First Look: SDSU a big test for Beavs

BYE WEEKS ARE rough for Beaver fans. This week’s Pac-12 slate, and the CFB schedule as a whole, is about as un-compelling as it gets. Now add in that the Beavs aren’t playing at all and it’s anything but a must-see weekend. But it’s not too early to start thinking about San Diego State. Because SDSU is looking like they're going to be a real test for Oregon State.

San Diego State on the road outplayed No. 21 North Carolina last week – they should have won. But a fourth quarter letdown and an interception in the end zone on first down with 14 seconds left allowed the Tar Heels to escape, 31-27.

San Diego State is off this week too, so both teams will have that extra time to scheme and hone the game plan.

Stats are often skewed early in the season San Diego State has a productive offense, they lead the Mountain West in scoring offense at 32.5 ppg. They’re No. 3 in total defense, allowing 353 yards a game.

Behind second-year starting QB Quinn Kaehler, the Aztecs have scored early and often. The Aztecs have won nine of 12 games dating back to last season under his watch.

What helps make Kaehler effective is RB Donnel Pumphrey. He has topped the 100-yard mark on the ground in both of SDSU’s game and carries a 5.9 ypc average.

Top WR Ezell Ruffin is out for the Oregon State game with a broken collarbone. Junior Larry Clark is expected to take his place with the 1’s. Ruffin will leave a big hole – he’s a Biletnikoff Award candidate, the only returning WR starter and he had 1,136 yards last season. He ranked fourth in the nation in yards per catch (16.7) this season.

On defense, look for CB J.J. Whittaker to be matched up against Victor Bolden. Whittacker is fast, has good closing and make-up speed and he’s solid against the run too.

DE Dontrell Onuoha is a load at 6-2, 290. He’s been a stopper in run defense through two games and excels in Long’s 3-3-5 defense.

Oregon State was tested in its first two games. But SDSU will be their biggest test to date. Every player in the SDSU is familiar with winning. They’re aiming towards taking SDSU to their fifth consecutive bowl game.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Fox Sports 1 will televise the OSU-SDSU game next Saturday, (7:30 p.m.)

  • Oregon State has gone 12-6 after bye weeks since 2003 when Riley began his second stint in Corvallis.

  • C Isaac Seumalo (foot) did not practice on Thursday, the final practice session before the players get some time off, but was doing more with the training staff, the Oregonian reported. It’s still unknown if he’ll be ready to go for Saturday’s game. Starting left guard Garrett Weinreich (knee) did not practice - Roman Sapolu continued to line up in his place. Offensive lineman Will Hopkins (hand) returned to practice but starting right tackle Sean Harlow (back) did not. Dustin Stanton took reps with the first team in his stead. Starting defensive end Dylan Wynn (toe) did not practice.

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