The Beavers came out firing on all cylinders Saturday night. Conor Blount got the start, despite Jake Luton being cleared to play by team doctors. The Beavers racked up offensive yards with Blount behind center and jetted out to a 38-0 lead before Southern Utah got on the board.
The worst news from the first half was the injury to Artavis Pierce after a beautiful run on his part. Jermar Jefferson picked up the slack with Pierce out of the game in a HUGE WAY. He ended the night with 238 yards and 4 touchdown runs! His performance was highlighted by this beauty of a touchdown run.
Jermar Jefferson's third TD run of the game is just an absolute thing of beauty.— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) September 9, 2018
Another #SCTop10 play.#GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/0JuPoeHw2c
Also Trevon Bradford had this amazing touchdown grab, but injured his shoulder on the play.
WHAT. A. PLAY!#SCTop10 TD catch by Bradford. You see us @SportsCenter?#GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/IH5fHFvo1N— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) September 9, 2018
The Beavers went to the half up 41-7. They had racked up 454 yards of offense in the first half. Jake Luton started the 2nd half for Oregon State and the offense mostly stalled. At the same time the Thunderbirds began to realize that Oregon State struggles to generate any sort of pass-rush and began to take advantage. The second half was rather frustrating for Beaver fans.
Oregon State offense only 45 yards offense in second half (12:04 left in game) after a 454-yard first-half outpouring.— nick daschel (@nickdaschel) September 9, 2018
Jermar Jefferson lost a fumble in the 4th, but more than atoned for it with some strong running on his fourth and final touchdown run of the night. If Pierce is out for any amount of time the Beavers will be confident in Jefferson’s ability to get it done on the ground.
Conor Blount established himself as the starting quarterback moving forward. Luton has a great arm and when he is in rhythm the offense really hums along, but Blount’s versatility with his legs and ability to keep the offense moving when plays breakdown is vital. He was very good tonight and I’d expect Blount to be the Beavers unquestioned starter moving forward.
Injuries, injuries, injuries... Artavis Pierce’s looked like the most serious injury of the day, but a lot of Oregon State players were also shaken up. The defense in particular cannot afford any more injuries. They looked inexperienced and struggled to provide pressure on SUU’s quarterback. The eventual returns of David Morris, Jay Irvine, Jeromy Reichner and Omar Hicks-Onu will hopefully boost a defense that has struggled through two games. Pierce, Trevon Bradford, Kaleb Hayes, Jalen Moore, Dwayne Williams and probably a few others were shaken up at various points of the game. Many of those players returned to the game, but injuries have been an unfortunate storyline early in the season.
Oregon State wasn’t perfect tonight and there’s things to improve on both sides of the ball, but all-in-all they walked away with a comfortable victory against an opponent they should beat. This is in stark contrast to last season’s game against Portland State where they were outplayed for the most part, but were able to squeak out a home victory. The Beavers will head to Reno next weekend to take on Nevada and wrap up they non-conference schedule.