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Grading the Game: Oregon State Beavers

The defense dominated, and the offense was...well, you know.

NCAA Football: Washington at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback: C-

Not the best game for #10. In fact, one of his worst when you consider the kinds of numbers Oregon State had been surrendering. He was very aggressive pushing the ball downfield, and at least a couple of those contested throws could have been caught by Husky receivers. While he didn’t get much help from his receivers, he threw a pick-6 for the second week in a row and didn’t take the easy yards when they were there. He completed exactly 50% of his passes for just 5.5 yards per attempt. If the defense hadn’t played a simply lights out game, that pick-6 may have been the difference.

Running Back: B

Salvon Ahmed was the one part of Washington’s offense that was working against Oregon State. He scored both Washington touchdowns including an electric 60 yard burst in the 3rd quarter to give the Huskies some breathing room. Even without that run he was efficient, still gaining over 100 yards and a TD. Richard Newton was a pleasant surprise too. The redshirt freshman has been out since injuring his foot against Stanford and got 54 hard earned yards on his 17 carries. It was a pretty quiet night for him in his first game back but it was nice to see him healthy.

Wide Receiver: D

Thanks to charting done by our very own Max Vrooman, the offense had 3+ tight ends on the field for 30 snaps. Part of that is due to the improving health of Jacob Kizer, but it’s also clear the coaches wanted to be physical with Oregon State. This means less opportunities for the wide receivers, but with 32 pass attempts, this group has to produce more. Aaron Fuller and Terrell Bynum were the only wide receivers to even catch a pass and combined they managed a paltry 56 yards. Bynum also dropped a 3rd and 6 that would have given Washington a first down inside the Oregon State 20. Andre Baccellia had an opportunity at a touchdown but couldn’t haul in the bobbled pass. Jordan Chin also had his chance at a contested ball for an explosive play, but couldn’t come down with it. The pass ultimately was intercepted. Aaron Fuller also took a TD off the board with his block in the back on Hunter Bryant’s explosive catch and run up the seam. The Huskies still managed to score but in game like this where the offense isn’t working, you can’t take points off the board like that.

Tight End: C+

As usual, Cade Otton and Hunter Bryant were the most consistent pass catching threats for Washington. Their games were essentially smaller scale versions of what they’ve done most of the season. Otton caught everything throw at him, mostly short and intermediate stuff. Meanwhile Bryant, lead the team in catches (5) and yards (90) and would have had a TD if not for a penalty. But like the rest of the pass catches, suffered a 3rd down drop that killed a drive.

Offensive Line: B

Eason didn’t take a sack, and there were only four tackles for loss allowed. If there’s one thing Oregon State’s defense does pretty well, it is make tackles for loss, so all in all a good effort. The team rushed for 5.1 yards per carry, and they give Ahmed the room he needed to bust the game sealing touchdown run.

Defensive Line: A

One-point-four yards per carry. Against a strong offensive line and as good of a 1-2 running back punch as you’ll find in the Pac-12, the defensive line helped limit them to 31 total yards and 1.4 yards per carry. Levi Onwuzurike was slippery and was involved every time Beaver’s QB Jake Luton was harassed or sacked. Tuli Letuligasenoa and Taki Taimani continue to grow and play better and better. Against an extremely balanced offense, the defensive line had to remain disciplined while also harassing Jake Luton and getting into his face. They did both of those things.

Linebackers: A

Joe Tryon looked like a full-on creature on Friday night. He’s come a long way since the Cal game and finished with 4.5 tackles for loss including 2 sacks. But his most impressive play might have been his recognition and open field tackle on an Oregon State RB on a 4th and 2. Early in the season he might have missed the Beaver running back slipping out of the backfield, but this time he diagnosed and made the play. Edefuan Ulofoshio had arguably the best game of any middle linebacker by Washington this season. He plays with a relentless energy and motor, and does not hesitate to fill the gap on run plays. He had 9 total tackles go with 1.5 sacks. In fact he was just awarded Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Tryon was given Defensive Lineman of the Week.

Ryan Bowman was solid as well, and Jackson Sirmon looked better in his most extensive playing time. Brandon Wellington seemingly suffered a head injury early and didn’t return to the game, while Kyler Manu continues to see his play time dwindle and he didn’t record a statistic. Without those seniors, the linebacking corps did an excellent job and were constantly in Jake Luton’s face.

Secondary: A

Like the defensive line and linebackers, the numbers are so dominant it’s hard to give this unit anything but high marks. Jake Luton finished with a QBR of just 8.5. I honestly didn’t think those ratings even reached single digits. He only completed 19 passes for 88 yards, and threw just his second interception of the season. They also held one of the best WR in the country, Isaiah Hodgins to 4 catches for 33 yards, most of which came on one play. In the second half, Oregon State had just 8 total yards and ZERO first downs. Champ Flemmings can be tricky to deal with sometimes but the DBs did not let anyone get going. Keith Taylor was noticeably better tackling in the open field than he’s been all season, while Elijah Molden seemed to return to form. Trent McDuffie’s play continues to belie his experience, as he had an excellent pass break up while covering Hodgins.

Special Teams: B-

It was bound to happen eventually: Peyton Henry missing a field goal. Despite hitting from 47 yards, he missed two shorter attempts that in a closer game like this could have mattered. Overall he was 2/4 - not really a knock on him as he’s had an excellent season so far and was bound miss eventually.

Coaching: C

This one is hard to grade because of the nature of the game. The C grade is essentially an A for the defensive coaches, and D/F for the offense. So roughly a C average. There isn’t much to say about the defensive side because it’s hard to point out anything that didn’t go perfectly. The secondary lost Hodgins on one play for 21 yards. There were maybe one or two other plays on offense Oregon State can be proud of. Other than that, the Husky defense smothered them. The Beavers were no slouches on offense either, but the Dawgs had an answer for everything. Hopefully it is a sign of a young and inexperienced defense growing up and learning to finish games.

On offense, after seemingly taking some steps forward, they fell completely flat against a defense that was not offering much resistance up until then. The run game was decent but the pass game again looked completely broken. Eason no doubt needs to make better decisions, but the coaches need to provide more options for him, and shake things up offensively. They were calling a lot of deep shots off of hard play action, but Eason and the receivers weren’t connecting downfield. Adjustments needed to be made, and weren’t.