BERKELEY, Calif. — Going winless would be tough for most football coaches.
On Saturday at California, Oregon State’s Cory Hall dropped his third game since taking on the interim role for the Beavers after taking over for Gary Andersen.
Yet Hall keeps his energy and that of the players’ as high as possible.
In the postgame media room, Hall is straightforward with his answers but stays on a positive track. He does not get noticeably angry or glum.
Some coaches would have a hard time with down-to-the-wire losses to Colorado and Stanford and a competitive road loss at Cal.
There’s no doubt Hall is not happy with losing, but he chooses to look at the accomplishments of the team.
“Tough loss on the road,” Hall said after the Cal game. “Again I sit here and say, the boys battled. What does that mean? I don’t think you have seen yet this season this team quit and I don’t think you will see that.”
His postgame speech after the Colorado loss was a sensation on YouTube and his attitude has not wavered following the last two games.
“I love coach Hall to death and playing for him is absolutely fantastic,” quarterback Darell Garreton said. “And just the way we are as a team right now and how we interact with each other, the way that we all believe in each other and the energy that we have, it’s a good feel.”
It’s no real surprise that some of the players started a petition to keep Hall as their coach after this season.
Tight end Noah Togiai said there’s some pressure to play successfully for Hall.
“Yeah, obviously not too many people want another change,” Togiai said. “Especially coming from coach A to coach Hall in the first place. But everybody’s gotten comfortable with coach being at the head and we don’t want another change. We’re going to try to win and give him at least a slight chance of maybe getting the head job.”
Said linebacker Kee Whetzel: “I think that we really want him to be our coach, but I don’t think that’s what we’re worried about when we’re out there playing football. That’s not what we’re worried about just winning the game."
The Beavers could not stop the Bears when they needed to and it was costly. Cal was able to run the ball effectively and that set up the pass.
The end result was a balanced 216 yards rushing and 259 passing that enabled the Bears to put up 37 points.
Whetzel said Cal runs a lot of run-pass option, which crossed up the Beavers, who had a lot of success slowing Stanford’s run game.
“So that was kind of freezing us up in the linebacker area and the safety area,” Whetzel said. “But as for Stanford, we were able to come downhill fast as soon as we saw it and that’s what made us stop Stanford so good.”
Oregon State’s play has improved. It could be the shot of adrenaline brought on by the shock of losing Andersen combined with the arrival of a "new" coach.
The Beavers are going into their fourth game since that situation, so there seems to be a distinct change brought on by Hall.
The next step is to find a way to win. Oregon State is at Arizona this Saturday night.
“We’ve got to be disciplined. We’ve got to stay more disciplined than what we were (Saturday) on the field and we’ve just got to keep getting on it,” Garretson said. “If there’s going to be a group of guys that is going to have to change this, it’s on the players, really.”