Gary Andersen’s team showed a lot of resilience after falling behind 31-7 at the half, withstood a mid-game quarterback change, and fought back the entire second half. During Saturday’s game I noticed three little elements that should help Beaver Believers hold their heads high and build excitement for the future.
Treston Decoud’s Tackling
Despite the 1-2 start, Oregon State has found some talent on defense. Xavier Crawford is a solid second corner, and Devin Chappell makes consistent plays at safety. That being said, Treston Decoud seems to be the best tackler on the team and the most consistent corner.
Boise State didn't throw the ball Decoud’s way many times on Saturday, but the PAC-12’s defensive player of the week made the most of his opportunities. Decoud had two solo tackles in the first quarter that both came on bubble screens to his side of the field. Both times Decoud beat the blockers and made solo tackles for no gain. If Decoud missed these tackles, the receivers would have gained big yards and possibly scored touchdowns. Needing a comeback in the third quarter, Decoud gave life to the Beavers with a critical tackle for no gain on third down and forced a Bronco punt.
Decoud is a corner with the rare ability to cover receivers well, get the needed interceptions, and make every tackle. Kevin Clune can rest assured that Decoud has the back end locked down so he can focus on improving other areas.
The Benefits of Boise State’s Offense
Watching Boise State play offense is very interesting. The offense never huddles and often relies on trick plays. The first Broncos touchdown drive featured option runs and the Statue of Liberty play to Jeremy McNichols. The fast pace and unique play calls definitely did a number on the Beavers defense, especially in the first half, but it also provided an unplanned benefit for future preparation.
If you look at the game from an outside perspective, you start to realize that the constant no huddle is a good primer for Oregon. The Ducks are famous for running a high-octane offense that can score points in a matter of seconds. This style has caused countless issues over the years, but playing Boise State is actually a blessing in disguise. The Beavers got a reality check against the no huddle offense, they responded well in the second half by holding the Broncos to 77 second half yards, and now the team has valuable game film to work with as the Civil War draws near. This tough loss could end up as a turning point in the all-important series against the hated Ducks.
Bright Ugwoegbu’s Big Plays
Like Treston Decoud, Bright Ugwoegbu is a younger Beavers defender that is coming into his own. Occasionally Ugwoegbu jumps offside or gets called for pass interference, but he also makes quite a few big plays. Ugwoegbu tallied one of the few sacks on Brett Rypien, and he was often in the quarterback’s face. During the fourth quarter, Ugwoegbu beat the tackle around the edge and got to Rypien once again. Unfortunately, Ugwoegbu missed the actual tackle, but he forced Rypien to toss an errant pass out of bounds while running for his life.
Bright Ugwoegbu has been with the Beavers for a while now, and his growth is apparent. The young linebacker can rush the passer--something the Beavers desperately need--and he does well in coverage. It's a tad early to call Ugwoegbu a star, but his talent and growing importance to the team is undeniable.
Losing to Boise State was tough, but the Beavers need to put the loss behind them and focus on the upcoming string of PAC-12 opponents. These three factors will help the team do just that as they strive to put together that elusive complete team performance.null