The Oregon State football team dropped a high-scoring contest against Oklahoma State late on Friday night. There were a lot of positives, but mostly more of the same was seen on the defensive side of the ball. Let’s dive into it.
In the first game of the season Jake Luton took a majority of the snaps (minus the final drive of the game). Both quarterbacks looked sharp and capable of leading the offense. They also showed off a bit of mobility to keep the chains moving which certainly helps the offense stay on the field. Also, Jake Luton’s throw on the move to Hodgins (below) to keep an early drive alive was awesome!
Jake Luton with a solid side arm shot that kept the drive alive. The drive ultimately stalled out resulting in a FG. Still Oregon St has put up 10 points in their first 2 drives. Keep it coming Beavers! pic.twitter.com/Y87gAk4oQv— Nick Faber (@NickFaberNFL) August 31, 2019
Running Backs: C+
Jermar Jefferson looked like he was in for a big night after the first drive (2 carries, 23 yards); but was largely stymied for the remainder of the night finishing with 87 yards. Artavis Pierce had a nice game tallying 76 yards on ten touches (8 carries, 2 receptions). Also, BJ Baylor found his way onto the field and seemed capable.
Wide Receivers: A+
The best position group of the night helped carry the Oregon State offense. It was the Isaiah Hodgins and Tyjon Lindsey show as the duo accounted for 17 receptions and 3 TDs on the night. Jake Luton obviously has a strong connection with Hodgins and when both guys are healthy its a tough combination to stop. Kolby Taylor, Noah Togiai, Champ Flemings and Artavis Pierce also got involved in the receiving game.
Standout of the Week: Isaiah Hodgins (9 catches... 170 yds... 2 TDs). What else is there to say? He was phenomenal. Check out the play below, just his presence on the slant route lead to Oklahoma State and an easy touchdown for Lindsey.
Our second 14-play drive ends in a 1-yard score by Tyjon Lindsey. We went 75 yards out to end the half.— Oregon State Football News (@BeaverFBNews) August 31, 2019
Two-point conversion is no good and we trail 31-16 with 3 seconds left in the half. #GoBeavs pic.twitter.com/UUXacSxLZm
Offensive Line: B
Oregon State’s offense line didn’t dominate the inexperienced Cowboy defensive line, but they more than held their own. They allowed just one sack on the night which is a huge improvement from 2018. Also despite a position battle at center between Nous Keobounannmn and Nathan Eldridge (Nous started) there didn’t seem to be problems with the center/QB exchange. False starts were kept to a minimum and overall the offensive line exceeded my expectations. The only knock on the O-Line was their inability to create more running room for Jermar Jefferson and company.
Defensive Line: C
This grade might be a bit too generous, but given the expectations for the defensive line I didn’t think they played too bad. Elu Aydon, LaMone Williams, Isaac Hodgins and others all had some decent moments. The defensive line didn’t live in Oklahoma State’s backfield, but they weren’t automatically pushed back five yards which was something that happened a lot in 2018.
There were a lot of missed opportunities and poor pursuit angles from the linebacking corps on Friday night. There were some bright spots and the defense did generate 9 TFL (1 sack), but overall the linebackers left a lot to be desired. The deepest and presumably most talented defensive position group too often was easily blocked or out of position as Chuba Hubbard racked up a career-high 221 yards and 3 TDs.
Standout of the week: OLB Omar Speights. The true freshman didn’t look out of place at all in his first collegiate football game. Honorable mention to Addison Gumbs who looked disruptive early.
Oklahoma State is a very good offense and Tylan Wallace is one of the best receivers in the nation, but the secondary did not look great last night. I was hoping they could capitalize on facing a redshirt freshman quarterback, but Spencer Sanders torched the Beavers with his arm and legs. The secondary committed a number of pass interference penalties and when they were in decent position they couldn’t quite get their heads around to make a play on a deep pass.
Standout of the week: Shawn Wilson (12 tackles, 1.5 TFL). The senior safety stepped up in Jalen Moore’s absence and was making tackles all over the field.
Special Teams: A
The Beavers didn’t have any issues in the third phase of the game. Daniel Rodriguez had some great punts (47.8 yard average). Champ Flemings and Jesiah Irish made the most of their kick return opportunities and no costly mistakes were made.
Standout of the week: Jordan Choukair! The ridiculed senior kicker was 4-for-4 on the night (3 XPs, 1 FG). He wasn’t asked to do too much and the coaching staff oddly decided to go for two just before half, but Choukair showed no signs of lacking in confidence. Great start for the senior kicker.
Oregon State hung around with one of the top offensive teams in the nation for the first 20 minutes of game time. The Beavers will need to figure out how to get Jermar Jefferson clicking like he was last season and obviously they still need to find a way to stop opposing rushing attacks. Despite having one game in the books I’m not sure Oregon State fans learned too much more about this team. Oklahoma State is a superior football team at this point in time. Next weeks contest against Hawaii should be one of the best tests of the 2019 season.