OSU runs a multiple defense but their base is a 4-3. They have toyed a little with some new 3-4 and dime packages this season. Crichton and Wynn are the two d-linemen who will stand out most — both are first team Pac-12 candidates. The fourth member of the defensive front I haven’t mentioned is senior DT Andrew Seumalo — he’s done a solid job in helping Masaniai clog the middle. Super-sub Rudolf Fifita is fast while Rusty Fernando and others are also showing up on the radar. Can’t really state enough that Banker has the depth and talent to rotate more this year. BYU fans will see a lot of guys, and in any situation, coming in and out on defense for Oregon State.
The secondary hasn’t produced stellar numbers and they’ve had some lapses, most notably at Arizona. But this is a case where statistics are lying a bit. Reynolds has been nails and Poyer had a three-interception game this past Saturday. Safety Ryan Murphy is a (ball hawk) and both he and Tyrequek Zimmerman are highly adept in run support. CB Sean Martin and S Anthony Watkins are also making their marks and will see plenty of reps.
5. How does Oregon State regard BYU? What are the expectations for the game and what does Oregon State need to do in order to beat BYU?
Oregon State already regarded BYU as a very tough test and it’s that much more pronounced now with Mannion out. OSU desperately wants to continue their unbeaten streak but they’ll have to play better than they did last week against WSU if they’re to move to 5-0 and improve on their No. 10/14 ranking in the polls. The running game doesn’t need to be lights out, but it does need to at least be credible to take pressure off Vaz. And Vaz needs to make quick, correct decisions and throw the ball away when the walls are closing in. The o-line needs to play their best game to date in order to give Vaz time and to open enough holes for Woods and Agnew to squeak through.
That’s a long list and all of those things might not be realistic against this BYU defense. And so the biggest thing Oregon State needs to do in order to come out on top is to win on defense. A prescient interception here, a key stand there — OSU should be able to bring pressure and put BYU in a few holes. And if they force the turnovers, that may be what decides it. Even if the offense doesn’t score after a turnover or a big defensive stand, taking the ball away and/or stopping BYU’s momentum enough times on D for Oregon State may be enough to win this one for the Beavs.
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