Contain the Z
Oregon State's defensive ends need to do a good job of staying home while the defensive tackles need to keep their lane continuity in order to not give Jared Zabransky running lanes when his receivers are covered and the play is blown. Zabransky is at his best when he is improvising.
Stop the run
I cannot emphasize this enough, the Beavers defensive line NEEDS to keep the lanes they have been assigned to and allow the linebackers to fill on the run stop. Last week against Portland State the linebackers were a step too late to get to the running backs. The 'backers need to fill quicker on the run.
Establish the running game early
In order to open up the passing lanes OSU needs to get the running game going early. The offensive line cannot allow a four man front with no blitzing linebackers to limit them to less than four yards per carry.
Reviewing last week's keys:
1. Establish a running game - The Beavers didn't
establish the running game, but didn't really need it as Matt Moore had a fine
day. Coach Mike Riley was disappointed in the offensive line's run
blocking, but was pleased with Yvenson Bernard's numbers within the OSU offense.
Just like I said the running game was vanilla, but expect Riley to open up the
playbook a little more this week with Jimtavis Walker in the lineup.
2. No special teams mistakes - Special teams did not get off to a great start as Ruben Jackson returned the first kickoff of the year from six yards deep in the endzone. The unit did not do anything great and they did not do anything horrible. Look for them to make an impact, one way or another, this week.
3. Establish a pass rush - The pass rush was non-existent as Portland State quarterback Sawyer Smith had all day to throw. The line did not record a sack and struggled to get past the Viking offensive line.