By Bill Swartz
For the first time in 20 years we had an eager beaver gnaw down some trees and build a dam in the creek behind our house last winter.
Each time city workers knocked the dam apart they returned the next morning to discover the dam had been rebuilt, sometimes even stronger.
It’s proof, if you give beavers plenty of time they can do huge damage.
The Oregon State Beaver football team has been resting and plotting for the past two weeks how to inflict some major damage to the sixth-ranked Washington Huskies. They’ll square off Saturday night at Reser Stadium in Corvallis with UW favored by nearly 27 points.
UDub coach Chris Petersen knows all too well what teams coming off a bye week, especially heavy underdogs can do to opponents.
“No coach likes that. One, they’re just sitting over their studying themselves, what they do well and what they need to clean up. Along with that they study you for a couple weeks,” said Petersen.
I pointed out to coach ‘Pete’ statistics tell us 1-3 Oregon State is giving up 47 points per game and asked whether he sees something different watching the tape of the Beavers defense.
“I mean this with no disrespect, but we always say this, stats are for losers,” answered the coach. “I think Oregon State plays really hard. I think they’re well coached. I know they’re frustrated, which is a problem for us, because they’re probably going to play harder than they have and they’ve had a week to work on things and clean things up.”
The Dawgs are coming off a well-played 37-10 victory at Colorado and are paying attention to what the head coach is preaching.
“We know they’re going to throw their best at us and we expect that,” said Huskies senior inside linebacker Keishawn Bierria.
With extra practice time there’s little doubt Washington had better be ready for tricky Beaver plays says co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake.
“Beware of trick plays, beware of a lot of stuff,” coach Lake chuckled. “We know anything that’s hurt us in the past, they’re going to put those plays in. So, we’ve got to be ready for any and everything.”
OSU will have a new starting quarterback Darrell Garretson after Marysville, Washington, a passer Jake Luton suffered a back injury in the Washington State game.
Garretson is the grandson of the late Hall of Fame NBA official Darrell Garretson and a more mobile qb than the 6-7 Luton.
The Beavers offense is fueled by bruising 235-pound running back Ryan Nall. The big man from Sandy, Oregon, scored a pair of touchdowns in OSU’s lopsided loss at Washington State. For a change of pace the Beavers will insert speedster Artavis Pierce, who is also a dangerous kick return man.
The Husky offense will be without slot receiver Chico McClatcher the rest of this season after he suffered a broken ankle last Saturday in Colorado.
The Dawgs will turn to a combination of back-ups at the position, including Aaron Fuller, Quinten Pounds and Brayden Lenius.
Kickoff is 5 p.m. and radio coverage begins at noon Saturday with Gaard Swanson hosting the KOMO Kickoff Show on am 1000/fm 97.7