Vaz debuts, leads way to 5-0
In a game predicted to be a defensive battle, there’s very little as the Oregon State Beavers top BYU 42-24.
Cody Vaz stepped into some big shoes, and he delivered. The junior made 20 of his 32 passes for 332 yards with three touchdowns.
Things started off well for Vaz, leading the Beavers on a 75-yard opening drive to the endzone. However, he hit a rough patch after his touchdown pass, and the Beavers wouldn’t score again until the third.
His most impressive drives came in the fourth quarter, leading Oregon State down the field twice for 14 points.
It wasn’t a perfect start for the backup. He did make some ugly throws, and he didn’t have a lot of awareness in the pocket—leading to some big sacks that could have been avoided.
But in the end the Beavers still won, and none of it would have been possible without No. 14.
At first glance it seems like this week’s wide receiver shoutout should go to Brandin Cooks. And while the rising star had another amazing game—173 yards receiving—he didn’t make an impact quite like Wheaton.
Markus Wheaton finished the day with five receptions for 66 yards. He had three touchdowns on the day, two through the air and one of the ground.
When Vaz needed a target, Wheaton was there. He was versatile, as shown by his 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
He made some really good catches in this one, and did another great job.
The o-line didn’t play a perfect game, but it was still pretty darn good.
They faced off with a strong BYU pass rush and held their own, keeping off the pressure. A couple of the Cougar’s sacks were much more a timing thing on Vaz, than a lack of effort on the line.
The two issues that did arise were penalties and deflections from the defensive line, but those things happen against a well coached opponent.
After a lackluster season so far, I was really impressed with true freshman center Isaac Seumalo. He was very good up the middle, putting together his strongest game so far.
Once again, they were good at holding open lanes, helping OSU rush for 118 yards against a defense that was giving up less than 60 per game.
After a fantastic game against Washington State in week 6, the Beavers defense really disappointed. Everything they did right last week, they did wrong this week.
Up front, the pass rush looked really good breaking down the pocket. But when it came to finishing the play, they were far too slow, letting BYU make big recoveries.
While the corners played a fantastic game, the safeties looked lost. They gave up some big passes down the middle, and I would have liked to see better coverage.
The Cougars got away with too many third downs—eight on 18 attempts—usually a strength for this Beaver D. The unit also saw their streak come to a close, allowing their first first quarter points all season long.
Surprise surprise, once again penalties became a big factor in this game.
The Beavers actually showed some improvement, posting a season low eight penalties for 60 yards. However, it’s when those penalties came that counted.
The offense was a big culprit, garnering several false starts—including one that was followed by a holding call. Let’s just say they weren’t doing themselves any favors.
While OSU limited their mistakes, it’s the “when” that remains the issue. They’re allowing opponents to keep big drives alive, while killing their own momentum.
More injury scares
With last week’s injury news, the last thing Oregon State needs is more injured players.
They were playing it close today, as two key offensive players had scares.
The first was Brandin Cooks, who rolled his ankle on a catch early on. While he sat out a few snaps, he was luckily able to return and finish with a career day.
The other was Storm Woods, who irritated his right knee on a run, missing the fourth quarter. While Woods hoped to return before the game was over, the doctor’s wouldn’t let him.
The Beavers redshirt freshman is enjoying a strong campaign as the team’s starting running back, but his knee has been a concern—causing him to miss several practices. Hopefully this is a non issue and he’ll be back next week.