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Game 12 Snap Counts: A Painful End to an Era

Syndication: Statesman Journal Abigail Dollins/Statesman Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

This game had bad vibes building well in advance. Injuries piled up coming into the game that deprived the Beavers of Joshua Gray and Heneli Bloomfield, stalwarts of the offensive line and the biggest strength of the offense. The secondary was without its top cover corner in Jaden Robinson for much of the game, as well as starting safety Akili Arnold.

On top of that, rumors were swirling of Jonathan Smith’s impending departure to Michigan State as kickoff got closer, and it's hard to imagine that was not making its way through the locker room as well.

When the game got going, it was the first time all year the offense truly looked lost. Even against highly capable defenses such as Utah and UCLA the Beavers were able to put up points. But a stagnant run game and some untimely penalties put OSU off-kilter, and the offensive talent of the Ducks was too much to overcome.


Offense

The Ducks forced Oregon State into its most pass-happy game script of the season. Oregon’s two touchdown drives to start the game forced OSU to play catchup early and drop back to pass on 63% of their snaps, the highest of the year. It did not help that the Beavers averaged 2.2 yards per carry in the game, by far the weakest output of the season.

Quarterback: DJ Uiagalelei (61)

Uiagalelei’s outing was a good encapsulation of his season this year. His 220 yards passing were right on his season average, his 54% completion percentage was within 3 points of his 2023 mark. What was different was the lack of success pushing the ball deep. DJU was 0-for-5 with an interception on balls 20 yards or more downfield. He was 7-for-9 for 115 yards on intermediate routes (10-19 yards), which was far better than his 55% completion percentage on those throws over the course of the season, but those routes were either not available or not targeted enough to make up for the lack of explosive plays downfield.

Running Back: Damien Martinez (50), Deshaun Fenwick (8), Isaiah Newell (5), Isaac Hodgins (1)

You have to go back to last year before he became the lead back to find as unproductive an outing as Martinez had on Friday night. His 38 yards were by far a season low and snapped a streak of three 100-yard outings. The Beavers were only able to generate successful plays on 6 of their 22 run attempts, which made it impossible to stick to the balanced attack that has been their best recipe for success this year.

Wide Receiver: Silas Bolden (48), Anthony Gould (36), Jesiah Irish (35), Jimmy Vaslin III (18), Rweha Munyagi Jr. (16), Jeremiah Noga (7), Trent Walker (4)

Bolden and Gould accounted for 22 of Uiagalelei’s 33 targets. Accuracy was an issue, only 10 of those 22 targets turned into receptions and only one miss was a dropped pass. Irish was the only other wideout to see more than a single pass thrown his way in the game, although every receiver who stepped on the field caught at least one ball.

Tight End: Jack Velling (20), Jermaine Terry II (20), Riley Sharp (10)

For the second time this year (and the first full game), Velling was on the receiving end of a single target. Without access to the All-22 footage, it's hard to tell how much of Velling’s lack of production in the last two games has been due to defensive focus vs. the offense funneling elsewhere, but it has been puzzling as to why he hasn't seen more targets as the offense has been looking for answers in the last two games.

Offensive Line: Tanner Miller (61), Taliese Fuaga (61), Jake Levengood (61), Grant Starck (61), Jacob Strand (61)

It is no coincidence that losing two-fifths of the starting offensive line resulted in a tough day running the ball for Oregon State. The Beaver line rarely moved the line of scrimmage on run plays, only 9 of the 60 team rushing yards came before contact. Pass protection was slightly better. Thier 13 pressures allowed were right around the average for the season, but most of those were concentrated towards the end of the game when the Ducks could tee off on the pass rush.

Miller’s false start on 4th and 1 from the Oregon 37 felt like an early momentum shift. Oregon State has been effective all year in short yardage but shifting from that into a passing down (and an incompletion) put the Beavers behind the curve early and they were unable to make up ground.

Defense

The Beaver defense was unable to get off the field in the first half. The Ducks started the game with drives of 15, 8, 12, and 5 plays, three of which ended with touchdowns and one with a missed field goal. The score was 31-7 by the time OSU forced a punt.

Defensive Line: Joe Golden (60), James Rawls (55), Isaac Hodgins (24)

The interior line held up well enough throughout the game. The Beavers got hands on the Oregon running backs early in the play but struggled to bring them down on that spot. Those extra 3-4 yards per play were the difference between 3rd and long and short yardage plays that the Ducks were easily able to pick up and extend drives.

Edge Rusher: Sione Lolohea (52), John McCartan (41), Andrew Chatfield Jr. (39), Cory Stover (24)

Lolohea has spent more time on the field than any other outside linebacker and was the most productive of a quiet group in this game, collecting 4 of the team’s 11 pressures. Unfortunately for Lolohea and the rest of the defense, Bo Nix was clinical when pressured, completing 5 of 7 passes for 101 yards and a TD.

Linebacker: Easton Mascarenas-Arnold (69), Calvin Hart Jr. (57), Melvin Jordan IV (15), Michael Erhart (2)

As referenced earlier the Beaver’s didn't miss many tackles but struggled to bring down the ballcarrier without allowing an extra 4 yards. The bigger issue for the inside backers was the passing game. Bo Nix was 14 for 17 for 190 yards on short and intermediate throws inside the numbers.

Cornerback: Ryan Cooper Jr. (66), Jermod McCoy (46), Andre Jordan Jr. (41), Jaden Robinson (15), Josiah Johnson (10), Noble Thomas (5)

Tons of credit go out to Jaden Robinson, who started the game and tried to give it a go but couldn't hold up. That left the freshman McCoy and Jordan Jr., along with Cooper Jr. to shoulder the pass coverage responsibilities. They did the best they could, but the off coverage being played to limit explosive throws left plenty of room for Nix and his receivers to pick the coverage apart.

The most backbreaking single play in the game was a 41-yard TD pass with 8 seconds left in the half that flipped the game from a one score affair with the Beavers getting the ball back with a chance to tie, to 21-7. Cooper Jr. was in coverage on the play and missed the tackle to keep Franklin in-bounds and limit the Ducks to a field goal.

Safety: Kitan Oladapo (69), Jack Kane (68)

Akili Arnold was unable to go for this game, which put Kane in a full-time role. He missed two tackles but was otherwise effective and frequently in the middle of the action. Much of what was said about the corners can be said about the safeties as well. Each of the safeties had a pass breakup (McCoy was responsible for the only other put together by OSU), but otherwise allowed 6 catches on 7 targets.