Stanford vs Oregon State came down to the wire last year. It’s worth noting though that Bryce Love did not play last time. This year, Oregon State comes to Palo Alto with a new coach and just two wins. What can we expect from the Beavers tomorrow? Let’s find out from Joe Londergan at Building the Dam.
ROT: Oregon State only has two wins this year and have seen their fair share of blowouts. What’s the reason for a lackluster defense that has led to so many blowouts?
Joe Londergan: A few things. For one, injuries to the secondary. Guys like Jay Irvine and David Morris being gone all season has been tough for the pass defense. Two, the pass rush has been disappointing. They’ve only turned in nine sacks, which is, of course, the lowest total in the Pac-12. Then overall the tackling simply has to be better. There’s some inexperience there, sure, but at a certain point, they just have to be better at executing the fundamentals.
ROT: How much blame should lie on their new coach for only winning two games?
Joe Londergan: First off, Smith gets some slack with this being year zero and what not. Keep in mind just how bad this team was last year. So despite just having two wins, that’s more than what they had last season and they’ve been competitive in most of their games. Again, you can’t say that about the team that Gary Andersen led on to the field in 2017. Smith hasn’t been without his share of mistakes though. In the Nevada game, for instance, better clock management at the end of the game could have put OSU in a better position to win the game. Then last week against USC there were some weird play calling decisions where the Beavers got zero points on two different trips deep into the red zone. You can’t blame entire losses on those decisions though.
ROT: Who’s the one guy Stanford fans need to look out for?
Joe Londergan: Running back Jermar Jefferson. He’s already over 1000 yards on the season with 1092. That’s tied for third in the conference. He’s got exceptional vision as a ball carrier and can get down the field in a hurry. Based on his body of work, it stands to reason he’ll be the biggest piece of the offensive puzzle for Oregon State over the next few years.
ROT:. What does Oregon State need to do to beat Stanford this week?
Joe Londergan: For one, getting rid of the red zone mistakes. If the offense gets within the 20, or even the thirty, they simply have to get points...no matter what.
ROT: What does Stanford need to do to beat Oregon State?
Joe Londergan: Just limit turnovers. Oregon State’s defense doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of opponents right now, but the offense can put up points if the offensive line keeps people out of the backfield. If the offense doesn’t even get very many chances though, Stanford will get it done.
ROT: Final score prediction for this game?
Joe Londergan: Stanford wins this game 31-24.