PORTLAND (KOIN) – After coming off their first road win of the year, the momentum for the Beavers stopped dead in its tracks with a 52-7 blowout loss to the Utah Utes. Here are the main takeaways from this defeat.
1. Offense went cold early
The Beavers offense has been raved about all season even by myself. Luton, Hodgins, and Pierce have been on a tear these past couple games getting the offense rolling on all cylinders. In this match up with the Utes, the Beavers never found their rhythm. A handful of plays would happen that resulted in positive yards, then something would always happen which stopped the drive whether that be penalties, lack of execution or confusion. The Beavers just never got it going.
2. Tackling was horrible
Saturday’s game was easily the worst performance by the defense this season. The biggest thing that stood out in this game was the lack of tackling. The Beavers had Utah’s ball carriers stopped behind the line or stopped to minimum gains but, they did not wrap the ball carrier up and it resulted in yards after contact. The Beavers first made contact with Utah’s running back Zack Moss behind the line but he broke the tackles and it resulted in a 91-yard touchdown run. The Beavers must improve in this area because it has been a problem for the last three seasons.
3. First and second down plays had no success
The Beavers at one point were just one for 11 on third-down conversions, but the reasoning is because of the lack of success on first and second down. It did not matter if it was a run play or pass, the Beavers would gain almost no positive yards on first or second down which would result in third and longs. From there, this made it easy for Utah because the Beavers had to pass the ball and they knew it was coming and consistently stopped it.
4. Defensive backs look lack confidence
A group that on paper was loaded with veterans and playmakers has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season. The Beavers defensive backs have yet to show a full game of not only knowing their assignment but show the confidence that they can win their one on one battles with receivers. The Beavers defensive backs were beaten deep multiple times and just seem to be lacking that playmaking ability right now whether that be knocking a pass down or making a tackle.
5. Beavers went away from the run game
The run game wasn’t great for the Beavers but it certainly showed its moments of success. A good example was B.J. Baylor; on paper, he had little yards, but when it came down to it, he could fight for the four-yard gains that kept the Beavers on the field multiple times. This also goes with Artavis Pierce, who only had around 40 yards on the night, but the Beavers needed to continue to go to the defense of Utah. The best way to wear the defense down is running the ball with physicality and toughness and the Beavers went away from that and basically said “You win” to the Utes and went to the pass, which then made the Beavers one dimensional.
6. The Beavers couldn’t match Utah’s physicality
This is self-explanatory, the Beavers in the trenches couldn’t get any push offensively or defensively. Utah was overpowering the Beavers on all levels of the game and just flat out controlled the pace, their places were bigger, faster, and more importantly meaner, and it showed in the final score.
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