Washington State Football: 3 takeaways from 56-37 win over OSU

Davontavean Martin, Washington State football. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
Davontavean Martin, Washington State football. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images) /
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Washington State football
Mike Leach, Washington State football. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Defense was suspect

Mike Leach’s defense did not have a good day Saturday. Correction, they had a rotten day Saturday. Oregon State University had 497 yards of total offense, 276 yards on the ground, and 221 yards passing. The strength of WSU’s defense is their front seven, who were often invisible in Corvallis. Everyone and their third cousin knew Oregon State was going to run, it’s their bread and butter. Unfortunately, the Cougars couldn’t stop it.

Is it good if WSU held Jamar Jefferson, Oregon State’s dynamic running back, to 5.5 yards-per-carry, if his season average is 6.7? Not a chance.

Not only did Jefferson gain 138 rushing yards on 25 carries he scored four touchdowns. One of the reasons he didn’t get more yards on the ground is because the goal line got in the way. The rest of OSU’s offense also gained 138 yards via the run, so it wasn’t all one man.

The Beavers aren’t a great passing team. OSU receivers Timmy Hernandez and Trevon Bradford were still able to take advantage of the secondary. They combined for 14 receptions and 160 yards. For the game, Wazoo gave up 221 yards. It’s, mind-boggling to think what a Justin Herbert led Oregon Ducks defense will be able to do.

Even when WSU held their hosts on third down (11 of 17 stops), it wasn’t enough, Oregon state converted five of five on fourth down. When a defense has the opponent down and gasping for air, they can’t let up. That’s a huge area of concern for Cougars defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys going forward.

Claeys has some work to with the defense during the bye week.