The first thing that I notice as I enter the stadium is that we OSU fans are
definitely outnumbered by the Lobo faithful. Lobo fans are friendly and the
UNM cheerleaders are handing out Lobo bang sticks to Lobo and Beaver fan alike.
I hear the phrase, “OSU has better athletes” for the first time.
I will hear it 1,724 more times before the day is out.
Webmaster Dan and I watch the Beavers warm up so we can gauge the fired-up
factor. Richard Seigler stands out. He looks like he wants to hit someone, RIGHT
NOW; the Lobo cheerleaders look at him nervously and rethink offering him a
bang stick. Big Game James Newson stands out as another Beaver ready to play.
Dan Norz / BeaverFootball.com
|Linebacker Richard Seigler was fired up before
the game, during the game, and after the game.
Christmas music is playing over the P.A. system, slow Christmas music, the
kind of Christmas that you put on when you want to take a nap after a big Christmas
dinner. The OSU linebacker coach starts yelling, “Turn it off. Turn it
off! Turn it off!!!”
The Beavers get the ball to start the game. Right off the bat it is obvious
that the Lobos will be stacking their defense against the run, and that they
will be blitzing the entire game. So here we go again. The opposition is going
to make Derek and the receivers prove that they can move the ball. Webmaster
Dan assures me that everything will be okay. It is his opinion that the USC
game was a turning point for Derek Anderson. He stood in tough against the Trojans
and showed he could take it, so look out Lobos.
The Beavers score on a beautiful screen pass. Two Lobos bounce off of Steven Jackson on his way to the end zone. Bouncing off of Steven Jackson is a feeling
the Lobos will come to know well. They will also become familiar with Steven’s
stiff-arm, also known as the El Dorado Battering Ram, the Corvallis Pile driver,
the Jackson Jackhammer.
Things are looking good then IT happens again, a
bad special teams play followed by an opponent’s score, offense three
and out, and a bad punt snap. The first quarter is coming to a close and it
is jock check time.
“I don’t know Dan, would you run a play or let the clock run out?”
“I would run a play.” “Really?” “Why not, it’s
a bowl game, you are supposed to have fun.” Once again I bow to the opinion
of the Webmaster, the flea flicker was a great call, executed perfectly, and
Derek put the ball right on the money. A lot of high desert air went out of
the Lobo fans after that play. The Lobo fans look a lot like the guy sitting
in front of us who tells his buddy, “I’m about $500 down so far,
but I hope to make it up tonight.” Right.
|Derek Anderson was on target all game against UNM.
The Beavers start to dominate in every phase of the game. The defensive line
is destroying everything the Lobo offense tries. The linebackers and secondary
are flying to the ball. I’m getting that Fiesta Bowl feeling again. I
guess chanting, “Ru-dy, Ru-dy, Ru-dy...” wouldn’t mean anything
to the Lobos.
It is the end of the first half and it is time to take inventory:
- Steven Jackson is playing like a man on a mission. He looks quick, fast,
and is handing out mucho punishment to Lobo tacklers.
- Derek is playing nearly flawless football.
- No dropped passes.
- No dumb penalties.
- Joe Lemma has been a lean mean kick-off coverage machine and has been in
on almost every tackle. My main man Keller C. still runs into everything.
You can’t track him by looking for hair but you can spot him by looking
for the most violent collision during any kickoff.
- The offensive line is handling the Lobo blitzes. The Lobos keep blitzing,
but they aren’t getting to Derek very often.
- The offensive play calling is keeping the Lobos off-balance. The quick
passes to Big Game James and Tim Euhus are killing them.
- “Sugar” Aric Williams looked good in his “Fight Night
in Las Vegas” debut.
- The OSU band is in particularly fine form.
- The men’s restroom lines are much much longer than the Women’s
lines. The men are drinking much, much, much more beer.
The second half starts and the game takes right up where it left off, Lobos
three and out, Beavers go down for a score. There is only one moment of doubt,
the series after Cole Clasen’s fumble. It is defense jock check time again...the
jocks are intact.
The butt-whuppin’ continues and the crowd’s attention starts to
wander. I look across the stadium and see a sign, “Sean McD is a Thug.”
Dan Norz / BeaverFootball.com
|The Oregon State defense held the
Lobo offense in check all night.
A group of youngsters with their shirtless upper torsos painted “LOBOS”
on their fronts and “ESPN #1” on their backs shows up in our section.
Mr. “E’s” shorts sag further and further down his hips. The
crowd starts to chant, “Pull up your pants, pull up your pants…”
Suddenly, there is a full moon over Las Vegas. After favoring the crowd with
his vertical smile Mr. “E” pulls his pants up to what would be considered
normal by most post-adolescents. The crowd chants, “Thank you E! Thank
you E! Thank you E.”
A less than cool Beaver fan throws their empty beer bottle at a local, just
to the right and in front of us, once again proving that every school’s
fans has its share of jerks. I realize a guy wearing gangster gear and sunglasses
at night is an inviting target, but I hope for better from OSU fans. The local
yokel, a.k.a. G-Funk L.V., stands with his back to the field staring at the
OSU throng trying to figure out who tried to peg him. G-Funk thinks he has it
figured out and runs up and engages some inebriated OSU fans in lively conversation.
He ends up going back to his original seat with, once again, his back to the
game. He faces the orange sea with his arms crossed and his head down as he
gathers his Ninja mojo together and contemplates attacking 25 orange-clad drunks.
The karmic centering takes about 10 minutes and the crowd is eagerly watching
to see what action G-Funk will take. His inner voices must have been talking
common sense; G-Funk shakes a hand or two and makes his exit.
Most of the second half is a blur, the game comes to a merciful end, and I
go over a mental checklist:
- This was the best offensive play calling of the year.
- Derek had a great game and was calm in the pocket despite all of the blitzing.
- UNM has the combination of what must be the shortest and tallest linebacking
combination in football.
- This game was too perfect for Steven Jackson to come back next year.
- This was the best defensive play calling of the year.
- You can’t run the option when your offensive line gets shoved back
into the play, every play (How well I remember those days.) The OSU defensive
tackles did not give UNM or Dontrell Moore any chance to get going.
- I hope Mike Riley brought a plethora of recruits to watch the game. Can
you bring recruits to a bowl game?
- I’m going to miss the seniors, but they went out in style.
- This is the second bowl game Webmaster Dan and I have been to, the other
being the Fiesta Bowl. Two bowl games, both ending in a shellacking, maybe
the Beavers should pay us to go next time.
Big Daddy Orange can be reached at email@example.com.