Greaves' 5 Takeaways from Oregon State's discouraging opener
BeaversEdge.com Football Analyst Marcus Greaves weighs in on his former team by giving his five takeaways from Oregon State's 58-27 loss to Colorado State on Saturday.
1. Defense needs to find their identity
The defensive line showed some potential with Titus Failauga and Paisa Savea each getting pressure on the quarterback, but there wasn't enough of that. With enough time to sit in the pocket, CSU quarterback Nick Stevens was able to find the open receiver time and time again. Too many times in the game were there wide open receivers who had nothing but open field ahead of them which led to touchdowns, just like when Dalyn Dawkins caught a swing pass and took it 15 yards untouched for a touchdown.
There were also guys not making plays on the ball. Playing on the road with a sold out crowd, Oregon State NEEDED to seize an opportunity to shift the momentum. Making big plays will take the crowd out of the game and eventually the opposing players. If Oregon State wants to be a bowl team this season, big changes are needed to happen for the Beavers.
2. The offense has potential to score some serious points
We witnessed Oregon State put up 20 first half points but should have been 24 (because of the Togiai questionable call). Ryan Nall had an explosive run, Jake Luton delivered pinpoint passes to Noah Togiai and Timmy Hernandez for touchdowns. The playmakers are there on the offense. Oregon State did a great job of balancing the run and pass in the first half, but the offense needed to find a way to keep their momentum going into the second half. With only one touchdown scored in the second half of the game, players like Isaiah Hodgins and Trevon Bradford need to have the ball in their hands to make some plays for the offense.
3. Tyner and Pierce need some sugar
The Oregon State offense is full of playmakers; we know that. And this Oregon State team is elite at running the ball. We have seen it and we know it. With such a loaded backfield, Oregon State needs to share the sugar around. Nall had a decent amount of carries with 15, but AP and Tyner combined for 12 carries.
What made Oregon State's offense so successful towards the end of last season was their ability to run the ball, dictate the speed of the game, and control the clock. Sharing the ball around will do just that. With AP and Tyner, the offense will be able to keep everyone fresh, especially Nall, which will eventually wear down the defense and open up opportunities for the passing game to flourish. I think Oregon State needs to go back to their roots - run the ball and share the sugar.
4. Offensive line looked solid
Oregon State's offensive line looked stout. The line only gave up one sack, which was impressive due to the fact that CSU brought a ton of pressure all game. There will always be some small errors in football games, such as Fred Lauina getting beat on the outside one play because he did not strike the defender well enough, but as a whole, the offensive line was very solid. If there is one positive thing that the offense should take away from game one, it was the communication and the maturity of the offensive line - that could very well be one of the best Oregon State has had recently.
5. Manase Hungalu needs to set the tone
Being arguably the best linebacker in the Pac-12, Hungalu needs to set the tone for the defense. He needs to be the guy that the rest of the players look to in crucial moments of the game, and he needs to lead the way.
One a fourth and one play, Stevens was able to allude Hungalu and run for a first down. I expect Hungalu to make those kinds of plays to get the ball back for the offense. These are big shoes Hungalu has to fit in, but I don't think Hungalu has a choice when it comes to having a good game. He has too. Finishing with only five total tackles is a disappointing game from Hungalu. He is going to have to understand that he is “That Guy” on the defense, and if he does not perform well, the defense as a whole will not perform well.