PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) –The Oregon State Beavers earned their first win of the season against a well-coached California Bears team.
Here are six takeaways from the Beavers first win:
Jemar Jefferson set the tone
The Beavers needed to come ready to play right out of the gate against a very talented California Bears team — and they did just that. It all started with Jermar Jefferson from the first play of scrimmage with a 75 yard touchdown run, which instantly sparked a fire in the Beavers team. From there, they were able to feed off that momentum.
Defensive line did a great job
The defensive line for the Beavers has been criticised for quite some time now and for good reason — it seemed like no matter how many talented players they had, they just couldn’t seem to make a difference in a game. Against the Bears though, the defensive line did a fantastic job. Not only did they shut down the Bears run game, they did a great job of disrupting screen plays, securing tackles, and more importantly, pressuring the quarterback.
Special teams had a good and bad day
Well at first, the Beavers lucked out on special teams because the Bears had two separate special teams returns that were taken back for touchdowns. Fortunately for the Beavers, they were both called back due to penalties. However, teams will be able to key in on the weaknesses of the Beavers special teams. That being said, the special teams play from the Beavers today made a huge difference in the win. The Beavers not only had a blocked punt, but they had a huge return on punt return which gave them wonderful field position and a chance to score. So while the Beavers had some serious mistakes on special teams, they made up for it with even better positive plays.
In the first two games of the season, the Beavers defense had a big problem tackling. It seemed like no matter what, opposing teams ball carriers always found ways to break tackles and big up big time yards against the defense. Against the Bears, the Beavers defense was very crisp in their tackling and were much improved. Though the Bears still put up solid numbers offensively, the Beavers did a great job making sure they secured the tackles and didn’t let the ball carriers pick up any extra yards.
Defensive backs struggled
While the defense as a whole did a very solid job against the Bears, the weak part of the unit in this game was the defensive backs. Between the penalties or getting beat in their one on one match ups the Beavers defensive backs couldn’t seem to stop or slow down the Bears receivers at all. Bears quarterback Chase Garbers didn’t seem to struggle very much connecting with his receivers and when he didn’t connect with them, more time than not it was because the Beavers defensive backs were holding and were forced to commit the penalty. Going forward, the defensive backs for the Beavers are going to need to play much better.
Beavers opened the playbook
This was one thing that the Beavers needed to do the most offensively, which was open the playbook and keep the Bears defense on their heels — and they did just that. The one play that stood out the most was when the Beavers did the “Philly special”: misdirection, then a reverse, then from there a pass out of the reverse. These are the type of plays that made the Beavers offense so entertaining to watch last season and they brought this play back at the perfect time, leading to a huge touchdown for the Beavers and giving them the lead late in the third quarter.