PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Beavers had a big win Saturday against Arizona State Saturday.
The 35-34 win over the Sun Devils is sure to keep Oregon State competitive in the Pac-12 North, but there are other keys to take away from the Beavs’ victory.
1. Beavers’ defense can make the big plays
What a game for the defense as a whole. Sure, they gave up 34 points, but in the previous seasons, the Beavers defense was seen as the dead leg of this team. That is no longer the case with this unit. The Beavers defense had takeaways, sacks, pass deflections and responded well when needed. It was an impressive performance from the Beavers.
2. Defensive backs still need improvement
The defense has taken some huge strides compared to the past seasons; however, it’s still important to see the defensive back group continue to improve. There were times against the Sun Devils when they looked like they lacked confidence in man coverage and like they struggled to stop the deep pass. They did come up with some major stops though, which was a great sign.
3. Smith is the right guy
Between the improved defense, the offense being arguably the best in the conference and the Beavers now at five wins, which is the most since 2013, the proof is in the pudding that head coach Jonathan Smith is the right guy for Beaver Nation.
4. The wide receiver group is the best in the conference
Give me another group in the conference that has as many playmakers as the Beavers do. Hodgins finished with 93 yards and a touchdown and Bradford finishes with 41 yards and a touchdown. They have the perfect combination of size with Hodgins and speed with Lindsey and Bradford, the thing all of these players have in common is they are playmakers.
5. Offensive line played phenomenal
I said all week that ASU was going to bring a handful of exotic pressures and make not only the quarterback uncomfortable but the offensive line as well. The Beavers line did a fantastic job of picking up the pressure and protecting Luton and it showed with his 288 yards and four touchdown performance. To top it off, Luton was only sacked twice in the game, an impressive performance from the line.
6. Beavers can make a bowl game
This group is poised to make a bowl game. I am not saying they will, but with these last two games in the season, don’t be surprised if the Beavers steal a game on the road against the Cougars or give the Ducks a run for their money. Offensively and defensively, this team can certainly put themselves in a position to win at least one of those games.