After a rough game in Pullman, the Beavers used Saturday night to stretch their winning streak back to three games, two of them over top 25 opponents. The Oregon State secondary and home crowd came out firing against Dante Moore and the Bruin offense and built a 13 point halftime lead they would hold onto through an occasionally sluggish second half. OSU now goes into the bye week with a chance to recover from injuries both large (all 294 pounds of center Jake Levengood missed this game) and small (numerous key starters on defense missed plays throughout the second half).
The Oregon State offense played their game at the tempo they wanted to in the first half, and going into halftime they had run 31 plays to UCLA’s 39. The Bruins loaded up to stop the run in the 2nd half, which left opportunities that OSU took advantage of. That quick strike offense combined with untimely Beaver penalties resulted in a discrepancy in possession where UCLA was able to run 44 offensive plays to Oregon State’s 23, despite picking up 1 net point in the 2nd half (the 2nd half score was 14-13 in the Bruins favor).
Quarterback: DJ Uiagalelei (55), Adian Chiles (4)
His final completion percentage was not as pretty, but DJU looked comfortable for the 2nd straight week. He hit some long gains, including long TDs to Bolden and Velling on back to back drives in the 2nd half when UCLA was keying on the run. Utah and UCLA are the toughest defenses the Beavers will face all year and DJU has looked better as the season has gone on.
Chiles starting field position in his three Pac-12 drives: OSU 28, Opponent 26, Opponent 21. It’s an ideal way to start off your conference career, and to his credit he has thrown two TDs on those short field opportunities. Chiles’ redshirt is now burned, and he will use up a year of eligibility in 2023, which is a strong indication he is the starter in waiting for 2024.
Running Back: Damien Martinez (38), Deshaun Fenwick (20), Isaac Hodgins (9), Isaiah Newell (1)
Neither back had a carry longer than 15 yards, but both averaged around 6 yards per carry, which sums up the day. The combined rushing line of 24 carries, 142 yards (5.9 YPC) was well earned by both the backs and the offensive line.
Wide Receiver: Silas Bolden (49), Anthony Gould (43), Jesiah Irish (27), Rweha Munyagi Jr. (15), Jimmy Vaslin III (9), Jeremiah Noga (1), Trent Walker (1)
Bolden, Gould, and Jack Velling had 21 of 24 targets in the game. Outside of them, only Rweha Munyagi Jr. had a catch, one for 25 yards in the 1st quarter. 12 of the Beavers 16 catches went for either a first down or a touchdown, which helped the Beavers to 0.49 expected points added per dropback, a outstanding overall performance.
Tight End: Jack Velling (46), Jermaine Terry II (31), Riley Sharp (5)
Two weeks ago Jack Velling had 9 catches for 102 yards with only 2 touchdowns through 4 games of the season. He had been getting the targets (~5 per game), but the production wasn't there. Since then, Velling has caught 7 passes, 5 of them for TDs and another a leaping grab of a terrifying across-the-body/across-the-field throw by DJU. Velling now leads the nation’s tight ends in touchdown catches with 7 and is the counterweight to the speed and shiftiness of Bolden and Gould.
As the blocking tight end in the Beaver offense, Jermaine Terry II’s name doesn't tend to come up in broadcasts unless something goes wrong. Unfortunately for him and the Beavers effort to milk the clock in the 2nd half, Terry II had penalties on consecutive drives in trying to shut the game down. Had a hold and a false start on 2 separate drives in the 4th quarter that stalled OSU’s efforts to end the game and forced punts. The defense kept the game in hand, but those are something Terry and the Beavers will look to erase going forward.
Offensive Line: Tanner Miller (59), Joshua Gray (59), Heneli Bloomfield (59), Taliese Fuaga (59), Grant Starck (59)
Tanner Miller started at center in place of the injured Jake Levengood and Grant Starck took Miller’s place at RG. Fuaga was healthy enough to start, play the entire game, and pick up Pac-12 Offensive Linemen of the Week honors for his troubles. Fuaga and Gray held star edge rusher Laiatu Latu to a single pressure in the game (a sack allowed by Gray after UCLA showed blitz then bailed out into a three man rush). This is the third straight week a Beaver lineman has won Offensive Lineman of the week (Miller & Gray won the last 2) and the 4th time all season (Gray also won in week 3).
