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Oregon State’s offense has produced exceptional scores this season – they put up 31 against Ohio State and 37 against Washington State. Their defense, however, is a different tale and it’s that component that’s sabotaged most, if not all, of their games.

For example, their pass and run defenses are about equal in terms of yardage allowed. While they have surrendered 2,300 pass yards, another 2,400 yards have been given up on the run.

Despite this year’s defensive woes, last year’s contest against Stanford said otherwise. The Beavers kept the Cardinal scoreless in the first quarter, so it basically turned into the Jet Toner Show. And that brings up the hottest topic in Stanford Cardinal football in 2018: injuries.

Jet Toner didn’t play against Washington, leaving Collin Riccitelli to clean up. Most importantly, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside limped off against Washington, which forced Costello to throw to his tight ends, Connor Wedington, Colby Parkinson and Kaden Smith.

This year’s meeting between Oregon State and Stanford will boil down to run defense. Unlike the Beavers, Stanford has a huge stress test with Jermar Jefferson, who’s over 1,000 yards rushing this season. With exception of the Arizona State game, Stanford has pretty much declined in run defense, most recently allowing 177 to Washington.

RB Bryce Love

Stats vs. Oregon State: 11 carries, 95 yards, Touchdown

Player notes: Love capped a 28-yard touchdown on Stanford’s first offensive possession that followed a Colby Parkinson catch, which was placed at midfield. Despite this being Love’s most productive game of the year, Cameron Scarlett and Dorian Maddox took over in the second half, as Senior Night was celebrated at Stanford Stadium.

Game Day grade: A

Draft stock: Early second

Week 12 preview vs. Cal: Chase Garbers had more rush yards than Washington State’s James Williams in Week 10 – that’s a statement in itself in terms of Cal’s run defense. It gets even more lopsided, saying that backup QB Brandon McIlwain had more yards on the ground than Arizona’s J.J. Taylor in Week 5.

TE Kaden Smith

Stats vs. Oregon State: 3 receptions, 34 yards

Player notes: In the first half, Colby Parkinson dominated the Stanford offense, putting up J.J. Arcega-Whiteside-like numbers. That said, Kaden Smith was the third wheel to Parkinson and Trenton Irwin, who both developed an aerial relationship with K.J. Costello. Furthermore, two intended passes for Smith were intercepted, one being in the end zone.

At the end of the day, Smith righteously fought for yardage, one fight which resulted in Parkinson’s first-of-four touchdowns.

Game Day grade: B+

Draft stock: Early fourth

Week 12 preview vs. Cal: Smith’s Week 11 performance will depend greatly on Arcega-Whiteside’s injury. If No. 19 remains not cleared to play, then Smith will likely have his third 100-yard game in the span of four games.

Surprisingly, Cal isn’t allowing a lot of noise from opposing pass offenses, but Costello and Smith seem to make unusual connections in unusual circumstances.

OG Nate Herbig

Player notes: DNP due to injury

Game Day grade: N/A

Draft stock: Early sixth

Week 12 preview vs. Cal: It’s unclear as to whether or not Herbig will participate in Week 12 since he’s been nursing an injury.

MLB Bobby Okereke

Stats vs. Oregon State: 2 tackles, pass break-up

Player notes: As it was Senior Night, Okereke’s time on the field was limited to the first and second quarter. Okereke’s most important play was an interception on a third-and-long for Oregon State, but it was reversed with a Frank Buncom pick on the next play. Most of Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson’s 109 yards came in the first half when Okereke was on the field, but that isn’t indicative of any poor play.

Game Day grade: B+

Draft stock: Mid-third

Week 12 preview vs. Cal: As weeks prior, Okereke won’t be zoning in on the quarterback, but rather Patrick Laird, who’s, thus far, responsible for 45 points (up to Week 10: five rush touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns).

Offensively, Cal has been pretty dry in Weeks 9 and 10, accumulating only 25 points and 541 yards of total offense.

CB Alijah Holder

Stats vs. Oregon State: N/A

Player notes: According to Go Stanford, there are no stats to report for Holder, who missed some key tackles on Oregon State RB Jermar Jefferson. Additionally, Holder was assigned to Isaiah Hodgins, who had “season-high numbers” – three receptions for 37 yards – in a wide receiver corps that’s highlighted by Trevon Bradford (vs. Stanford in 2018: five receptions, 120 yards, touchdown).

Game Day grade: C

Draft stock: Late fifth

Week 12 preview vs. Cal: There’s very little for Holder to worry about on the corner. No one, including Vic Wharton III, is an end zone threat in a group of receivers, where the team’s running back is one of the lead dogs with 38 receptions, 251 yards,¬†and three touchdowns.

Weekly preview stats provided by College Football Reference

Sports Al Dente 2019

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