A couple weeks ago I went through the Oregon State football schedule and wound up predicting that the Beavers were headed to a five-win season.
I figured the Beavers would show improvement on defense and continue on an upward trend on offense.
Two games into the season and it looks like I will miss the mark by a significant margin.
It’s been a rough start for the Beavers, who were steamrolled by Oklahoma State and then gave away a great shot at a win at Hawaii.
No doubt the players are frustrated by the losses, but the actions of two Beavers on Saturday evening in Honolulu crossed the line.
Offensive guard Gus Lavaka threw three punches at Hawaii’s Alesana Sunia as the game came to an end and the Warriors were starting to celebrate.
Lavaka had thrown his forearm into Sunia as the players passed each other. Sunia responded with a push from behind, Lavaka spun and came back with two rights and a left.
Although Lavaka was definitely wrong, he was clearly channeling anger and frustration in the moment. He has expressed his regret for allowing himself to get carried away by his emotions.
The other incident seemed to hint at a deeper issue.
Defensive back Kaleb Hayes punched teammate and linebacker Avery Roberts after Roberts tried to help move a visibly distressed Hayes to the sideline.
It’s not a good sign when teammates get into a dust-up during a game. Those incidents can turn poisonous and even trigger a domino effect throughout the roster.
Lavaka and Hayes do not seem to be problem players. That goes a long way in deciding a punishment. If one had been in trouble a few times in the past, it would be easy to level a strong suspension.
Coach Jonathan Smith chose to sit both players for the first half of Saturday's game against Cal Poly.
Was it enough? Maybe. A stronger, but not excessive, statement could have been made.
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I say it fell short, at least in Hayes’ case. Lavaka probably should have been hit with a full game. Hayes, on the other hand, might benefit from sitting at least two.
Throwing the opponents for a loss
You might be hard pressed to find a lot of positives to take from the play of the OSU defense so far this season.
The Beavers are still struggling to stop the run and are giving up 521.5 total yards a game. That has them No. 125 out of 130 teams nationally.
But one statistic stands out. The Beavers had nine tackles for loss against the Cowboys and added five against Hawaii with four sacks.
To put it in perspective, the Beavers had 53 TFLs for the entire 2018 season.
The linebackers have been the most active with eight of the stops for loss. Hamilcar Rashed Jr. leads the way with 2.5. Addison Gumbs, who is out for the season with a knee injury suffered at Hawaii, has two.
Overall, the stat is a good sign for the defense moving forward.
Surprising women's soccer
The Oregon State women's soccer team is off to a fast start this season with a 6-0 record after Thursday’s 5-0 win at Houston.
It’s the best start for the Beavers since 2010, when OSU began 5-0 and went on to make the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Beavers have played well enough to land a few votes in the United Soccer Coaches Association Poll following the third week of games.
The Beavers have already scored 17 goals, a significant total concerning the 2018 team struggled all season to get the ball in the net, finishing with six goals.
With scoring comes winning. The Beavers were 2-17 last year and will outdistance that mark by a comfortable margin.