CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Nearly a week ago senior cornerback Rashaad Reynolds gathered his teammates following Oregon State's demoralizing loss to Eastern Washington.
Reynolds implored the Beavers not to let that loss define their season.
On Saturday, Oregon State (0-1) will face its first test since that chat when the team hosts Hawaii (0-1) at Reser Stadium.
"I just made sure that I just told the team that we can go two ways with this. I mean, obviously, it's a tough loss. We have been there before but at the end of the day ... we can either learn from it and be the team we know we can be, or we can just lay down — and that's not something we want to do," Reynolds said.
Oregon State was ranked No. 25 going into the season, but the 49-46 loss to the Eagles dropped the Beavers out of the poll.
Reynolds was speaking from experience: The Beavers have been in this position before. They lost to Sacramento State at home in the 2011 opener and went on to finish the season 3-9 and out of bowl contention.
Hawaii poses a new challenge for Oregon State. The Rainbow Warriors' defense challenged USC for much of the first half of their opener, but the Trojans scored two touchdowns in the span of 89 seconds in the second quarter en route to a 30-13 win. Hawaii finished with nine tackles for loss and forced two turnovers.
"There's no question that we played well defensively," Hawaii coach Norm Chow said. "We really put our focus on winning the line of scrimmage and I think we did a good job with that. We have a very young team and I wish we had more seniors but I expected this effort out of our defense."
Five things to look for when Hawaii visits Oregon State on Saturday:
1. HISTORY REPEATS?: Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion was adamant that this season would not wind up like 2011, when the Beavers' 29-28 overtime loss to Sac State touched off a four-game season-opening losing streak: "I think that you could say that there are similarities, because you want to start the season off right in any opening game, but I think that Eastern Washington just played a great game. We knew that they were a good team and I think that our offense left a few plays on the field."
2. BEAVER D: The Beavers looked miserable on defense in the opener, allowing Eastern Washington 625 total offensive yards. There were several problems, including broken coverages, bad positions and angles, sloppy downfield tackling and an inability to stop the Eagles on third down. The team's biggest headache was quarterback Vernon Adams, who threw for 411 yards and ran for 107 more.
3. SHAKY START: Hawaii quarterback Taylor Graham made his first career start against the Trojans and threw for 208 yards and a touchdown. He also spread it around, hitting 10 different receivers. But he also threw four interceptions that led to 20 USC points. Graham, a junior, spent two seasons at Ohio State before transferring to Hawaii. His father, Kent, was also a quarterback and he played 11 seasons in the NFL.
4. HISTORY: Oregon State and Hawaii first played in 1923, with Hawaii winning 7-0. The coach of that Beavers team was Percy Locey, grandfather of Jay Locey, who has been with the Beavers for eight seasons and currently serves as chief of staff, advising athletes on career and job placement and handling other off-field administrative projects. All time, Oregon State is 5-3 against the Rainbow Warriors. The last meeting was in Corvallis in 2008, which the Beavers won 45-7.
5. IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME: Chow told reporters this week that he's not concerned with the Beavers taking out their frustration on the Rainbow Warriors. "As always, it's not about them, it's about us," Chow was quoted as saying. "That loss probably irritated the heck out of them. They'll probably be rearing to go. But we don't worry about that. Our team takes care of its own business. I've been up there many, many times. Corvallis is a tough place to play, but we don't care what the venue is."
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