Kyle Okita

Defense looking to end the season right

The Oregon State defense is looking to send the seniors out with two wins to end the season.

The Beavers are gearing up for their final two games of the season and while they are favored to win for the first time all season, the team is definitely not overlooking the Arizona Wildcats.

"You never overlook your opponent, they are just as hungry as we are." defensive tackle Paisa Savea said.  "We can't get over confident or cocky, but we need to treat them like every other team we play."

"They have running backs that are really fast, so we need to do our jobs and keep them inside and maintain our gaps," Savea continued. "We all have our own gaps that we need to control. We need to do our job. Every week we are getting better and we are focusing on getting better every week."

Another player that the Beavers will rely on heavily to help contain the Wildcat running attack is true freshman Andrzej Hughes-Murray.  It has been a whirlwind few weeks for the freshman from Washington as injuries at linebacker have forced him into early playing time.

"I learned that there is a lot to learn and I'm learning to be the smartest football player that I can be," Hughes-Murray said. "I've spent time in the weight room and transformed my body and have been turning my mind into the best football player that I can be, it is a lot different than high school football. I want to do everything that I can do to help this team and this defense."

The freshman has leaned on coaches Chad Kauha'aha'a and Kevin Clune as well as teammate Bright Ugwoegbu along the way.

"Bright is like an on the field coach," he said. "We can ask him any questions and we go over plays at his house."

In four games Hughes-Murray has 20 tackles, including two for loss. He has also had a fumble recovery and a blocked kick in his young career.  Now he is looking to stop a potent Arizona run game that has been averaging over 200 yards per game.

The defense plans to do everything in their power to send the 2016 team off on a winning note. With the help of young players and newcomers such as Savea, the team hopes to send the seniors out with two wins.

"It would mean a lot, just like any other win," Savea said.  "We just want to finish out strong and send our seniors out with those two wins, especially being at home."

The Beavers face the Wildcats on Saturday night at 7:30 pm inside Reser Stadium.

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