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Opponent Offense Preview: Oregon State Beavers

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How badly do you want Jonathan Smith back now?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Oregon State at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Oregon State might just have the best offense in the conference right now. Jonathan Smith has slowly raised the talent level each year in Corvallis and has his offense running like a well oiled machine. After sputtering against Purdue in their first game, this team has scored 42, 45, and 42 points in each successive game. Sputter, by the way, means three touchdowns on the road against a Big 10 team. I wish Washington’s offense could sputter.

Similar to his days as the Washington OC, he likes utilizing the tight ends and a power run game. In fact, the TE duo of Teagan Quitoriano and Luke Musgrave are on the field for more snaps than any player on offense save the OL and QB. But, in true Smith fashion, you’ll see a wide variety of formations and plays designed to create mismatches and get players open.

Giving the JUCO QB a Chance

Chance Nolan was the #1 JUCO quarterback prospect in the class of 2020 and had an immediate impact for Oregon State. He literally scored the game winning touchdown last year against Oregon in his first ever play at the Division I level.

This season, he’s ESPN’s second highest rated quarterback in the country and has terrific numbers after just four games: 847 yards (okay I guess), 9 TDs, 72% completion, and just two interceptions. He has also only be sacked twice and not surprisingly is the team’s highest rated player on PFF. He won’t wow you with his arm, but this offense puts players in a position to succeed, wide receivers are schemed open, and Nolan excels at getting rid of the ball on time.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Oregon State at USC Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

He has been excellent spreading the ball around this year. His main target has been Trevon Bradford, who is the versatile and utility player of the wide receiver group. He’s consistent and solid in all facets of his game, and excels in the timing of the Oregon State offense. He’s currently leading the team in receptions with twelve. Just behind him with ten catches on the year is Tyjon Lindsey. The former top-50 recruit was having a quiet season until he torched USC for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn’t fully lived up to his game breaking ability but the 5-9 playmaker is Oregon State’s second highest rated player per PFF at 88.4. He is their most explosive outside threat right now.

Baylor Powering the Ground Game

Senior B.J. Baylor had to wait in the wings behind Jermar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce, but he’s finally gotten his opportunity and has run with it. He is not the shiftiest back, but he gets upfield and runs behinds his pads. He hits the hole hard and will lower his shoulder on any defenders in his way. He’s similar to former Husky tailback Dwayne Washington in that he’s a one-cut-and-go type of runner. Oregon State is #19 in the country in rush yards per game at 218 and he powers an efficient Beaver run game to over five yards per carry.

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Then, there is the TE duo of Teagan Quitoriano and Luke Musgrave. They are on the field a ton and Quitoriano in particular has improved as a pass catcher. He’s second on the team with two receiving touchdowns and the third highest rated TE in the conference on PFF. If you’re wondering about Tre’shaun Harrison’s impact after transferring from Florida State, he plays about 15 snaps per game in mostly a gadget role and has 110 yards on the year. Finally, Jack Colletto deserves a mention. He’s a rotational player at linebacker but subs in as the Beaver’s wildcat quarterback. He gets his opportunities around the goal line and usually pounds the ball in, with three touchdowns on the season.

The offensive line is strong as well as tackles Brandon Kipper and Joshua Grey are placed fourth and seventh respectively in the Pac-12 ranking for offensive tackles on PFF.

Final Thoughts

Disrupt the quarterback, win the game. Chance Nolan can actually get moving pretty quickly in a straight line but isn’t exactly a dynamic runner. If he’s forced to make throws on the move that will frustrate this Oregon State offense. Disrupting the quarterback is always a winning recipe on defense but this offense thrives on timing, anticipation, and team work more than simply letting athletes do their thing. The secondary will need to play physical while also using the blitz sparingly.

But, Oregon State’s pass game vs. Washington’s secondary is a strength on strength match up. Where UW could be exploited is in the run game, where they have struggled all season. Perhaps they turned the corner in that department in the Cal game, where they held running backs to under 100 yards. Oregon State presents an entirely different challenge, and having a fully healthy Edefuan Ulofoshio and Trent McDuffie would do wonders.

Poll

How many points will Oregon State score?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    0-7
    (1 vote)
  • 1%
    8-15
    (4 votes)
  • 18%
    16-22
    (60 votes)
  • 36%
    23-29
    (119 votes)
  • 44%
    30 or more
    (145 votes)
329 votes total Vote Now