Week 14 - Nicholls State at Oregon State

Trip Start Sep 01, 2012
Trip End Nov 26, 2012

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What I did
Reser Stadium

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Saturday, December 1, 2012

This game wasn't on the original list.  It was supposed to have been played on September 1st, but due to Hurricane Isaac, the Nicholls State team couldn't get out of Louisiana in time to make it to the game.  Since it was then postponed to December 1st, this local game provided a great opportunity to finish the college football tour by attending a game every single week during the regular season.  Janell and the boys stayed at home, and Jason's friend John joined him for the game.  Rain was in the forecast, and it rained some on our way from Portland to Corvallis.  The game itself was mostly rain-free, though, and it turned out to be decent weather for the game.

Time for the ratings:

Stadium - The official seating capacity of Reser Stadium is 45,674, making it the smallest stadium on the tour, other than that of Division III Lewis and Clark.  Prior to recent expansions between 2005 and 2007 that added a new grandstand on the northeast sideline and enclosed the horseshoe in the SE end zone, the capacity was just 35,362.  The current version of the stadium boasts an upper deck on the NE sideline that is partially under cover.  The SW sideline is one continuous grandstand that is also partially covered.  The attendance at this game was only about 32,000 people.  It seemed that the forecast and the opponent convinced many people to stay home.  At the end of the second quarter, the PA announcer said that people could move to wherever they could find an open seat in the stadium, which was a first for me.  One nice thing with a stadium this small is that there really is no bad seat.  It's also really cool that they have the student section right on the field at the 50-yard line behind the OSU bench.  Rating - 6 of 10.

Tailgating - As I mentioned above, there were only 32,000 people at the game, and the threat of rain kept many away until game time.  The parking lots around the stadium were half-full at best.  But, unlike some of the other schools, there were parking lots around the stadium, which bodes well for bigger game weekends.  There were a few impressive setups, but they were few and far between.  After watching a small contingent of the marching band march through the parking lot and playing for the fans, we stopped in the Parker Plaza for some food.  Parker Plaza is set up with a few vendors, a projection TV with other games, and an outdoor area with big blow-up kids bouncy houses.  This probably isn't a fair rating, since it wasn't really a representative week.  But, this is really a week-by-week evaluation.  There was some effort, but there really wasn't a lot going on.  Rating - 3 of 10.

The Game - Nicholls State is an FCS school (formerly known as 1-AA) with a 1-9 record entering the game.  Oregon State came into the game with a 8-3 record and a BCS ranking of 15.  It didn't promise to be much of a game.  Oregon State ended up scoring a touchdown every time they got the ball except when the clock ran out, and they won the game 77-3.  The interesting part is that there weren't any really big plays with a score this lopsided.  The longest run was 21 yards, and the longest pass play was 31 yards.  The Beavers simply moved the ball down the field while piling up 683 total yards.  The 77 points broke the OSU single game scoring record that had been set in 1931.  Needless to say, this wasn't very exciting, but it was fun to watch Oregon State's brutal efficiency on both sides of the ball.  They even converted on 4th down twice.  Rating - 2 of 10.

The Band - For the halftime show, The Spirit and Sound of OSU performed a "best of" show from previous performances.  The disappointing thing is that they started out by running onto the field and then mostly stood still during the first two songs except for when they all piled up around the director's ladder in front of the student section.  They redeemed themselves a bit by making a motorcycle formation during their last song and moving it down the field.  They spun the wheels and then did a wheelie as well.  They did have a very good sound, and did a good job of filling the stadium, but the lack of marching really hurts them.  Anybody can sound good when they are standing and playing.  I will say this, though.  For a blowout game in somewhat wet conditions, the band was engaged the entire game.  They played a lot in the stands and seemed to be having a pretty good time.  Rating - 5 of 10.

Fans - The Oregon State fans are going to be really hard to rate this week.  It was a blowout game, tailgating was minimal, and the stadium was not even near capacity.  On top of that, I didn't see a single Nicholls State fan.  So, what I can say is that the fans were either encouraging or really didn't say much.  The only time they got really lively was when Nicholls State managed to put together their only drive of the game in the 3rd quarter against the backup defense.  Even though the score was 49-0 at the time, the fans got somewhat loud when the Colonels drove deep into Beaver territory before settling for a field goal.  They mostly get dinged for not showing up.  The rating can't be too high when the stadium is less than 75% full.  Rating - 6 of 10.

Best Player - Again, a tough one.  I think everybody on the Oregon State team played in this game.  Nine players chalked up some rushing stats, thirteen players caught at least one pass, and three quarterbacks got into the game.  Nine different players scored touchdowns.  After sifting through all the stats, the best player in this game goes to Oregon State wide receiver Markus Wheaton.  In just over two quarters of work, he piled up 12 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown while adding two rushes for 17 yards and another touchdown.  He also broke the Oregon State career receptions record previously held by James Rodgers.

Overall - John and I didn't expect much from this given the weather and the opponent, but it was still a good experience.  The recent renovations to Reser Stadium are pretty nice, and it was actually kind of interesting to see if OSU could score a touchdown on every possession.  Not bad for a day trip.  Rating - 4 of 10.
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Greg on

Pretty sure you passed by my parents and aunt/uncle's tailgaiting location based on the shot of the roving marching band pre-game. My aunt/uncle have season tix and park in the lot next to the stadium where the football players enter before the game....

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