A bit of time has passed since the Beavers’ 26-7 season-opening victory, so I’ll get to the point. I wanted to highlight numbers from the game that stood out to me, good and bad. Here goes nothing.
What I loved
0… That’s the number of points the OSU defense allowed (Weber State’s points came off an interception returned for touchdown). I don’t care if it was Weber State, it was an impressive feat for unit that’s playing in a new scheme. The way the defense swarmed to the ball and made clean tackles reminded me of the Erickson days.
0-13… Speaking of defense, that was Weber State’s conversion rate on third down. How many times during recent seasons did it seem that the Beavers got burned on third down? And it didn’t matter if it was short or long. So it was super refreshing to see the defense stand up and hold tough on third down.
281… It was great to see the Beavers rush for that many yards. It can be argued the past few seasons, they didn’t commit to running the ball enough, even though Storm Barr-Woods and Terron Ward not only churned out more than solid YPCs, but big plays here and there. And of course, QB Seth Collins led the way with 152 of those yards.
3-3… In the red zone. Coach Andersen and offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin have made no bones about it that they want the Beavers to convert inside the 20, by any means necessary. So far, so good. Points could be tough to come by this year, so it was nice to see OSU convert.
4-4… Garrett Owens was money against Weber State, converting all four of his FG attempts. Even more impressive was that three of them were 35+ yards, including a 45-yarder. After a yo-yo of freshman season that saw him split time with Trevor Romaine, the Beavers need the sophomore to step up, and his first performance was a great start.
3.3… Back to defense (what can I say, I was pleased), that’s how many yards per play that the Wildcats averaged against OSU. They didn’t have any big plays, or gains off silly busted plays — which all too often victimized the Beavers in recent seasons. That really prevented their offense from getting any momentum, much less settling into a rhythm.
What I disliked
22… This isn’t your father’s Beavers anymore. Long gone are the days of 40+ passes per game. And it was clear that the Beavers will be more of a running team this season, But still, I was shocked they went to the air so few times. It makes me worry how Seth Collins and Co. will fare when they can’t move the ball on the ground as well.
4… I was extremely disappointed that Marcus McMaryion didn’t get more reps. Yes, he threw an interception, but it wasn’t really his fault. He was backed up to his own 6-yard line and the play call didn’t do him any favors, either. McMaryion deserved another chance, and to throw more than just four passes. Hard to show what you can do, when you don’t get many chances.
0… That’s how many catches senior tight end Caleb Smith had against Weber State. But don’t blame it on him, he was barely even looked at. And that’s a shame, because his size, speed, and athleticism can make him a huge playmaker. In fact, Kellen Clute was the only TE to haul in a pass and unfortunately, it was for no gain.
12… Yards was the longest run by an OSU ballcarrier not named Seth Collins. While Storm-Barr-Woods and Chris Brown averaged a respectable 4.2 and 3.9 YPC respectively, they weren’t able to break away for big plays, and that was surprising to see against a FCS school such as Weber State. Is it an indicator that the OSU offensive line might have a ways to go?
5… That’s the average yards per pass attempt for the Beavers. I’m a fan of putting players in position to get a lot yards after the catch, but it would be nice to see that number increase as the season goes on. As the Beavers face stronger defenses, the offense is going to have to stretch the field somewhat.
As you can probably tell, I have some concerns about the OSU offense. And I won’t sugarcoat it, it could struggle this season. But the good thing is I think the defense will be much improved. Of course, this weekend will tell us quite a bit more about this team.
What stats from the Weber State game jumped out to you? (RW)