1. The run game has to be the focal point of the offense. Freshman quarterback Seth Collins has shown to be primarily a runner and that was how the game was called by Dave Baldwin. They did not give him many chances for intermediate routes throughout the game although some were called in the later portions of the game. More concerning however was a general lack of push from an offensive line that should be the strength of the offense, and likely the whole team.
More so in the first half against a fresh defense they struggled to open up lanes for Storm Barrs-Woods and Chris Brown, who showed enough wiggle and speed to get the necessary yards when the lanes were opening. It requires a second look, but at first glance they were not doing a good enough job in the their individual battles to consistently allow to get the running backs into space. Pass protection was fairly strong though as they often gave whichever quarterback was in decent time to throw the ball, although execution of the actual throw was not always perfect.
Isaac Seumalo and company need to excel for the Beavers to continue to improve. They have to be able to physically dominate their defensive counterparts in order to help a still developing team. Michigan will be the real test though, as their front seven looked solid and it will require an outstanding performance from the Beaver o-line to get OSU the upset.
2. We finally got to see the brand spanking new Kalani SItake defense and it was a great start to his time in Corvallis. It was great effort and good execution. They were able to gum up gaps and played well in coverage. There were no free runners down the field like we saw on several occasions last year. The first play of the game was a trick play that could have fooled the Beavs, but they played it perfectly, and Treston DeCoud very easily could have had an interception to start off the game.
This is a mostly young unit but the old fellas showed well, especially Kyle Peko. The nose tackle was often eating up two blockers at once, opening up plays for the guys next to/behind him. When the play came his way, he would get to the ball as well. It was a great opening performance for the long-awaited Peko, and he looks to be a building block in the middle.
3. Jordan Villamin is going to be one of the bright spots this year. His route running could still use some work, as he was not always able to create separation against cornerbacks, but if he is offered a couple of deep jump-balls per game he always has an opportunity to bring it down. He had one in the early going that he did a terrific job of high pointing the ball, but he failed to finish out the catch when the Weber State cb got a hand on it as well. The next time he had a real shot at one the cornerback knew he was in trouble when he got locked up in single coverage and was behind Villamin, who simply outmuscled him and gathered the ball for a touchdown.
I might believe a little too much in the sophomore, but when the Weber State defense starting using Cover 0 to stop the run and had single man-to-man coverage on the outside I was calling for a deep shot to Villamin every time. His aerial superiority should give him the advantage he needs in single coverage situations, which might be the perfect counterpart to a ground and pound offense.