PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon State Beavers have had a rough start to the 2020 season, dropping their first two games and struggling on both sides of the ball.
However, the Beavers hope to get their first win of this abbreviated season against the California Bears this Saturday.
Here are six things that need to happen in order for the Beavers to walk away with a win:
Special Teams play
Against the Huskies in Week 2 of the season, the Beavers’ special teams set the tone of the game and gave the Beavers an early jump on the Huskies, which provided them a boost of confidence early in the game. Though they lost the game, the special teams’ play gave the Beavers that initial boost, which is exactly what they are going to have to do against the Cal Bears. Start fast early and set the tone on kick off or kick return and give the Beavers that jump from the start.
Gebbia has to settle in early
Tristan Gebbia has started off slow in both of Oregon State’s games this season. It’s not until later in the second half where Gebbia seems to be comfortable and confident. In a game that the Beavers very well could win, Gebbia is going to have to start out confident, he can not come out slow or the offense won’t be able to consistently move the ball and put points on the board.
Chase Garbers is a seasoned vet at the quarterback position for the Cal Bears. That being said, once he has some pressure in his face, it seems like his decision making declines drastically. This is a great opportunity for the Beavers defense to bring exotic blitz packages and really pressure Garbers in hopes that he makes poor decisions. Hopefully, the Beavers can take him out of his groove and force some turnovers.
Great time for defensive line to make statement
Cal really struggled in their last game against the UCLA Bruins offense totaling just 176 yards of total offense and got nothing going through the air or on the ground. With the Bears’ offense not showing much promise in their last game, this is an opportunity for the struggling Beavers defensive line to gain some confidence and take over the trenches in a game for the first time this season.
Keep running Jefferson until someone can stop
The bright spot of this Oregon State team has been running back Jermar Jefferson. Jefferson has been nearly unstoppable this season and has provided the Beavers with that spark to keep them in games and make them competitive. What the Beavers need to do is continue to let him find his groove and stay in the zone and pick up big-time yards. Do not go away from the run game with Jefferson and feed him until teams show that they can stop him.
Open up the playbook
While the basic handoff to Jermar Jefferson has proven to be very efficient and effective, the Beavers need to get back to what they did last season offensively that had so much success and that was the dynamic play calling. This has been repeated elsewhere, but exotic play calling, misdirection plays, reverses and more are key here. The Beavers really need to bring out this type of play calling like they did last season and get their playmakers the ball in different situations and plays that will keep the Bears defense on their heels.