On to the defense today. I can’t remember the last time the Huskies offense had a good game against the Beavers defense. This year, it could be a little easier than prior years. Here we go!
The Beavers run defense has struggle this year and that is because they lost some stars in their front seven. With that being said, they might have the best defensive tackle in the conference, Stephen Paea. He’s a 6-1, 310 lb. beast up the middle and will give UW’s guards and center all they can handle. Last year, the Beavers defensive ends created havoc in the backfield. We haven’t seen them do that so far this year. They’ve created sacks, but not a huge amount and aren’t as big of a threat. The entire Beaver defense is stronger inside than they are on the corners, which is a nice change from Arizona State last week.
This may be the weakest spot on the Oregon State team. Injuries and attrition have left this spot pretty open. Dwight Robertson is a steady player at the weak-side linebacker spot. He started last year and was very productive in doing so. But, the rest of the linebacking group may be the reason for the insane amount of yards being put up on the Beavers (456 yards/game). Of course, the strength of schedule might have had something to do with that also.
The secondary has seemed a little rough so far this year. This group returned several starters but they haven’t shown a ton yet. On paper, this is the best unit of the Beavers defense, but they haven’t come together completely. James Dockery is a good corner and has experience. Both safeties are returning starters who combined for 142 tackles last year. But, teams are still putting up quite a few passing yards on them. This situation reminds me of the Huskies secondary. It was thought to be a strength before the season but now it’s a question mark. They do have potential to be good in this area.
I’m writing this only because of Alexis Serna. He’s one of the biggest reasons the Huskies haven’t beat the Beavers in the last 6 games. That guy never missed. Thankfully, he isn’t kicking for them anymore. Justin Kahut, is Oregon State’s kicker and he’s done a decent job. He really struggled last week, missing two PAT’s but before then was doing pretty well. The return game isn’t as dangerous now that James Rodgers is out but they still have a few guys who are more than capable of putting up some big returns.
Alright, thanks for reading. If you have any questions on the match-up put it in the comments and I’ll get to it.