oregon state blog

Oregon St. Beavers vs. UCLA Bruins: NCAA love ‘em & hate ‘em week 4

Mannion carves up UCLA, Beavs move to 2-0

Oregon State is now 2-0 with this 27-20 win over the UCLA Bruins.

Love ‘em

Offense comes together and explodes

After being limited by Wisconsin, the Beavers offense bounced back against UCLA in a big way. Controlling the ball for 34 minutes, OSU put up 501 total yards.

Leading the way was Sean Mannion (24-35-379) and the passing attack. I’ve never seen this kid so good. He was poised in the pocket, throwing accurate passes down field and between defenders.

Mike Riley, OSU/UCLA

Fist bumps all around Mike! Photo Credit: ESPN

Brandin Cooks (6-175) was untouchable when he got his hands on the ball, while Markus Wheaton (9-150) played well up and down the field. Both had touchdowns.

Storm Woods (21-96) got off to a slow start, but eventually found his legs. Unlike with Wisconsin, he played nearly every down and remained the main running option.

Coaching

Mike Riley called a great offensive game Saturday, fixing a lot of the mistakes he made against Wisconsin.

The Beavers played a lot of short and safe football against the Badgers, and in turn there wasn’t a lot of chemistry. Riley pulled a 360 against the Bruins. OSU played all over, stretching the field every which way.

On the other side, defensive coordinator Mark Banker continues to impress. Once again he shut down a great running game while constantly putting pressure on the QB.

The defense proving they’re for real

Wisconsin wasn’t who we thought they were, and to be honest I was unsure if the same Beaver D would show up against the Bruins.

Sure enough they did, as Oregon State held a top rushing attack to a mere 72 yards on the ground. Bruin tailback Johnathan Franklin, the nation’s leading rusher, was held to 45 yards on 12 carries.

At times the safeties looked a little lost, and it showed in UCLA’s 372 yards in the air. For the most part they played tight and dominated on the edges. The big plays given up were down the middle, and that can be fixed.

All-in-all, I’m starting to think this unit is the real deal.

Hate ‘em

Stupid mistakes make for stupid football

The Beavers played horribly undisciplined football Saturday. This game was a lot closer than it needed to be.

The big bonehead play goes to Grant Enger. In the first half, Storm Woods made a beautiful catch-and-run for a big touchdown.

Grant Enger

Grant Enger’s new blocking technique the “flopping fish.” Photo Credit: The Daily Bruin

Thanks to an Enger trip, it was called back—instead of throwing up a block, he flopped to the ground like a limp fish.

There were also several mistakes on defense, including a Michael Doctor hold that would have cause a 4th a long in the third. UCLA would score on the next play, pulling within seven of the Beavers.

Mike Riley’s squads have always been known to play disciplined football, but it’s hard to tell when your team has nine penalties for 90 yards.

Line solid, but shaky

I’ve seen a lot of good things written about both the offensive and defensive lines, but I’m still on the fence about their performances.

The D-line was very strong, putting up two sacks and completely bottling up the run game. However, with all the pressure they caused they continued to have problems finishing plays and making tackles in the backfield.

The O-line played a pretty sound game, but allowed a lot of pressure. Lucky for them, Mannion played an incredibly poised game.

Is there a running game? Who knows

After putting up just 78 yards on the ground against Wisconsin, the Beavers finally found some flow with the running game. OSU finished with 122 total on the ground.

Despite the strong finish, things were slow to start. It took time for Woods to find his legs, and that didn’t happen until the passing game got started. By then, UCLA was too busy covering the wideouts to worry about the tailbacks.

I think this team has a lot of potential in the backfield, but they need to start playing a better game. More than anything we need consistency from Woods, who still has a lot of potential.

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