With OSU having an off week to circle the wagons and prepare for the Washington Huskies next week, the Beavers are hoping that this time off can help them right the ship 1/4 of the way through the season and get them back on track.
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Darell Garretson at the helm
With Jake Luton’s status in question moving forward, there is no doubt that Darell Garretson is the starter at this point. The Beavers believe in him and his coaches and teammates have the confidence in him that he can successfully run this offense.
Andersen noted that he thought Garretson did some good things in practice this week and is looking forward to seeing what he can do with the opportunity.
“It’s been two good initial days,” head coach Gary Andersen said. “Darell is a veteran and this is nothing new to him as far as getting to this position. He’s extremely excited about the opportunity. It’s going to be his team for a period of time. Who knows, maybe the rest of the season, maybe weeks. It all depends on the doctors and how that all filters out. It also depends on Jake and how he is.”
Bye week = Time off for Players + Recruiting for coaches
With OSU having their first bye of the season, many fans see it as an off week for the team, but that isn’t the case. Most players study film wherever they are at, whether that is back in their hometown or in Corvallis. The coaches however, don’t stand pat as most of them take off and head to various recruiting hotbeds.
“A lot of coaches will hit the road,” Andersen said. “We will be recruiting on Friday and Saturday. The kids will come back tomorrow morning for another practice and then they will have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to be off and hopefully some of them can get home.
For linebacker Manase Hungalu, he sees the bye week as extra practices where the Beavers can get extra time to work on their issues and correct them.
“It’s all going to start in practice,” Hungalu said. “We need to take advantage of this bye week to continue to work. We can’t have a day off even if we have a bye week. We have to use this week to relax and get into the film room and the field and just execute.”
Well the monkey is finally off the back for the defense in terms of finally getting their first sack of the season as the Beavers recorded three sacks against Washington State and Luke Falk.
Defensive coordinator Kevin Clune noted that he thought that the Beavers would finally be able to get to the quarterback based on the scheme that they had planned for the Cougars last Saturday. He also noted that while he was pleased with getting the monkey off the back, that there is still a long ways to go for the Beavers to be a complete football team on defense.
“It’s great but you know, you always want more,” Clune said. “We knew it was going to be there but we were able to get home and it was really good to see. (What led to getting sacks) was our tenacity and our coverage worked well with the pass rush. There is still long ways to go to improve but it was good to see us get some success.”
Keeping morale up
I asked Andersen what his thoughts were about keeping the Beavers spirits high during this difficult time and he noted that he understands how frustrated this team is
“You definitely have to talk about frustration especially with a young team,” Andersen said. “You can’t just say everything is normal. When there is tremendous success, or success you have to address that too. It’s the job of all the coaches to do that and the job of team leaders to be able to do that. It’s hard when a kid makes a play that doesn’t go his way and what are you going to do? Not talk to him? No that’s not what you do. You try and bring them back to the moment so they can be successful the next time.”
For a senior leader and captain like Hungalu, he is seeing a change in the players work ethic this week and hopes to see it moving forward.
“The guys are more fired up than ever,” Hungalu said. “There are a lot of position groups leaving the Valley Football Center late after watching film and then coming back late at night to watch more. A lot more players on this team are taking things more seriously. They don’t want to end this season like we ended last season. Everybody is slowly getting into that mindset.”
Jake Luton update via Andersen
Today was the first day that the local media was able to talk to Andersen since he’s been able to get more information on Jake Luton. He noted that he can’t disclose much due to medical reasons and noted that Dr. Auckerman will be the one that discloses that information in the injury report.
Andersen did however note that he’s spoken to Jake and that he feels like he’s in a good place right now.
“He’s progressing,” Andersen said. “Anything that comes from a medical standpoint with come from (Dr.) Auckerman so we are working and doing what we can to get him back here and back on schedule. It’s a tough place place to be for him and his family and all of us.”