CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall says the Beavers will be playing for former head coach Gary Andersen when the team hosts Colorado on Saturday.
Andersen and Oregon State unexpectedly parted ways Monday, and Hall will guide the Beavers for the rest of the season.
It’s a tall task. The Beavers have just one win this season, over lower-division Portland State, and they’re at the bottom of the Pac-12 North.
”I’ve gone through a transition like this before but that doesn’t stop the opponent,” Hall said. ”So it’s going to be my job to keep them focused. And I have the energy. I’m energetic enough to keep those boys focused.
”And we’re going to go out, we’re going to celebrate coach Andersen, we’re going to have fun and we’re going to compete.”
The Beavers (1-5, 0-3) were coming off a particularly rough stretch, with losses to three straight ranked teams, Washington State, Washington and USC. Andersen and Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes decided Sunday night – the day after the 38-10 loss to the Trojans – to part ways.
The news caught everyone by surprise, including Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, who is friends with Andersen. MacIntyre told reporters that he got a text from him that said, ”I guess I won’t see you on Saturday.”
The Buffaloes (3-3, 0-3), who finished atop the Pac-12 South last season, are also seeking a first conference victory. They are coming off a 45-42 loss to Arizona. Colorado allowed the Wildcats 413 rushing yards, including 327 from quarterback Khalil Tate, an FBS record for a QB.
Colorado’s defense has struggled in its three league games, with the Buffaloes giving up an average of 36.3 points and 482.7 yards.
But defense is also the issue for the Beavers, who are allowing a league-worst 45 points a game. For total defense, the Beavers are second-to-last, giving up an average of 493.8 yards.
Other things of note when Colorado visits Oregon State:
LINDSAY SHINES: Despite Colorado’s recent struggles, tailback Phillip Lindsay is having a record-breaking season for the Buffaloes, becoming Colorado’s all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 4,989. He’s also vying to be the first at the school with 1,000 yards receiving and rushing in a single season. So far he’s got 3,043 yards rushing and 869 yards receiving.
Lindsay had career highs against the Wildcats with 41 carries for 281 yards. But afterward he didn’t want to talk about the accomplishment: ”At the end of the day we didn’t get the win.”
COLLINS’ RISE: Oregon State’s Seth Collins caught five passes for a season-high 91 yards against the Trojans, the latest step in the junior’s incremental improvement this season. Collins missed the final two games of last season with an undisclosed illness that left him hospitalized for nearly two weeks. He first grabbed attention as a dynamic playmaker when he played at quarterback as a freshman.
GOALS: At the halfway point of the season, the Buffaloes find themselves aiming for bowl eligibility. ”I definitely think we’ll be in a bowl game. That’s what we need to do,” MacIntyre said. ”That’s what we can hope we can do.”
NALL RETURN: Beavers running back Ryan Nall, who missed last week’s game at USC because of an ankle injury, is listed as questionable against the Buffaloes. Nall leads Oregon State this season with 341 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
”Ryan looks good,” Hall told reporters. ”He’ll go, he’ll perform and he’ll be wrecking Nall.”
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