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3-2-1, football

The Daily’s primer on Oregon State

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Before the No. 18 Washington football team heads to Pullman for the Apple Cup, it must first take care of business against a 2-8 Oregon State team that has one more conference win than last year, but still finds itself as the bottomfeeder of the Pac-12. Find out what to expect from the Beavers below.

3 numbers to know:

45.1: The Beavers have had many problems this year, but a big one has been defense. OSU has not been able to hold any opponent under 25 points, and have given up an average of 45.1 points per game, 129th in the nation. The Beavers have allowed 50 plus points in three games this year, including 77 points in a season-opening loss to No. 5 Ohio State. They are also 113th in pass defense, with opposing quarterbacks averaging 271.3 yards a game through the air.

In last year’s game against Washington, the defense allowed Jake Browning and the UW offense to put up 42 points in a 35-point rout.

26.3: Because of the defense’s poor play and the offense’s inability to match the high point totals on the other side, the Beavers have been blown out of the water in most of their games. This has been especially true in conference play. OSU is 1-6 in Pac-12 play, and has lost those six games by an average margin of 26.3 points per game.

They have allowed four Pac-12 running backs to rush for upwards of 190 yards, including two over 250 yards. In the games where this didn’t happen, the opposing quarterback threw four or more touchdowns and over 300 yards.

47: The only bright spot for an offense that has played three different quarterbacks this season is the production of its top three pass catchers. Wideouts Isaiah Hodgins and Timmy Hernandez each have 48 receptions on the year, with Hodgins hauling in four touchdowns and averaging 14.5 yards per catch. Trevon Bradford, whose six touchdown receptions lead the team, follows closely behind with 47 catches.

2 names to know:

Jermar Jefferson:

Although Oregon State’s season has been disappointing, freshman running back Jermar Jefferson has been spectacular, and provides the Beavers with some hope for their future. He is currently third in the Pac-12 in rushing with 1,092 yards, and is tied for first in touchdowns with 12. Earlier this year, he had a career-high 254 yards on 31 carries against Arizona State, and the week after he scored four touchdowns against Washington State.

His combination of ball carrier vision and patience looking for running lanes has helped him succeed so far at the college level, but we’ll see if the Washington defense, ranked No. 25 in the country against the run, can stifle Jefferson’s production.

Hamilcar Rashed Jr.:

OSU’s best player on the defensive side has been linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. Rashed leads the Beavers in tackles for loss (10.5) and sacks (2.5), and is third on the team in total tackles (46). He also has three pass breakups and one forced fumble in the year.

1 recap of last week’s game:

Oregon State was humiliated on the road last week against Stanford, losing 48-17. The Beavers allowed Stanford quarterback KJ Costello to pass for 342 yards and four touchdowns —  all four going to tight end Colby Parkinson. Three of Parkinson’s TD receptions occured within a seven-minute span in the second quarter. Bryce Love rushed for 90 yards and a score, one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cardinal.

Jefferson was the game’s leading rusher with 109 yards, but Bradford provided OSU with its lone highlight play of the game, hauling in a 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jake Luton six minutes into the game.  

Reach reporter Chris Angkico at Twitter: @chrisangkico

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