CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP)Pac-12 After Dark is coming to Corvallis on Saturday night but Oregon State no doubt hopes to avoid any drama.
The Beavers (0-1) host Hawaii (1-1) at 8 p.m. local time and there’s certainly cause for Oregon State’s vigilance heading into the game. Last Saturday night, a pair of Mountain West teams defeated Pac-12 teams: Utah State downed Washington State and Nevada beat California.
And then there’s last time against Hawaii. The Rainbow Warriors defeated Oregon State 31-28 in Honolulu on a late field goal two years ago.
Beavers coach Jonathan Smith was in his second season then. He doesn’t think there’s too much to take from that 2019 game because so much has changed.
”I guess you can take from it that knowing this is a quality opponent, this is going to be a challenge, but ultimately the personnel is quite a bit different, staff’s different,” Smith said. ”So not much there.”
But they are fairly common nonconference opponents. Overall, the two teams have played 11 times, with Oregon State winning seven times – including the two games played in Corvallis.
There’s also familiarity in terms of staff: Smith, former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Washington, has often faced current Hawaii coach Todd Graham, who was coach at Arizona State from 2012 to 2017.
But the Beavers have the advantage of being home at Reser Stadium, which will welcome fans for the first time since 2019. Under state regulations, fans older than 5 years old must wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
Oregon State is still also requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test. The Beavers, along with the Oregon Ducks to the south, were among the first FBS-level programs to impose the requirement on fans attending games.
Oregon State was going to let the week play out before deciding on a starting quarterback. Sam Noyer, a transfer from Colorado, started for the Beavers last Saturday in a 30-21 loss at Purdue.
He was replaced by Chance Nolan, who led the Beavs on two scoring drives. Smith acknowledged that while Nolan played better, Noyer won the job in camp.
”It’s like, why rush this decision? Let it play out a couple days,” Smith said, saying the decision would be made based on the game plan against Hawaii.
The Beavers opened camp with a three-way quarterback competition that included Tristan Gebbia, who is currently out with hamstring soreness.
The Rainbow Warriors opened the season against another Pac-12 opponent, falling 44-10 to UCLA at the Rose Bowl.
Hawaii rebounded with a 49-35 victory over Portland State in Honolulu last Saturday. Chevan Cordeiro threw for three touchdowns and Dedrick Parson ran for two more.
AGAINST THE PAC
Hawaii has won four of its 17 games against Pac-12 opponents since 2010, twice against Colorado, once against Arizona and the aforementioned game against the Beavers.
The Rainbow Warriors have lost 10 straight games on the road against Pac-12 opponents. The last win was at Cal in 1994.
ASSESSING THE LINES
Oregon State’s defensive line held up better than the offensive line against Purdue, which was somewhat unexpected going into the game. At his weekly news conference, Smith was asked if he was disappointed in the O-line’s performance.
”I do think we can play at a really high level at O-line, and we didn’t. Credit to Purdue at the same time. I don’t know about `disappointed.’ I’m disappointed in losing the game, and all three phases contributed to that,” he said.
Hawaii cornerback Cameron Lockridge must sit out the first half against the Beavers after getting flagged for targeting against Portland State.
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