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Thoughts From the Couch: Aztecs Answered

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San Diego State fans were clamoring for revenge, but the OSU defense shut them down.

Terron Ward and the running game were an emphasis for the Beavs this last week.
Terron Ward and the running game were an emphasis for the Beavs this last week.
Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports

By the Numbers:

  • 36.6% - 3rd down conversion percentage allowed by the Beavers against SDSU.
  • 26.5% - 3rd down conversion allowed by OSU for the season.
  • 34,9% - Washington's 3rd down conversion percentage allowed. Just for comparison.
  • 4 - Number of rushing touchdowns by the Beavers. Oregon State has 7 so far this year and they had 15 all last season.
  • 52 & 50 - Yards rushed by Woods and Ward respectively. They once again have a fairly even split and are tied on the season with 212 yards apiece.
  • 5 - Hunter Jarmon led the team with 5 grabs and 76 yards. With him wearing number 7 he finally had his breakout game.
  • 5.2 - Yards per carry allowed to SDSU tailback Donnel Pumphery.
  • 8 - Number of carries that went for 5+ rushing yards by Pumphery. He had 17 carries in the game.
  • 68.2% - Mannion's completion percentage through the first three games last season. He is currently at 67.3% so far this season.
  • 95 - Number of completions for Mannion last season in the first three games. So far this season he has 76 completions, which may because of more success on the ground this year.
  • 85 - Carries through the first three games of 2013. The Beavs are at 109 in three games this year.
  • 3 - Sean Mannion's current place in the Pac-12 passing yard record book.
Turning Point:

The Aztecs came out with trickery and pushed the Beavers back on their heels. They lost at the point of attack and the defense as a whole played tentative and slow to react, quickly giving up a score. Once the offense came onto the field they failed to get past midfield although they showed the aptitude to move the ball, especially on the ground. Kostol dropped the ball deep into the Aztec side of the field.

San Diego State was unable to recapture the magic they had on the first drive and went three and out. On the ensuing punt Victor Bolden was unable to hang on though and the Beavers looked like they might bungle away another game. The defense then stood tall though, as they stonewalled the Aztecs on first down where they sacked SDSU quarterback Quinn Kaehler. On second down the pass rush hurried Kaehler again and Steven Nelson made a great diving interception to take away any scoring chance for the Aztecs.

That pick swung the game back to the Beavers. OSU would go on to score on the ensuing drive, and despite only one more score at the half, the Aztecs were never really dangerous again. They would get into Beaver territory, but a combination of SDSU penalties and sacks by the OSU defense prevented them from even getting a field goal off, and the Beavers would earn a touchdown right before the half and never look back.

Thoughts:
  • Rahmel Dockery will be a nice fill-in for Bolden. The one advantage that Dockery definitely has is the size and he made a great leaping catch at the end of the first half for OSU which set up the touchdown run by Terron Ward.
  • When the defensive line wins against the offensive line and creates penetration the defense generally wins the play. It's a fairly simple thought, but whenever OSU gets into the backfield, the play is generally for a short gain or less.
  • The offensive line performed better, but they could not win at the end of the game when it was time to pound the ball. The Beavers were limited to 17 yards on 10 carries in the 4th quarter when they were trying to salt the game away. Against superior teams in the Pac-12 the inability to carry out a final clock-killing drive might be more damaging.
  • Sean Mannion played his best game of the year. He was poised, scrambled just enough in the pocket, and was throwing accurate passes for most of the night. His only blemish came on a pick where it appeared to be some sort of misunderstanding between Mullaney and Mannion. If the running game can continue to be mildly productive, it should allow Mannion to keep up this level of play.
  • Steven Nelson is a stud. I think I write a note about him every week, but he got another pick on a nice diving catch and played great the whole game. The guy does not miss tackles in one-on-one opportunities and has been excellent in coverage as well. He gave up a couple first downs, but otherwise he a pretty darn good game.
  • I'm still waiting to see what happens when the Beavs play a good quarterback this year. The competition thus far has been lacking, Portland State could not throw the ball at all, the Hawaii passing attack was wildly inaccurate, and SDSU quarterback Quinn Kaehler already has thrown 6 interceptions this season, which puts him in an 8-way tie for eighth in total picks (for what it's worth the leader is Tanner Lee of Tulane with 9). The secondary has not really been tested yet, although they have performed well against lesser talents so far.
  • Trevor Romaine made his return, and there was not much to talk about, kick-offs were fine, and he did not create drama on the extra points.
  • Hunter Jarmon looked like the receiver that was hoped for, he got open, made tough catches which demonstrated great body control, and made some plays after the catch. He led the team in catches and receiving yards as noted above. Hopefully he will continue to build on this game, with an additional receiving threat to go along with the top two receivers and top two tight ends, it will be hard for defenses to key in on just one pass-catcher.
An all-around good game for the Beavers, they played their most complete game of the year so far, but there is still a lot of room for growth. A satisfactory win against a lower division team, and surprisingly free of any real drama.

Go Beavs!