Welcome to first 2018 edition of What We Learned. Every week we’ll reflect on highlights from the previous game. Enjoy.
The offense is improved.
The Beavers didn’t cover the spread, but they managed to put up 31 points on the number five team in the nation. Those 31 points would have been the third highest total a year ago, behind the 35 and 33 points against juggernauts (insert sarcasm font) Portland State and Colorado respectively. The 392 yards of total offense would have also been the third highest total a year ago.
Trevon Bradford and Artavis Pierce are weapons.
Bradford had a good day receiving the ball and accounted for both of the Beavers first half touchdowns. He was the only receiver to go for triple digits in receiving yards and also looked good on the fly sweep, running three times for 23 yards.
AP had two huge touchdown runs and flashed his speed as he pulled away from defenders. His touchdown runs of 78 and 80 were the lone offensive bright spots in the second half.
Conor Blount looks like he could be the quarterback this year.
Blount came in for Jake Luton after he went down with an injury just after the team’s first drive. He had some nice throws to Bradford for touchdowns in the first half but was replaced by Jake Coletto in the second half. Blount was 12-for-19 for 169 yards and two touchdowns while Coletto had just one pass completed for two yards.
Defense needs work (of course).
Lack of depth and youth were on display for the defense. Three true freshman (Isaiah Tufanga, John McCartan, and Matthew Tago) rotated in at linebacker, and one more (Isaac Hodgins) played on the defensive line. They were also missing key players in the secondary in David Morris and Jay Irvine. Even considering the injuries, the 77 points and over 700+ yards (yikes!) allowed were not pretty.
We need to get healthy.
Notable players were already hurt going into this game (Morris, Irvine, Noah Togiai, Jeremy Reichner), and so one of the goals for the Ohio State was to avoid piling onto that list. Unfortunately, Luton had to leave after the first offensive drive and defensive end Isaac Garcia was hurt in the third quarter and did not return. Shawn Wilson, Isaiah Tufunga and Andrzej Hughes-Murray were helped off the field at points in the game, but did return to the game later.
Here’s to better highlights next week after the Beavers take on Southern Utah!