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Oregon Defensive Keys to the Game vs. Oregon State

How can Oregon’s defense bounce back vs Beavers?

Oregon’s defense was punished in every way you can imagine against Utah. It was a true wake-up call for this team that if you don’t bring your very best at all times you can and will get beat. 

The Ducks will be facing a very similar attack against Oregon State this Saturday. Here are three keys to stop the Beavers' attack.

1. Get off the field on third down

Last week Utah was 11-for-14 on third downs — a truly mind-boggling stat for Oregon. Simply said, that needs to improve dramatically this week if Oregon wants any chance to win. 

This has been an issue for Oregon all season long, and hopefully, some home cooking, plus some added intensity on the issue can help fix this. The Beavers run the ball a lot in short-yardage situations much like Utah does, and surely Oregon State saw what Utah did on film and will try to do the same. This will be a good test to see just how much Oregon can improve with one more game against Utah potentially looming.

2. Stop the Run

Stopping the run and getting off the field somewhat go hand in hand in the issues that allowed Utah to win in such a blowout, but this will be a major point of emphasis when going head-to-head with the Beavers as well. 

Oregon State has one of the top offensive lines in not just the Pac-12 but the nation, and stopping the run will be a tall task for the Ducks. Oregon was very good against the run this season until Utah ran for over 200 on them.

 B.J. Baylor leads the rushing attack for Oregon State, and much like what Jermar Jefferson did to Oregon last year, is more than capable of causing problems for the Ducks' defense. This will be the biggest battle unfold on Saturday.


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3. Cover the OSU tight ends

One other thing Utah exploited within Oregon’s defense was throwing out to its tight ends and using them for big gains. This was an odd part of the gameplay for Utah because up until this point Oregon was good against this. 

The 12 and 13 personnel Utah deployed gave Oregon fits, and Oregon State is another team that uses that often and will surely try to exploit that. The Beaver’s tight ends, including Luke Musgrave and Teagan Quitoriano, can also block extremely effectively for Baylor and the rest of Oregon State’s rushing attack, adding another issue for Oregon to deal with in the run game too.

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Keys to the game: Offense

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