Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

He Said. She Said. Washington Wrap

The Beavers traveled to Seattle this weekend to take on the red hot Huskies. It was a loss, but not as big as many expected. What takeaways did the He Said-She Said team have?

She said: Offense

For being forced to play a third string quarterback and third string running back, on the road at Husky Stadium, there are quite a few positives to take away from the game.  The most important of which is they continued to fight for the entire game.

Sadly, in areas that haven’t been besieged by injuries, there are still deficiencies.  Wide receiver  been a head scratcher all year.  There is experience there, but it isn’t translating to results.  

The Beavers have struggled all year to complete the intermediate passes. When the offense struggles with consistency, drives break down and the offense stalls .  Without productive wideouts, this offense can’t go.

I was impressed with Tim Cook. He ran hard and was tough to bring down. Paul Lucas saw action as well, but I’m not sold on him as a running back.  I'm not sure he has the size for the position, which makes me wonder what it would be like to line him up as a receiver.  

It was nice to see Jordan Villamin make two big catches.  After being in a slump all season, it was a major step in the right direction to see him make those plays.

She said offensive grade:  C

He said Offense:

All-in-all I was pleasantly surprised with the offense.  Yes, it was a bit slow to get started, but they did some nice things, given the circumstances and the opponent. .

Marcus McMaryion had a decent game.  Talk about a guy that has been thrown into the fire.  He has started two games in his career, in Eugene and now in Seattle.   I bet he is pretty excited to get a home field start this week.

McMaryion managed the game well for the most part and made some nice throws.  The one he dropped into Jordan Villamin in the fourth quarter was one of the best thrown balls we’ve seen from the QB position at Oregon State this year.

The rush game went for 5.9 yards per rush.  By comparison, Washington only managed 5.6 yard per rush.

All of the above had the way paved by the offensive line, who gets my game ball.  They had one of their best games of the season, against a front seven that is likely the best they will face all season.  

The O-line gave up only one sack.  Washington came into the game averaging four sacks per contest.  The line also provided some nice openings for Cook to run through.  

Overall, it wasn't an offensive performance to remember, but it was one to build on against a very solid defense.

He said offensive grade: C+

She said Defense:

The defense had the tough task of defending Jake Browning, who leads the nation in quarterback efficiency rating, and who has John Ross and Dante Pettis as targets.  Each had four receptions for over 100 yards.

The Huskies did what they do best. Score often and quickly in the first quarter.  Before the Beavers knew it, they were in a 21-0 hole at the end of the first quarter and a 31-0 hole by halftime.  

Oregon State’s defense is feeling the effects of injuries as another true freshman, Andrzej Hughes-Murray saw action on Saturday.  In fact, of the eighteen defensive players who registered stats, 8 were freshmen or sophomores.

At the end of the day, it is another loss, but we are seeing improvement on defense especially and we are starting to see glimpses of where the team is headed.

Defensive Grade She said: C

He said Defense:

When it mattered, the defense had little answer for the high-powered Huskies.  Ross and Pettis had their way with the secondary in the first half.  After that, well, it was playing for pride.

While it was ugly in the first half, I still came away thinking they aren’t that far away.  The Huskies are a very good offensive team.   The Beavers are very young on the defense.  It wasn’t going to be a fair matchup, and it didn’t turn out to be one.

But more youngsters got playing time.  Additional experience against a top ranked team to boot.  We should start seeing some of this pay off as the schedule eases up the rest of the season.

Caleb Saulo had a solid game from his inside linebacker position.  He tallied eight total tackles including the only sack on Browning,  

Bright Ugwoegbu also was very active, registering the only other tackle-for-loss for the defense, outside of Saulo’s sack.

He said Defense Grade:  C-

She Said: Coaching Overall:

The rebuild is a process.  It's definitely more like a marathon than a sprint.  

Going into the season, many said they wanted to see this team more competitive this season and that it may not translate into more wins in the win column.

That appears to be what we are seeing.

Last year at Reser Stadium, against a less talented Husky team, the Beavers lost 56-7.  This year, they went up to Seattle and fought 60 minutes against the #5 ranked team in the country, losing 41-17.

Progress can seem slow and tedious, but it is happening.  The Beavers now head into the downhill stretch of their season with some winnable games on the horizon.

While I may not agree with every play call , it is hard to ignore that the staff has this team bought into their system.  They are fighting for Coach Andersen and each other and even when overmatched, they don’t give up.  That right there is a huge testament to the coaching staff and players.  

...and today, that is enough for me.

She said grade: C

He said: Coaching/Overall:

Every week is a slog at this point.

This team is undermanned, due to recruiting deficiencies and injuries.  

Just look at the Huskies.  They have a roster loaded with players that the previous staff, and this one, weren’t able to bring to Corvallis.  

But it’s not something that happens overnight.  It’s been a long climb for Washington from their 0-12 season in 2008 to their current Top 4 ranking.

It’ll be even harder for a program that doesn’t have the history and support that Washington has.  

So I’m going to be extra patient.  

The last five games of the season will show us where this team and this program is headed.  

And I still think it’ll be in the right direction.

He Said grade:  C


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