The Beavers weren’t able to come away with a win this homecoming weekend as the Utah Utes controlled the game all night on route to a 52-7 win against Oregon State.
Coming off of a win the week prior against UCLA, Oregon State struggled to find much success in any phase of the game against Utah. Despite the Beavers showing signs of improvement in the previous weeks, the dominant performance by Utah on Saturday night, Oct. 13 showed that Oregon State needs improvement if they want to compete on a weekly basis.
The Beavers’ offense typically moves the ball well and scores often but struggled to do either on Saturday night. Despite averaging 475 yards and 37 points per game, Oregon State failed to even break 200 total yards or put points on the board until the fourth quarter.
Oregon State has shown this year that they are capable of putting up points in bunches but failed to live up to their standards against one of the better defenses in the country. Their struggles showed up most in the running game, which failed to find any momentum against a Utah run defense that allows on average 54 yards per game on the ground.
OSU senior running back Artavis Pierce had been running the ball well for Oregon State in prior weeks but was silenced by a stout Utah run defense. Pierce finished the game with 21 yards on 10 carries, a far cry from his performance the week prior against UCLA where he was able to gain 119 yards on 21 carries.
The Beavers offensive line struggled at times to hold their blocks against a talented Utah defensive front. This affected the running game as well as the passing game. Jake Luton ended the night completing just 50% of his passes for 133 yards and an interception off a tipped pass that was returned for a touchdown, ending Luton’s streak of 181 passes without an interception.
OSU junior wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins had a productive night with eight catches. However, his 77 receiving yards was his lowest single game performance of the season.
The road ahead for the Oregon State offense doesn’t get much easier after Utah. Four of the Beavers remaining six games come against defenses that rank in the top 25 nationally in points allowed per game, including next week’s game against the California Golden Bears.
Defensively, the Beavers did not fare much better. Utah threw the ball efficiently and ran it with ease. The Utes were able to find the endzone on their five of their first six drives and weren’t forced to punt until the second quarter.
Utes running back Zack Moss had five carries on the night with 122 yards and two touchdowns, including a 91-yard sprint for a touchdown after breaking what would have been a tackle for loss.
Utes senior quarterback Tyler Huntley threw 17 passes for the Utes but was able to complete 14 of them for 2 touchdowns and 247 yards. He was efficient with his opportunities and attacked a Beaver secondary that often allowed receivers to get open.
Against the Golden Bears, the Beavers will face a passing attack that hasn’t been as productive as Utah’s Huntley was against them. California is averaging 196 passing yards per game, the lowest total in the PAC-12.
However, Oregon State will face tougher tests down the road in Washington State and Arizona, two teams who rank in the top 10 nationally in passing yards per game. The Beavers secondary will need to continue to grow after their performance against Utah to slow down those prolific passing attacks in the future.
Next week, Oregon State will travel down to Berkley to take on the California Golden Bears. The Beavers have shown flashes of the team they want to be at times this year. However, Utah’s of the game showed the Beavers require consistency.
The Beavers will face the Golden Bears on Oct. 19 with a 11:30 A.M. kickoff.