're past all that."
Andersen was clearly frustrated by the loss. Oregon State's strength, the running game, wasn't what it should be — although Andersen said some credit for that should go to the Rams.
Ryan Nall ran for 115 yards and a score. Thomas Tyner, the former Oregon Duck now playing for the Beavers, ran for eight yards on four carries in his debut. New quarterback Jake Luton threw for 304 yards and two scores.
And the defense clearly struggled, allowing 34 points in the second half. The Rams racked up 525 total yards on offense.
"I love coaching this team. I'm excited about them. And that's never going to change, because they're my kids," Andersen said. "We'll keep on swinging to get better, and I expect us to get better. Period."
The Vikings also played in Week Zero, losing at BYU 20-6. Portland State coach Bruce Barnum was encouraged by what he saw.
"I saw some good things, on both sides of the ball," Barnum said in his weekly assessment for the team's website. "The poise of the freshman quarterback was great. Our secondary — our entire defense — there were some guys over there playing that I never thought would play, but they made a great turnaround at Portland State and put together a pretty darn good defensive performance."
Other things to consider in advance of the game:
VIKINGS VS. FBS: The FCS-level Vikings are facing two FBS-level opponents (BYU and Oregon State) for the fourth straight season, and overall the team is 4-35 against top-tier teams. But in Barnum's first season as head coach of the team in 2015, the Vikings knocked off both Washington State and North Texas. Portland State went 9-3 that season and reached the FCS playoffs. Overall, Oregon State is 4-0 against Portland State.
COLLINS OUT: Oregon State receiver Seth Collins was ruled out for the second straight week because of a finger injury. Collins missed the final two games of last season with an undisclosed illness that hospitalized him for nearly two weeks. Collins grabbed attention as a dynamic playmaker as a freshman when he played at quarterback. He has moved to slot receiver this season.
OLD MAN RIVER: Darnell Adams caught the lone touchdown pass for the Vikings last weekend against the Cougars. This week, the 6-foot-2 receiver was named one of Portland State's captains for today's game. Because of various injuries, Adams has been with the Vikings for six seasons, prompting Barnum to nickname him "Old Man River."
STOPPING THE BEAVS: With a freshman quarterback and an offense still establishing itself, look for the Vikings' defense to focus on stopping Oregon State. Portland State's D looked competent against BYU, holding the Cougars to 13 first downs and 365 yards. The team also has a pair of talented starting cornerbacks in Chris Seisay, who used to play at Oregon, and Division II transfer Donovan Olumba.
HOME OPENER: It's Breakfast with the Beavs. The message to fans for the early game (11 a.m. local time) is: Wear orange. The early start will likely benefit both teams because temperatures are expected to near 100 today.