By: Steve Della Pelle/Oregon Sports News
The Idaho Vandals head into this weekend’s matchup against the Oregon State Beavers 1-1 after being dealt a tricky hand to start the season. Week 1 for the Vandals went well as they trounced D2 opponent Simon Frasier 68-0. Marking their first shutout victory in over 10 years.
In Week 2, Idaho went on the road against a tough Indiana Hoosiers team and found themselves on the wrong side of a big beatdown, falling 56-14.
These are 2 very different results against 2 very different opponents.
Let’s take a closer look.
In Week 1, the offense exploded and allowed for both Quarterbacks, CJ Jordan and Mike Beaudry, to get some playing time in. CJ Jordan completed 7/12 passes for 161 yards and 2 scores, while Beaudry completed 10/15 for 116 yards.
The Vandals defense held Simon Frasier to 0 points and allowed less than 100 total yards of offense, including an impressive 13 yards rushing on 44 carries. 3 separate rushers had negative total yardage.
But in Week 2, it was a much different story. Indiana came out red hot and took a commanding 35-7 lead heading into halftime. Idaho scored again in the 3rd quarter but never capitalized further, highlighted by a nearly 20% 3rd down conversion rate.
The silver lining?
The Vandals only turned the ball over 1 time, nearly matched Indiana with Time of Possession, and QB Mike Beaudry was 23 of 36 with nearly 200 yards, 2 TD’s, and 0 INT’s.
Oregon St Beavers
The Beavers find themselves in a similar position heading into Saturday 1-1. Week 1 was a close game with the Purdue Boilermakers. The Beavers fell behind early and never overcame the deficit despite a strong 14-point 4th quarter and ultimately lost 30-21. But, Oregon St bounced back in Week 2 against Hawaii with a dominant 21-0 1st quarter. Despite allowing 20 points in the 2nd half, Oregon State stayed on pace and finished the game with a 45-27 win.
And after 2 weeks of play, The Beavers found themselves with a QB controversy…
Sam Noyer was selected as the team’s starter in Week 1 but found himself in a tough situation early on. Noyer completed 10/21 passes for only 94 yards, 0 TDs, and 1 INT. His QB Rating was a lowly 7.7 per ESPN.
The Beavers then turned to Chance Nolan, who performed much better, completing 10 of his 16 passes for 157 yards. This effort was strong enough to earn a start in Week 2 against Hawaii, where he did not disappoint. He finished the game 21 of 29 with 300+ yards, 2 TD’s, and added 38 more yards on the ground.
Junior RB BJ Baylor added to the offensive explosion going for 171 rushing yards and scoring 3 TDs. The defense chipped in, giving Hawaii QB Chevan Cordeiro a very tough time as he was sacked 3 times and threw 2 costly interceptions.
Who Takes Home the Win
The biggest concern for Idaho is finding their confidence after a massive blowout loss to Indiana last week. The win over Simon Frasier was certainly a big one, but that was a D2 opponent that didn’t pose much of a threat.
Simply said, we don’t know enough about the Vandals yet to take them seriously.
Meanwhile, Oregon State played Purdue very well in a tight game and then bounced back with a win over Hawaii. The switch to Nolan at QB proved to be a difference-maker, the running game was effective, and they converted 60% on 3rd downs plays.
With all of that being said, look for Oregon State to get on Idaho early. If they can tidy up their defense along the way, they should have no problem taking the win at home.