“It was a tale of two halves,” the old cliche was obvious in Oregon State’s performance against Boise State last Saturday as the defense surrendered 31 points and 435 yards of offense in the first half against the Broncos.
With a Colorado offense that beat Oregon in Autzen with a balanced attack on the horizon for OSU, playing for four quarters is what the defense will strive for in their Pac-12 opener.
“The team that showed up in the second half needs to be the team that shows up in the first half,” said defensive backs coach Cory Hall. “You keep coaching the team hard and keep instilling those values in them, and eventually those second halves become the first half and you put them both together then you have a really good team."
The Buffalos are coming off their biggest win since the team joined the Pac-12 with a 41-38 victory over the Ducks. Colorado used a balance attack and racked up just south of 600 yards of offense against Brady Hoke’s defense.
Trying not to focus solely on what Colorado was able to do against Oregon, Oregon State players are focusing on what they can improve upon.
“We need to focus on everyone doing their own technique and making sure everyone is doing their own job,” said sophomore linebacker Jonathan Willis who had his first start of the season, filling in for the injured Manase Hungalu.
Colorado's back-up quarterback Steven Montez, did not play like a back-up against Oregon. Montez threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, including 135 yards on the ground.
Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo and Shay Fields combined for 17 catches 268 and three scores against the Ducks, and will provide a big test for the Oregon State secondary.
“They are good players, they catch the ball real well, they are fast and they are smart players,” said senior cornerback Treston Decoud. “I've just got to keep my eyes right and trust my technique.”
But Decoud thinks he practices daily against one of the best receiving corps in the conference and will be prepared for the Buffaloes aerial attack.
“I think (Colorado receivers) are regular guys, I think they are just like our receivers,” Decoud said. “I’m just going to go out everyday and work with our receivers, I think we have top-notch receivers.”
Even though the secondary will be tested by the Colorado receivers, the belief is that the secondary can step up.
“I believe in my corners,” said Willis. “I think the receivers are going to have a problem.”
Treston Decoud’s success:
According to Pro Football Focus, Treston Decoud has allowed a 7.4 QB rating on passes thrown in his direction, which leads all Pac-12 corners.
Against Idaho State, Decoud picked off the two passes of his career, returning one of them for a touchdown.
“I’m happy, but I’m not satisfied,” he said. “I’m making tackles and making plays for my team, but I've still got to work on a couple of things.”
“He’s done a good job of being a student for each opponent," Hall said. "Knowing his assignment and understanding all the nuances of that position, and that’s where he’s excelled from last season to this season."
“It’s a Treston thing," Hall concluded. "It’s his focus, it’s what’s important to him and now he gets it.”null