By the Numbers:
- 6 - Sean Mannion's current place in Pac-12 passing yardage history.
- 8 - Number of Beaver players to catch a pass.
- 57.8% - Mannion's completion percentage on the day.
- 66.3% - Mannion's completion percentage for last season.
- 7.8 - Woods' yards per carry with 16 totes.
- 3.8 - Ward's yards per carry with 10 carries.
- 2 - Interceptions for Zimmerman, which were the first two of his career.
- 1 - Touchdown scored in the red zone.
- 9 - Trips to the red zone.
- 66.7% - Red zone efficiency.
- 2.23 - Yards per carry allowed to the PSU running backs.
- 9.27 - Yards per carry allowed to the PSU quarterbacks.
- 37% - Completion percentage for all PSU quarterbacks.
- 11 - Number of touches to Victor Bolden.
This game was always loosely in control by OSU, the Vikings had made a couple big plays and the Beavers did allow that to continue. It was nevertheless nervewracking with recent losses in the collective memory of Beaver Nation. When the Beavers returned from the locker room after going down to the Vikings in the first half things were different. They started things off with a Ty Zimmerman interception, but last year's Oregon State defense had also failed to get stops with the exception of turnovers for the majority of last season. After the Beavers offense again failed to capitalize on the takeaway the game had a shift.
Once the Vikings got the ball back the Beaver defense we had hoped to see emerged. They were disruptive up front and the coverage was stifling. They kept their rush lanes and they stayed disciplined. They not only held back PSU, they forced them back 18 yards (with the aid of a 7 yard penalty). Bud Delva sacked Kieran McDonagh and the Beavers forced a 3 and out. From that point forward the Vikings would never pass midfield again. The longest drive they had was 28 yards and that ended in a punt. Only two out of nine second half drives went for over 20 yards.
This is the defense that OSU needs to play. While the offense figures things out the defense needs to hold things together, as they are the more veteran group. If they can be that disruptive against D-I offenses they might be able to make some noise.
- Connor Hamlett seems like Mannion's go-to receiver right now. Whenever things got a little tight he would look there first, sometimes missing open receivers.
- Steven Nelson is a pretty darn good cornerback. In addition to making some good plays on balls in the air, he was fantastic at wrapping up. His technique is really excellent.
- As many have noted, the Beavers failed to convert their chances. Against Pac-12 teams getting 5 field goals in the red zone will not fly.
- On the big touchdown run for PSU qb Paris Penn the Pac-12 guys pointed out the defense shifting over to cover with the motion on the play. Larry Scott was still on that side though, and rushed the passer by going completely up field, leaving the entire field exposed. The Beavers often struggle with losing contain, and it may be a schematic thing, as the Beavers like to get after the passer. However when the quarterback is a good runner and a bad passer, it seems more prudent to keep a stranglehold on the pocket as opposed to opening up running lanes.
- Victor Bolden got a lot more touches this game as shown in the stat section. He looks like he has built up the strength to handle that, but I still question his elusiveness. There were too many times when he had one guy to beat but he could not quite get around him. That may be more about vision and picking his spots, but he looked like he was getting wrapped in the open field too often.
- The offensive line was a mess. The biggest culprit was Gavin Andrews, the most obvious plays were when he got beat around the edge by a Portland St. rusher and he did not allow Mannion to complete his pass, and on the next play he was sacked. In short yardage situations he lost the battle a couple times and the edge rusher successfully crashed down the line and caught the runningback in the backfield. The rest of the offensive line had problems communicating as well, and rushers got after Mannion with relative ease.
- The punt game was pretty darn good. Keith Kostol was dropping punts in perfectly. The best punt was one recovered at the 1 yard line, which would be marred with a penalty, but Kostol came in and executed superbly.
- Storm Woods looks superior to Terron Ward right now. Woods was hitting the hole hard and was making guys miss in the open field. Ward's previous advantage was that he runs with authority but Woods was running with that same anger and vision that Ward does. If Woods can keep this up, he will become the definitive lead back for the Beavers.