DEF NOTES: Miller, LaGrone receive the start

THE BEAVER DEFENSE never let Kevin Riley get comfortable in the pocket as they pulled down the gunslinger twice while hitting him many more times. Plus, Gabe Miller and Matt LaGrone receive their first starts on defense this year. More news and notes inside.

Defense notes:

  • The defense gave up 239 yards of total offense, the third lowest this season, 200 via the pass, 5.9 ypc, and 39 yards on the ground, 1.6 ypc, while Cal held the the ball for 23:55.

    "I was really proud of the defense," coach Mike Riley said.  "I love the fact that it appeared to me our offense, defense and special teams all played nice roles in this game and all had a part in contributing to the win."

  • The defense has given up 100 yards on the ground just three times this year (Arizona, Stanford and at USC).

  • The defense yielded 14 first downs, two via the run, 10 via the pass and two by penalty.  The Bears  converted just 4 of 13 third downs while converting both redzone opportunities.

    "It was one of the more complete games our defense has put together," safety Cameron Collins said.  "We are definitely happy about that."

  • The Beavers added two sacks to its season total giving them six sacks in the last two games and 10 for the year.

  • For the sixth time this season LB Keaton Kristick led the team in tackles with seven stops including his first sack of the year.

    Kristick was consistently in Kevin Riley's face as he delivered several punishing blows.

  • S Lance Mitchell had another superb showing harnessing six tackles and one interception - the third of his career - which he returned 18 yards.

    Mitchell has an interception in two of the last three games.

  • As expected CB Brandon Hardin received the start at corner due to Tim Clark recovering from a concussion last week.

    Hardin finished with six tackles.

  • Despite missing most of last week's practices with a concussion CB Tim Clark came off of the bench to wrap up four tackles.

  • CB James Dockery had a superb showing at corner finishing with four tackle, including two for loss.

    On each of his tackles for loss he read the play perfectly, slipping by the receiver and wrapping up the ball carrier in the backfield.

  • DT Stephen Paea continued on his tear finishing with four tackles, including two for loss.

    In his last two games Paea has five tackles for loss.  In the previous seven - .5.

  • DE Matt LaGrone received the first start of his career.

    He did not get into the boxscore, but was effective off of the edge forcing Riley to flee the pocket several times.

  • DE Gabe Miller got his first start on the defensive side of the ball this year.

    "You know it was absolutely a point of Gabe playing well and Matt playing well," Riley said.  "We need all of our ends to play and rotate in, so it was good and that was exactly why."

    Miller completed the night with two tackles, including one sack - his second this season.

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