Andersen leaves OSU 01

Oregon State interim head coach Cory Hall, left, will lead the Beavers for the first time on Saturday against Colorado. A win would be big for the struggling football program.

Andy Cripe, Mid-Valley Sports

The Oregon State football program is looking for a lift after starting the week with former head coach Gary Andersen's departure.

Nothing would work better than a win against Colorado on Saturday in Reser Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

It would not only be a major boost for the players and fans, but would give the Beavers some much-needed momentum as they start the second half of the season.

"It would be huge for the program. Really, that's why we do this," interim coach Cory Hall said. "It's not just this weekend — any time you perform and compete you want to win so I really don't look at it as far as what's it going to do for me, it's really what it's going to do for these athletes, for these student-athletes, and what it's going to do for this community.

"We want to pump life and breathe life into this whole deal. We want to understand that the student-athletes and the community, we're all one. We're all Oregonians, it's all Oregon State, it's all Beaver Nation. And I think it would be huge for everybody, but I think it should be that way week in and week out."

Colorado had a fast start to the season but the Buffaloes have struggled so far in conference games.

They were 3-0 after games against Colorado State, Texas State and Northern Colorado.

Then came a 37-10 Pac-12 loss to Washington, a 27-23 defeat at UCLA and a 45-42 loss at home to Arizona.

"The most important thing I want to make sure (the Beavers) do is they stay in it all four quarters," Hall said.

The week of practice

Hall is finishing his first week as coach with the Beavers and said it went well.

He said the players were energetic, had fun and seemed to enjoy practice time.

"I can't say there was a day that I felt that practice dragged at all," he said. "I felt the energy in every practice was high and I think these boys are determined."

For the most part, Hall kept the practice routine the same except for extending the periods.

"We went longer periods, not much but just enough for the guys to become comfortable," he said. "Kind of slowed the pace down for them so they can take a lot more mental reps, see if that helps.

"A lot of times if you're going through something like this, change is pretty extreme. You've got to see what's best for the player and see how we can get the best out of these players. Everything can be adjusted. You never want to stay the same all the time."

Managing the game

Saturday will be a new experience for Hall on the sideline as he takes on the role of head coach.

Hall said he's ready to take on the different game scenarios after paying attention to Andersen in staff meetings.

"So nothing that I'm not used to. It's just the minutiae of who's delegated which responsibilities, just getting caught up to speed with that," Hall said. "So nothing really that I haven't been exposed to already before in the past."

Safeties coach John Rushing will be out of the press box and down on the sidelines working with the secondary.

"My role has changed, obviously, so now I have to interact with both sides of the ball," Hall said. "So right now as far as changes, that's the only one that's really set in stone. He's got to fill for me on the sideline."

A new energy

The Beavers could have dragged their way through the week, but Hall said his experience was the opposite.

He said the players' energy reminded him of when the team was in fall camp, preparing for the season.

"Kind of the fun that they were having in the buildup to camp," he said. "And I'm sure there were times in between that I'm just not recollecting, but that's what it reminded me of this week is enjoying being out here just playing football.

"All the other things, outside distractions went away and (we're) just enjoying each other. The whole family concept is real and you can tell. They're all genuine about it."

Injury update

Running back Ryan Nall missed last week's game at USC with an ankle injury. He was in a boot for a few practices that week.

Nall is listed as questionable for Colorado but Hall said Nall will be good to go.

"Ryan looks good," Hall said. "He'll go, he'll perform and he'll be wrecking Nall."

Cornerback Xavier Crawford and safety Austin Hudson have been ruled out. Cornerback Jay Irvine is questionable but could play and Gus Lavaka is also questionable.


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