Three matchups I think will be tough for the Beavers this week

While I feel good about OSU’s chances, there are a few things that OSU is going to need to overcome if they are going to win.  USC is a good team with great athletes, but some aspects of their team are going to be especially tough for the Beavers:

1. USC’s Outside Rush vs. OSU’s Offensive Tackles
Whether it is super star defensive end Leonard WIlliams or an array of talented linebackers and defensive linemen that USC can use to rush the ends, Oregon State is going to have to find answers.  While Gavin Andrews and Sean Harlow are two of the more physically talented linemen the Beavers have, they are going to have to deal with speed and size unlike anything they have seen in the past this year.

2. USC’s Receivers vs. OSU’s Secondary
I consider OSU’s secondary to be very good.  Unfortunately, there is so much size, speed and talent lining up at receiver fir the Trojans, it is going to be a tough road for the Beavs.  Against Fresno State, the Bull Dogs gave the Trojan wide outs so much cushion, it was easy for USC to get modest gains, many of which turned into huge gains after the catch.  Against Boston College and Stanford, their corners and safeties lined up much closer, but still were unable to shut down Nelson Agholor, who seems to get 9 catches no matter who he plays.

For the Beavers, they need to make sure that they are able to stop the short gains, stop the long gains and stop the short gains that turn into long gains.  This is a tough order and will be a big test for this defense.

3. Josh Wilcox vs. Mike Riley
Last year was an anomaly in the Mike Riley versus Steve Sarkesian duel that has gone on for five years now.  While OSU had a few big wins early, each team has ruined the other’s season with unexpected losses that change the course of the other’s season.  2010 saw OSU lose a very winnable game against a UW team that had not finished above .500 for almost a decade.  2011, OSU inexplicably pounded what was to be the break out Husky team while OSU was entrenched in their worst season since the first Riley Era. 2012, a hot and undefeated Beaver team rolled into Clink field to lose a close game and hurt their chances at a BCS bowl game. Last year, was a total blow out.

The one constant the last two years was how well Justin Wilcox defenses did against Oregon State’s offense.  Last year and the year prior, the Beavers were not able to get anything going on offense and had multiple turnovers that cost them important drives. Wilcox teams tend to also be very physical. It will be up to the Beavers’ coaches to not only get their players ready mentally move the ball on USC, but they will also need to be physically ready.

It is a big challenge and I really hope that the Beavers are up to it.  This would be a super huge win for OSU and a great way to start conference play.


4 thoughts on “Three matchups I think will be tough for the Beavers this week

  1. blowcheese

    Good scout but i really think the tale will be told on the offensive side of the ball for the beavs because simply being efficient and getting some first downs here and there with some fgs and maybe a touchdown mixed in will not be enough in my opinion.
    SC was able to move the ball against BC in fits and spurts. When they got it going they looked scary. As tough as the beaver D looked at home against SD State there is a world of difference in talent with them and SC. There is no known reggie bush i can see but the latent talent at the skill positions probably erupts in this game to the tune of three or four tds. Beavs will have to take some chances against Wilcox’s 3-4 even if that means trying to throw deep to a true freshman or even more severe trickeration. SC owns the motivation edge unfortunately and i do not beavs will not win if they just try for a normal balanced attack.

    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      You may be right. There is no way to compare the previous three opponents with USC, at least athletically. I think OSU is going to have to do something that they haven’t done in the past and that is move the ball on a Wilcox led defense. If we can find a way to avoid third and 6’s or more I think OSU will be ok, but I think you are correct that they are going to have to take their shots at times.

      Also, in reading Gina Mizell’s break down of the passing game, she pointed out something that will need work and that is the handling of twist stunts. USC will twist and they will twist with ta Linebacker being the outside rush, so there is a lot to make sure our guys up front are ready for.

  2. blowcheese

    maybe Xavier Hawkins vs. the SC defense is actually a matchup worth mentioning:

    am I just day dreaming or does that kid look ready-made to carve up some pac 12 competition?

    I am seeing FBS caliber route running already and incredible stop and go YAC skills. Can he possibly be a playmaker for the beavs against SC? I think the playbook is probably not his friend at this point but they may have a few packages for him. I REALLY like the way he runs the deep route. He has an extra extra gear that is really sneaky. I may just be dreaming.

    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      I think so, I think that he is one of the most underrated players since the Rodgers brothers that OSU has gotten. I think he will be great addition to the game plan and honestly we can use a lot of guys like this!


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