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Oregon State vs. Colorado: Keys to the Game

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How the cards are stacked in each teams favor

Oregonian

Oregon State faces off against Colorado in their first Pac 12 Conference game Saturday. The Beavers will have to pick apart and rein in the Buffaloes high-octane offense and several other strengths in order to win this match up.

The Offensive Hand

Oregon State’s offense needs to go all out this time around. On the ground and in the air Nall, Bolden and Collins have proven they can put their wheels on the track and move the yard-markers. Several other offensive player’s need to get involved as well to spread the ball around and keep Colorado guessing; think of this as a game of Three Card Monte. The issues on the offensive line have been thoroughly picked through; either it will improve or they will work with what they’ve got. Garretson may or may not start and the same is true for Blount, don’t be surprised if both show up on the field to direct offensive traffic.

Make It Count

The Beavers special teams showed a lot of energy that resulted in great plays last game against Boise State and could certainly be useful in this match-up where Colorado gave up two 50+ returns on a punt and kickoff to Michigan. Even though they are not on the field the majority of the game, they can definitely provide a spark that matters in the long run.

The Defensive Hand

On the defensive side of things the Beavers have their work cut out for them. Colorado’s offense has marched down the field to the tune of 1,247 passing yards and 846 rushing yards this season.

The secondary will have to contend with the combination of 4 junior wide receivers and 1 sophomore who have all reached and surpassed the 100 yard mark. A little over half of these offensive yards have come on 16 passing plays of 20+ yards, and 8 passing plays of 40+ yards.

The defensive line has to keep Colorado’s rushers in check by filling the gaps and sides of the line with bodies that can tackle. Not only will the Buffaloes junior and sophomore running backs take advantage of any space they are allowed; both of Colorado’s quarterbacks have been known to use their feet effectively given the chance.

The Beavers defense has shown they can slow down opposing team’s offenses effectively, for periods of time. This week against this Colorado team they will need to put the pressure on from start to finish if they hope to give their own offense a chance to keep up.

Head Games

If the Beavers go into this one with a chip on their shoulder and some cards up their sleeve, this is the kind of game where that kind of play can go a long ways.