After a promising loss to Ohio State, based on the 31 points scored, Oregon State looks to build going into week 2. This game brings a Southern Utah team that should be a good tune-up for the Beavers. As we learned last year against Portland State, this game can’t be overlooked. Here’s what the Beavers need to do in this game.
Key 1: Define a starting QB
Jake Luton is out with a concussion and Conor Blount looks to have returned to play. It is best for OSU to lock in a starting QB this game. Last week saw three different quarterbacks play. If the Beavers hope to get their offense in rhythm they need a solid QB1 to roll with into Nevada and Pac-12 play.
Key 2: Linebacker play
With a diminished defensive line from last year and an early injury, it is important for this experienced linebacker core to step up. A player like Kee Whetzel needs to create some sort of pass rush for the Beavers as they are down a starting safety and corner this week. They will also need to work on filling holes in the run game so they can pin their ears back on 3rd downs.
Key 3: Build on the success in the run game
Artavis Pierce had a breakout game last week. Amassing 168 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. Their success came on outside zones as they were able to use their athletic tackles to get around the defense. They will need to continue this success to set the tone for the game and open up the pass for their QB1. Pierce should see continued success and a solid second running back should be defined in this game.
These are the three keys to look for against Southern Utah this week. This should be an easy win for the Beavers as they look to roll into Reno with a better identity on both sides of the ball.