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Oregon State Football: Game 4 Oregon State vs Washington State: What We Learned

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Baby steps forward, but Giant steps are still needed

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Falk continued his dominance of the Oregon State Beavers as he threw 6 TD passes for 396 yds. in 21st ranked Washington State’s 52-23 victory against the Beavers in Pullman, Washington. The Beavers were able to make the game close for most of the first half only trailing 9-14 with less than two minutes, but Washington State was able to score 14 points in the last 2 minutes left in the half, including Falk’s 2 yd. TD strike to Tavares Martin Jr. on 4th-and 2. The Cougs were able to score before the half thanks to a dropped snap by Beaver Punter Nick Probeski that gave WSU great field position. The Cougars led 28-9 at the half.

On the opening drive in the 2nd half, Washington State drove all the way down to the Beavers 8 yd. line. Beaver LB Andrzej Hughes-Murray was able to block Cougar Kicker Erik Powell’s 25 yd Field Goal attempt. The Beavers were able to complete a 6 play, 74 yd. TD drive, which was capped off by Ryan Nall’s 45 yd. TD run. The Beavers trailed 28-16 and forced the Cougars to a 3rd-and-22 on their own 43 yd. line. Falk was able to complete a deep post pass to Tavares Martin Jr. for the 57 yd. TD reception to give the Cougs a 35-16 advantage. The Cougars were able to stop Ryan Nall on 4th and 1 and the game was pretty much decided after that. The Cougars held a 491-354 yd. advantage in total Offense.

A scary moment for the Beavs happened in the 4th qtr. QB Jake Luton tried avoiding a sack by running for the 1st Down. As he slid to the ground, he was hit by Cougar Safety Jalen Thomas. Martin Stadium was quiet as Luton laid motionless on the turf. Luton was carted off the field and he raised his arm in the air to the crowd as he received a standing ovation from the Martin Stadium crowd, which was a class act by them. Here’s what we learned from Oregon State’s 52-23 loss to Washington State.

Baby Steps Forward

Although the score didn’t show it, the Beavers played a much better game this week than in the Minnesota game. Arguably, it could be said the Beavs played their best game of the season. Unfortunately, for the Beavers, the Cougars arguably played their best game of their season Credit the Washington State Receivers for constantly winning battles against the Beaver secondary. Cougar WR Tavares Martin Jr was phenomenal against the Beavers. He will continue to give opposing defenses nightmares this season.

For the Beavers, the running game was much improved and Jake Luton played a solid game. Ryan Nall rushed for 118 yds. on 15 carries and 2 TD’s. Nall became the first Beaver rusher to run over 100 yards in 2017. Luton was 22 of 35 passing and had a total 179 yds. passing. Luton was able to complete passes to 7 different receivers.

Although the Beaver Defense got gashed for 491 yds., there was some positive steps moving forward. The Beavers recorded a Safety against the Cougars. In addition, the Beavers recorded their first QB Sack of the season. The Beavers were able to sack Falk 3 times on Saturday.

The improved play is a step forward for the Beavers, but obviously judging by the results so far, the Beavers need to make gigantic strides if they want to be competitive in the Pac-12.

Let’s watch that amazing 45 yd TD run by Ryan Nall

Missed Opportunities

Oregon State lost another turnover battle. Washington State returned one of the Beaver fumbles into a touchdown. The dropped snap on the Punt was a killer because it led to another Cougar score before the half. In addition, Washington State was 6-12 on 3rd Downs. One of the Coug’s 3rd Down conversions was on a 3rd-and-22, which the Beavers secondary lost contain of Martin Jr. in the middle of the field and Falk and Martin made them pay with a 57 yd. TD. The other touchdown was on 3rd-and-6 where Martin Jr got behind the Beaver secondary for the 21 yd. TD reception. On the play before Martin Jr’s 21 yd. TD, CB Xavier Crawford just missed intercepting Falk. Additionally, the Cougars were 2-2 on 4th Down. The crucial 4th Down conversion that was a major play in the game was Falk’s 2 yd. TD pass to Martin Jr, which CB Jay Irvine had decent coverage, but Falk threw it to the perfect spot and Martin won the battle for the ball. The Bottom line is that the Beavers need to get more stops on 3rd and 4th Downs, so they can get their Defense off the field, which has limited depth upfront and in the Secondary. Plus, they would be able to give their Offense more opportunities.

The Offense was much better this week, but they need to do a better job of keeping drives alive. Granted, the Beavers were 8-17 on 3rd Down conversions, but they started the game 0-6 on 3rd Down. Those were missed opportunities for the Beavers because it could have led to more controlled possession of the football, and it could have led to possibly more scoring. Credit the Cougar Defense for coming up with big stops on the Beavers. Washington State was able to bring pressure to Luton on 3rd Down, which forced Luton into some rushed throws. When the Beavers have the ball more than the opponents, they help their own Defense out by giving them more rest.

The Bottom Line is that Jake Luton is Ok.

Jake Luton sent this tweet Saturday night.

His Father also wrote on Instagram.

The good news is that Jake made it back to Corvallis after being released from a Pullman hospital. His playing status this season is yet to be determined. It is looking like Senior QB Darrell Garretson will be the starting QB from this moment forward. I think I can speak for all of Beaver Nation, that our thoughts and prayers are with Jake and his family. We wish him a speedy recovery.