Game one against Oklahoma State was pretty much a disaster for the Oregon State defense. The numbers were ugly. Pretty much a continuation of the 2018 defensive stats. I won't bother with the numbers, we know them well. I am not an excuse maker but injuries during the week leading up to the game against the Cowboys were a factor:
Safety Jalen Moore, CB Jeffery Manning Jr., LB Andzrej Hughes-Murray, and DL Jeremy Reichner were all expected to make a huge impact on the Beaver defense. All four missed the game with injuries. Moore and Manning Jr. could be ready for Hawaii but the other two are finished for the season.
But one game doesn't mean this defense is once again in huge trouble. Oh, it's a red flag but I do believe the Cowboys could have the top offense Oregon State might see all season long.
Head coach Jonathan Smith is a guy who isn't in panic mode. He just knows the defense has to improve their tackling. They must improve on keeping the quarterback and running backs from getting around the edge and finding huge holes up the middle. The other glaring stat last Friday was 10 for 13 on 3rd Down conversions by Oklahoma State.
At his weekly News Conference, Coach Smith was pretty upbeat about his defense even though its not where he wants it to be
I thought defensively we got some things to clean up, (I) was pleased with a little bit of the tackle for loss, we made the point on third down and that didn't show up. Watching the tape though, we gotta do better on third down but we did put them in some situations on third down that we just gotta execute better on 3rd and 10...some of them were 3rd and 11. So that part (is where we need to be better) after watching the tape."
The thing about Jonathan Smith, and he has learned this after years with Chris Petersen at both Boise State and Washington, you can't jump to any conclusions or as he says it....overreact!
We're not overreacting to game one. This is the first game after working through practice, but games are different. But also we're not underreacting. Focusing on these details, (the) urgency to improve. That's sort of been the message to the team.
Coach Smith said Jalen Moore did a lot more in Monday's practice than last week but still lists him as questionable for Saturday night's game. Trevon Bradford once against won't play this week.
Hawaii's offense rivals Oklahoma State, except their running game isn't as adept. The Beavers once again will have their defensive hands full.
It's a different scheme starting really with their pace of play. You know Oklahoma State wanted to get back on the ball and snap it and go. These guys aren't trying to do that. This is an effective offense though. Yeah they throw it, but they run it effectively too. I think they ran it over 20 times against Arizona. So, we gotta be able to defend both. This offense has been really successful for years and they got it rolling pretty good.
Right now the Beavers are 4.5 point underdogs to Hawaii. Unlike the Oklahoma State game, you have to really look to find the broadcast. Network TV is ignoring it so the only way you can get it is via Facebook Stream or a Pay-Per View via the University of Hawaii website. Kickoff is set for 9pm Pacific.