2. KEYS TO THE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Oregon State Offense
Stop opposing defenses from jumping on the quarterback’s head. The offensive line was okay for a ground game that had a few nice moments, but it got the quarterbacks beaten up.
The Beavers allowed an average of four sacks per game and 48 overall. No one else allowed more than 3.58 per game, and only 11 other lines gave up more than three.
No, really, how bad was it? The 2017 Beavers allowed 18 sacks – the 2018 version gave up 30 more.
Biggest Key To The Oregon State Defense
A stop against someone’s running game would be refreshing. The 2017 Beaver defense struggled against the run, giving up 2,829 yards and 35 scores with teams averaging 5.5 yards per carry. But that was about par for the course, with the D getting consistently gouged from 2015 through 2017.
The 2018 run defense was blasted for 6.8 yards per carry, allowing 3,382 yards and 37 scores.
Southern Utah and Nevada failed to get to 160 rushing yards. Everyone else ran for 200 or more, six teams passed the 300-yard mark, and Arizona destroyed the Beaver run D.
By the way, over the last two seasons, Arizona has run for a combined 930 yards and ten scores.
Key Player To A Successful Season
DT Jordan Whittley, Sr.
No pressure, new guy. Just help fixed the nation’s second-worst defense by sitting on the nose and gumming things up. There’s plenty of size among the front three, but this group has to be more than a doormat.
The 6-2, 320-pound Whittley comes in from the JUCO ranks and had a good spring, but it’s asking way too much for the line to be night-and-day better … unless Whittley is fantastic.
Key Game To The Oregon State Season
Oklahoma State, Aug. 30
How much better are the Beavers? After such an awful season defensively, coming up with a strong performance in the opener against what should be one of the nation’s most powerful offenses would be a big deal.
The program was roasted in the last three season openers – struggling through a 77-31 loss to Ohio State – but they were all on the road. A win by the Beavers would be wonderful, but simply a good showing might just be enough of a confidence boost. An ugly blowout loss might signal more of the same.
– Oregon State Schedule Breakdown & Analysis
2018 Oregon State Fun Stats
– 1st Quarter Scoring: Opponents 144 – Oregon State 62
– Onside Kicks: Oregon State 2-for-3 – Opponents 0-for-1
– Sacks: Opponents 48 for 367 yards – Oregon State 15 for 90 yards