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What We Learned Versus Washington State

We only allowed 100 yards rushing!

NCAA Football: Washington State at Oregon State Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to week six of What We Learned. The Oregon State Beavers fought tough against the Washington State Cougars for three-plus quarters, but ultimately fell 56 to 37. Let’s look at some takeaways from this game.

This team is fun to watch move the ball

The Beavers pulled from its bag of tricks and made some great plays. One of the more memorable ones was this kickoff play were Champ Flemings camouflaged himself with the black part of the end-zone, only to pop up and receive an across the field lateral from Kase Rogers. This led to probably the best return of the year so far as Flemings crossed midfield. What should not go unappreciated about this play is the great throw by Rogers to make that play happen.

Later on the Beavers pulled of a well executed wide receiver reverse by Trevon Bradford that went 56 yards. This offense has been productive with the lack of predictability and the variety of weapons to its disposal.

Tackling is still woeful

Though marginally better, the defense whiffed too many times in key moments. There were moments (like the third down in the above video) where the defense could make a crucial stop, but couldn’t execute. Tackling was a focus for the defense in practice last week, and I think it’s safe to say that it will continue to be during the next.

We’re about to have a 1000 yard rusher for the first time in a long time

You’ll have to go back in time nearly a decade to find the last Oregon State running back to rush for 1000 yards (Jacquizz Rodgers, 1184 yards in 2010). The blocking provided by the offensive line and the wide receivers combined with Jermar Jefferson’s unique blend of strength and elusiveness nearly guarantees that the Beavers will have their first 1000 yard rusher in eight years.

Timmy Hernandez is a magician

I swear Timmy Hernandez is magician or a cheater. Can someone in the locker room check to see if he’s got a can of “stickum” hidden somewhere. He caught a 46 yard bomb (above) from Conor Blount in the fourth quarter to add to the growing list of explosive plays from the Oregon State offense. What was more impressive was the turnaround snatch on a fourth down play that the following GIF does not do justice for.

Next week’s match-up against B-Y-E comes at a good time

As it’s been pointed out several times in this series, injuries have been significant for this team. Both starting quarterbacks are nursing injuries and could use the extra healing time, while Artavis Pierce will get some more practice reps before the next game. The Beavers have relied heavily on Jefferson, so he will get a much needed break from his workload. The defense may be looking forward to getting a key piece in safety David Morris as well.