Sweat fueled Beavers’ flip-flop
Oregon State reversal from 3-9 to 9-3 began with a 6-letter slogan.
CORVALLIS, ORE. — So how did the Oregon State Beavers go from 3-9 to 9-3 and, now, to the Alamo Bowl? They wanted to. It sounds simple enough, the “Want To” slogan the Beavers have adopted in 2012. But those six letters represent an offseason’s worth of sweat that changed a culture, and with key senior leaders leaving, what next?
“We’ve got to take it to another level because now they believe in it,” strength and conditioning coach Bryan Miller said.
Miller and coach Mike Riley met in January, putting their heads together to try to bring about a winning attitude after going 8-16 in two seasons. The culture had to change.
So Miller went to his team leaders with a simple message.
“I said, ‘You guys are not here to play football. You guys are here to win games. Take care of it,”’ Miller said. Take care of it they did. The leaders-by-example became more vocal, calling out teammates who were late to meetings or workouts.
“Something had to change,” cornerback Rashaad Reynolds said. “We had to make sure every person is here for the right reasons. And we needed vocal leaders. We didn’t have vocal leaders the last couple of years, and I think that hurt us a lot.”
Miller’s offseason conditioning program didn’t change that much, but the intensity did, and so did the competitiveness. Riley and Miller had a message, and they also had a receptive audience. Everybody was tired of playing football and not winning.
“We were watching all these bowl games and thinking, ‘We would have been there if we had put in a little extra work in the offseason,”’ receiver Kevin Cummings said. “That’s what fueled us. We didn’t want to be
Dec. 29, 5:45 p.m., Alamodome, ESPN, 1300, 98.1
Cedar Park’s Grayson Cotham (right) tackles Lancaster’s Nick Alexander (6) during the Timberwolves’ UIL Class 4A, Division II state championship victory at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on Friday night.