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Oregon State Football: Stern Lectures on Penalties, Turnovers; The beaver racing game ‘not good enough at all’

Oregon State’s victory over Boise State lasted approximately 18 hours. Then the attention turned not so much to this week’s opponent, Fresno State, but to the horror show that sometimes took place against the Broncos.

The foundation of Oregon State’s offense is taking care of the ball. Offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said it’s the first thing he discusses with his players at the start of spring training and preseason camp.

It was no different Sunday afternoon when the team met at the Valley Football Center. The Beavers had three turnovers against Boise State, and it could have been five if not for the help of the replay booth.

“We have to fix that because we’re not going to win a lot of games the rest of the year if you turn the ball around three times,” Lindgren said. “Luckily our defense was able to create an extra number, but we need to do a better job.”

It wasn’t just the turnovers. The penalties were a huge setback for the offense. There were seven offensive penalties, most of them standing or false starts.

How is it fixed? There’s no magic bullet other than getting back to basics, reinforcing principles, and punishing after practice. Five or 10 minutes of up-downs for penalties after a long, hot practice often underlines the point.

“It comes down to focus. It’s not like we do these hard counts once in a while. It’s part of our offense,” Lindgren said. “They know it killed us in a couple of runs.”

On Nolan: Lindgren’s take on what he saw quarterback Chance Nolan on Saturday night whom he hadn’t seen a year ago wasn’t much different from what fans thought. The long passing game is now a big part of Nolan’s game.

It made the difference against Boise State, especially early in the game. Four of Nolan’s first eight completions have gone for 25+ yards.

Two of Nolan’s best long throws have come in stressful situations, although one was a drop. On the Boise 47’s third-and-two, Nolan hit Tre’Shaun Harrison in stride just yards from the end zone, but his receiver couldn’t hold the pass.

“He had some pressure, and it’s early in the game and he kind of has adrenaline. It was great to see him drop that stuff in there,” Lindgren said.

The other, a 74-yard pass to Anthony Gould in the third quarter, Nolan had to throw the ball while standing in the OSU end zone.

“Any time you’re in the end zone it’s tough sometimes. He stood there, knew he was going to take a little hit and he was able to put it on the money for Ant,” said Lindgren. “It gives you confidence to call more.”

Run the game blues: Junior running back Deshaun Fenwick was blunt in his assessment of the Beavers’ rushing attack against Boise State.

“Not good enough at all,” he said. “All the backs think we ran average. Not by our standards, by any means.

It wasn’t terrible at the Purdue level, when OSU passed just 78 yards on 25 carries in the 2021 season opener against the Boilermakers. The Beavers had 178 yards rushing, but no one had more than 44.

It wasn’t all bad, Fenwick said.

“I think they were focused on stopping the running game, so that opened up a lot for our receivers. That worked in our favor,” Fenwick said.

Sizzling Fresno: Oregon State could avoid the worst of the heat wave sweeping through central California, as the latest weather forecast shows a Saturday high temperature of 98. Which is hot, but not the thermometer reading 113 of Monday.

But stay tuned, as the weather is forecasting 106 degrees on Friday. Which means that 98 for Saturday is not fixed. Either way, it’s going to be hot and Oregon State is gearing up for a sizzle at Valley Children’s Stadium.

Although the Beavers aren’t training in the heat of the day this week – it was 91 Monday in Corvallis – they are paying close attention to advice from staff nutritionists. Among the recommendations are putting more salt in the player’s diet.

“Everyone preaches hydration at the start of the week,” Lindgren said. “It doesn’t just start on Friday when we get there. It’s getting ready all week and getting ready to ride.

Fenwick says to bring some warmth.

“I’m from Florida, so it’s really nothing to me,” Fenwick said. “I’m up for the challenge.”

— Nick Daschel reported from Corvallis

| ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

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