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Oregon State Football: What We Learned From the Stanford Game?

Takeaways from Oregon State’s 11 point loss to Stanford


Beavers are Still a Young Team

The Beavers had 9 penalties for 102 yards, which was one of the factors that contributed to the loss. False Starts, holding penalties, personal fouls, and pass interference calls destroyed the Beavers. Beavers need to cut down penalties if they want to win games. In addition, two interceptions by QB Marcus McMaryion hurt the Beavers, especially his second pick when the Beavers were only down by 9. On that particular play, Jordan Villamin was wide open but the ball was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Stanford’s Mustafa Branch (awesome name!). Kicker Garrett Owens missed a 26 yard field goal early in the game after Beavers received a gift when Stanford fumbled. The Beavers need to clean up the costly mistakes.

Tackling Needs To Improve

The Beaver Defense played a great game, but they had plenty of missed tackles throughout the day, especially on RB Christian McCaffrey and QB Keller Chryst. Granted, McCaffrey is arguably, one of the best players in the nation, and Chryst has a huge frame (6-5 240 lbs). On Stanford’s first drive of the game, the Beavers shut down McCaffrey, which it looked like the Defense was well-prepared and ready to shut down the running game. However, as the game rolled on, McCaffrey, Cardinal RB Bryce Love, Chryst, and the Stanford Offensive Line wore down the Beaver Defense. Missed tackles were a result of the Beavers getting worn down. The bottom line is the Beavers need to improve on tackling if they want to become a better team.

The Offense Must Improve, Period.

Credit the Stanford Defense for making plays when they needed to and holding the Beaver Offense to 15 points. The Cardinal Defense is currently ranked 15th in the nation in Scoring Defense.

While the Beavers faced a very good Defense, 15 points will not win very many games on the road and in PAC 12 play. Aside from Victor Bolden’s 75 yard TD reception, the Offense had a difficult time against Stanford. The Offense faced too many long third downs, which played a key role in their 2-11 conversion rate on 3rd down. The Beavers could not get the running game going. RB Ryan Nall rushed for 10 carries for 77 yds. Most of his yards were courtesy of his 52 yard carry late in the 3rd quarter. McMaryion made some wrong reads against Stanford. He could have benefited from keeping the ball more on the read option, especially when Stanford was keying in on the running back. The two times McMaryion did keep the ball he had a 9 yard gain, and a 3 yard TD. On a positive note, McMaryion did not get sacked all game.

The Team Continues to Play Hard and Not Give Up

The Beavers lost a physical battle with a tough Stanford team that seems to be hitting their stride. Beaver mistakes, and Stanford’s overall physical play on both sides of the ball was enough for the Cardinal to get their 6th win of the season. Although the end result didn’t go the Beaver’s way, the Beavers once again, did not throw in the towel. When Stanford had a 10 nothing lead after the first quarter, they looked like they were going to dominate the game, but the Beavers responded with a 75 yard TD reception by Bolden. Again, when it seemed Stanford took control of the game with a 23-7 lead, the Beavers responded with a 5 play 76 yard TD drive capped off with TE Ricky Ortiz’s 2 point conversion, which made the score 23-15 Stanford. Also, the Beavers stopped Stanford late in the game on a 4th and goal from the one yard line. The Beavers heart and drive to get better will pay dividends in the future. The final question is, when will the Beavers be able to put it all together?