It was clear going into the game that Chip Kelly and the UCLA offense would be up-tempo, and it did indeed result in 87 snaps played by the defense, 19 more than their previous season high. That led to more rotations, particularly on the interior defensive line and the secondary.
Defensive Line: James Rawls (64), Joe Golden (56), Isaac Hodgins (36), Takari Hickle (19), Semisi Saluni (18)
An Isaac Hodgins QB pressure led to Andrew Chatfield’s interception in the 1st quarter. It was the 2nd of the game for Moore, who was rattled for most of the rest of the game taking the passing game away from Chip Kelly and the Bruins as they tried to come back from 2 scores down.
Chat takes it back‼️ pic.twitter.com/XeUgynCD8r— Oregon State Football (@BeaverFootball) October 15, 2023
As part of countering the quantity of plays UCLA racked up, Trent Bray and the defense dipped more into D-line depth than any other competitive game this season. Hickle and Saluni both had the highest snap counts they have seen this year in conference play (and highest overall outside of the UC Davis game). The pair missed 3 tackles between them according to PFF, but the experience is valuable going forward considering the collection of redshirt seniors ahead of them on the depth chart.
Edge Rusher: Sione Lolohea (68), Andrew Chatfield (44), John McCartan (43)
Sione Lolohea named Pac-12 Defensive Linemen of the Week, completing a sweep of lineman awards for the Beavers in week 7. He recorded 10 tackles, the first Beaver lineman since Scott Crichton in 2011 to reach that number according to the Pac-12.
His interception was the first of Chatfield’s college career. It highlighted a solid day for the edge rusher, who also notched 3 pressures and 2 tackles.
Linebacker: Easton Mascarenas-Arnold (87), Calvin Hart Jr. (81)
Backup UCLA QB Collin Schlee made life miserable for Oregon State. He picked up 80 yards on 6 carries, and his injury in the 2nd half took the life out of the UCLA comeback. RB Carson Steele added another 110 yards on 22 carries and as a team UCLA picked up 6.68 yards per rush. That’s not all on the linebackers, but is something the Beavers will need to focus on during the bye week.
Hart Jr. hurt in 2nd half, but returned to pick up two sacks in the final 6 minutes of the game to close things out.
Cornerback: Jaden Robinson (87), Ryan Cooper Jr. (57), Noble Thomas (48), Jermod McCoy (45), Harlem Howard (1)
The Beavers were on their heels in the 2nd quarter. They had allowed a Deshaun Fenwick fumble to turn into points, then had to settle for a FG after having 1st and 10 from the UCLA 8 for a 16-10 lead. UCLA back in Beaver territory when Cooper Jr. jumped a comeback route on the sideline and took it back 67 yards for a touchdown. That turned what could have been a 17-16 deficit into a 23-10 lead and it was never a one score game after that. For that along with a solid game in coverage, Cooper Jr. was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Jaden Robinson was back in the lineup and played every snap. Josiah Johnson was relegated back to the bench, while Jermod McCoy and Noble Thomas each saw significant work in the game. Cooper Jr. went down with injuries a couple times in the second half, and it will be a welcome bye week for this whole unit.
Safety: Kitan Oladapo (87), Akili Arnold (86), Jack Kane (24), Alton Julian (6)
Arnold had a pass breakup and an interception on back-to-back plays in the first drive of the game, then blew up a screen play on the 1st play of the 2nd drive. That set the tone for Oregon State’s pass defense throughout the game. Oladapo missed an uncharacteristic 3 tackles in the game, but did not allow a catch the two times he was targeted.
Jack Kane laid a massive hit to break up a pass at the Oregon State 5 yard line mid-way through the 4th quarter. That was followed up with a 2 yard QB scramble, a timeout, two false starts, and a sack to end the last scoring threat UCLA could come up with. His 24 snaps were Kane’s highest of the year outside of the UC Davis game, and it is now two weeks in a row he has been in the secondary rotation.
Its impossible to end this recap without mentioning that the Beavers are now bowl eligible for the third year in a row, after a stretch of 7 years without. The team’s sights are set far higher, but that wont stop me from posting a video of the team bowling in the locker room.