It is very evident how much home field advantage starts and ends with the crowds.
It’s a rather eerie and spooky environment to see no fans in the stands throughout the Pac-12 conference on college football Saturdays. Instead of feeding off crowds, teams have to look inward and create their own energy and that was something that the Oregon State Beavers (0-1) realized head on in Saturday’s 38-28 loss to the Washington State Cougars (1-0) in Corvallis, Oregon.
In a normal year, Reser Stadium is filled with roughly 45,000 Beaver Nation faithful. Instead, game one of this 2020 Pac-12 season almost felt like a scrimmage without fans in the stands.
Sophomore tight end Luke Musgrave, who recorded three catches for 40 yards in the loss, had this to say on Tuesday:
“We got to bring our own energy to the game because it really just almost feels like a scrimmage with no fans. But we can bring it. We’ll get better and we did get better throughout that game. It’s probably definitely a learning curve we’re going to get used to this season.”
That was part of the reason why the Beavs got off to a slow start against the Cougs and fell into a 14-7 hole at halftime. The other may have had something to do with pregame jitters and finally playing against a team other than themselves.
“I think coming into that game, we all had some pregame jitters,” said Musgrave on Tuesday. “We didn’t connect on as many passes and runs as we wanted to but -- the second half we kind of hit a groove. I think the chemistry built throughout the game and it’s been building throughout this fall camp, it’s really good in my opinion.”
“It was the first game, we had to get our jitters out in the first game,” said running back Jermar Jefferson. “Second half, coach talked to us a little about energy and coming out with a different mindset, and that’s what we did. But this upcoming week, we know what to do now.”
Oregon State must get off to a faster start this Saturday against the Washington Huskies in Seattle, who are coming off an extra week to prepare for the matchup after their week one game at Cal was cancelled due to COVID-related concerns.
But as Jefferson stated above, the Beavs know what to do now.