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At Oregon State, the Beavers Defense Doesn’t Need a Rest

Saturday, September 27, 2014

 

Photo Credit: osubeaver2000 via Compfight cc

Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker doesn’t deny there is a quiet confidence within his unit, whose cohesion is forged by the presence of eight senior starters.

It sounds cliche, but his players like each other. They enjoy being around each other. They listen to each other, which makes communication - and adjustments - easier.

Not that the Beavers were challenged much in the first three games of the season. The slate picks up considerably this weekend with a trip to USC, but first a look back at what opposing offenses were able to accomplish against OSU:

  • A scoreless first quarter and then zero points in second half for Portland State, as the Viks scrounged up 215 total yards.
  • Just seven points for Hawaii into the third quarter, including two scoreless quarters, before substitutions and some fluke plays allowed the Rainbow Warriors to score the final 23 points in a misleading 38-30 victory.
  • After San Diego State’s first drive, which resulted in a touchdown, the visiting Aztecs were held scoreless for the remaining 56-plus minutes.

 

Granted, that’s a group that collectively possesses three victories - two against FCS foes and one against a Division II opponent.

Still, it’s worth wondering - if the Beavers hadn’t shut out their overmatched non-conference opponents in almost nine of a total of 12 quarters, wouldn’t that raise more doubts or questions?

All they could do?

You might say they did all they could do.

“We know the level of competition that we’ve played,” Banker told GoLocalPDX.com Wednesday. “We haven’t faced a lot of speed yet. We haven’t faced across the board 11 guys that are dominant type of football players, but we’re about to do that.

“I think we’ll have a lot better picture once we get this game behind us and see how we stack against level competition.”

Even then, following whatever happens tonight at the Coliseum, will we really have a better idea? Their last time out, the Trojans didn’t resemble world-beaters in a shocking 37-13 meltdown at Boston College. And the week prior, in the 13-10 upset of Stanford, it wasn’t as if USC was celebrated for its offensive wizardry.

Statement game

The Men of Troy remain a team in transition, which is why this is a statement game for the Beavers.

Or rather, the Beavers’ defense.

For too long, the offense has owned the spotlight. Heck, even within the conference, it’s the glitzy, high-octane offenses that command all of the attention. 

Oregon State’s current formula, especially without the services of deep threat Victor Bolden, seems heavy on ball control and not a lot of deep, so-called “chunk” plays. That also eats up the clock, which dove-tails splendidly with keeping a defense fresh that currently ranks sixth in the country in total defense at 255 yards per game.

But Banker said he’d love it if there were more points. 

For his team, anyway.

“I look at the guys down the street (Oregon) - they’re on the field pretty quick sometimes because it takes one, two, three plays for them to score" Banker said. "They’re back on the field, but at the same time, they’re also putting up 40, 50 points a game, and that affects the opponent’s offense - are they going to methodically run the ball down the field and try to score or are they like most people and say, ‘To heck with this’ and start winging it? 

“If so, you can pin your ears back and go… It still comes down to points. That’s what the game is still about.”

Home Page Photo Credit: osubeaver2000 via Compfight cc

 

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