Welcome to the 2019 rendition of What We Learned. After each game, we’ll look back and highlight some takeaways. In week one, the Oregon State Beavers lost at home to another OSU that dons the Orange and Black, 36-52. Let’s see what we learned.
The defense is still... well... bad
The defense gave up 52 points the Cowboys, well above last year’s average of 45.7, obviously not good. I guess if you compare it to last year’s opener at Ohio State where the Beavers gave up 77, then there’s some improvement? Oklahoma State is typically known for offensive firepower, but they were starting a freshman quarterback in Spencer Sanders, and the Beavers let him be quite efficient in his first start. Sanders was 19-of-24 for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns while also rushing over 100 yards.
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. We saw Beaver defenders in the opposing backfield what seemed like quite a bit. The defense tallied nine tackles for a loss and should have had more. They had just 53 last year.
The transfers are already making an impact
Specifically Addison Gumbs and Tyjon Lindsey. Gumbs appeared to be a force in the first half, regularly making his way into the backfield, and collecting two off those aforementioned TFLs. Lindsey caught eight receptions, including a touchdown seconds before halftime to pull the Beavers within two scores. Avery Roberts and Jordan Whittley were heavy in the rotation among their respective position groups.
More records will fall
For opposing running backs, that is. Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard ran for a career high 221 yards to go along with three touchdowns. Fortunately, Hubbard did not set an Oklahoma State single game rushing record, otherwise the Beavers would have given up more than 332 yards to break Barry Sanders rushing record. Watching Hubbard run wild reminded me too much of how last year’s defense would give up career performances to opposing running backs what seemed like every week.
Isaiah Hodgins needs the ball thrown his way a lot
Hodgins caught a game high nine passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. On the Beavers’ first series after halftime, Hodgins caught passes of 42 and 20 yards back to back, then finished the drive with a nine yard touchdown catch. We need to see more of that. Quarterback Jake Luton and Hodgins have developed quite a chemistry on the field, and Luton will need to capitalize on that to keep this offense going (and keep his starting position).
The talk of Luton becoming more mobile came true
Luton surprisingly looked more mobile in a performance were we saw him get sacked just once, with zero interceptions. When pressured, we saw him allude would be tacklers and smartly get rid of the ball or tuck it and run. However, he was playing against a starting defensive line that had zero starts, so we’ll see how he (and the offensive line) holds up against more experienced opponents.