CORVALLIS - The look on Isaiah Hodgins face when I asked him and Jake Luton to chat on the radio after the 52-36 loss to the Cowboys was not surprising. He looked so disappointed about the outcome of the contest but knew he had an obligation to talk to the media about the performance of the offense and what the loss meant
You can't blame Hodgins for the opening season loss to Oklahoma State. He had nine catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns. The connection between Hodgins and Quarterback Jake Luton was pretty evident from the start of the game. He also showed his speed and strength going up to grab the football.
Hodgins listened to my questions during the postgame interview and answered them with thoughtfulness:
Isaiah, you had nine receptions but I guess great numbers don't mean much when you don't get the win?
We gotta figure out what we can do better as a team and as an offensive unit. We can't control anything else so we gotta figure out why we didn't score on some of those drives and fix it.
Despite the loss, you were able to get open and make some big catches that has to feel good.
Yah, but there is still a lot more to work on. There were a couple of catches that I left out there I coulda fought through so we just gotta get back into the lab and keep working and keep grinding with my teammates.
Coach Jonathan Smith talked about the junior Wide Reciever's performance with the assembled media after the game (jump to 0:38 of the video below):
While Hodgins, Luton and the rest of the offense will try to improve next Saturday night against Hawaii, the defense showed the glaring issues that allowed Oklahoma State to gain 555 yards Friday night and average 6.8 yards per carry, The talk on the post-game radio show had a lot to do with Oklahoma State getting around the edge and picking up big yards on the ground.
Now, there were some key players who had to watch because of injuries. For example, Safety Jalen Moore watched from the sidelines and I could see the frustration on the senior since he was the team's leading tackler last season.
After watching the 16-point loss to the Cowboys, I can say without doubt the Beavers are better in 2019. The offense will be solid and will put up points. The defense must improve though if Oregon State wants to increase their overall win total.
Oklahoma State might be the best offense they will face all season. Big, balanced and fast. Hawaii has a good offense but they are mostly a passing team. Let's see what the Beavers do next weekend at Aloha Stadium.
One thing is for sure, Jake Luton and Isaiah Hodgins are a pleasure to watch and will continue to put points on the board. Now its Tim Tibesar's defense that has to improve on run defense, generating a decent pass rush and getting some turnovers. That will compliment an offense that is really pretty darn good!!
Next week's game starts at 9pm Pacific and is a rarity in the year 2019. No live TV of the game on any broadcast channel. The University of Hawaii and the Mountain West Conference will send out streams of the game online. The school will also go Facebook Live with the game.