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The Oregon State Beavers and Colorado Buffs game was a nail-biter. The Beavers looked like they had the game lost, but they kept fighting through. They were down 21 points heading into the fourth quarter. The Beavers started the fourth quarter inside the Buffs 10 yard line. The game went into overtime where they had to rely on their so far unreliable defense.

Defensively they held the Buffs in overtime to secure only their second win this season. The Beavers scored 24 points in the fourth quarter alone while holding the Buffs to only 3 in the fourth quarter. Isaiah Hodgins torched the Buffs through the air by coming up with 11 receptions, 146 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Changing their quarterback in the second half to Jake Luton who won PAC-12 Offensive Player of the Week. Luton didn’t play until the opening series of the second half. This win ended Oregon States 22-game road losing streak. No team wants to be associated with a record like that.

This week they will be going against the University of Southern California. USC isn’t having their best season at 3-3 with a struggling defense. If the Beavers want a chance to beat USC they will have to limit the mistakes on both sides of the ball. Offensively keeping the ball on the ground so they keep the Trojans offense off the field will help tremendously.

Even if the Beavers decided to go to the air attack, their playmaking receivers can make big plays against the Trojans secondary. The Beavers defense will be going against true freshman quarterback JT Daniels so they should test the freshman quarterback by sending a lot of pressure not allowing him to get comfortable. This game is going to come down to what defense will make the least mistakes. 

Isaiah Hodgins – Wide Receiver

Week 1 Grade: D+; Week 2 Grade: C ; Week 3 Grade: A+; Week 4 Grade: D; Week 5 Grade: D ; Week 6 Grade: DNP ;  Week 7 Grade: BYE ; Week 8 Grade: F; Week 9 Grade: A+

Week 9 Stats: 11 receptions, 146 yards, and 2 touchdowns

Projected Round: 3rd Round 

Hodgins came back and put on a spectacular performance for the Beavers. He caught 10 of his 11 receptions after halftime when the coaches changed to senior quarterback Jake Luton. The catches that Hodgins was coming down with shows his true potential as a future NFL star.

He will make consistent catches while providing excellent route running to get distance from the defensive back. There were times in the game where Luton trusted Hodgins and he used his big frame to bully his way to catch the ball. This was a much-needed confidence booster for the young man coming back from a hamstring injury.

Moving forward there has yet to be a ceiling hit with Hodgins. His second game of the season with double-digit catches, 140 yards receiving or more, and 2 touchdowns. This week against USC defensive backs Marvell Tell and Iman Marshall who are both on teams’ draft boards for the upcoming draft.

USC defensive backs will be a good test to see if Hodgins can remain physical with top talent. The defensive backs just came off holding one of the top PAC-12 receivers in Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry to 95 yards so Hodgins better be ready for a tough matchup. They have only allowed one 100 yard receiver all season. 

Jermar Jefferson – Running Back 

Week 1 Grade: N/A; Week 2 Grade: N/A; Week 3 Grade: N/A; Week 4 Grade: N/A; Week 5 Grade: A+; Week 6 Grade: A; Week 7 Grade: BYE; Week 8 Grade: B; Week 9 Grade: A

Week 9 Stats: 30 carries, 135 rushing yards, 6 receptions, 49 receiving yards 

Projected Round: 2nd to 3rd Round

The fire is still hot for the true freshman running back. Jefferson is third in total rushing yards in the FBS (1,034) and tied for fourth in touchdowns (12). He has been the most consistent player for the Beavers on the offensive side of the ball week by week. He didn’t post a touchdown last week but he did put up 184 yards total from scrimmage.

The way he is running the ball is helping the team in every way possible. Jefferson knows how to read his blocks well but also can make people miss when a defender sheds a block. Brian Lindgren (offensive coordinator) is doing a great job at also getting the ball in his hands on passing plays too.

His matchup this week against USC will be a tough one but he should still be able to make plays how he has all season. The Beavers run blocking is looking exceptional. There have been five games where running backs have gotten 100 yards or more against the Trojans. Jefferson will be looking to have some huge runs against this rush defense. 

Jonathan Willis – Linebacker

Week 1 Grade: C+; Week 2 Grade: B; Week 3 Grade: D; Week 4 Grade: D; Week 5 Grade: D; Week 6 Grade: F; Week 7: BYE; Week 8 Grade: D; Week 9 Grade: F

Week 9 Stats: 0 tackles

Projected Round: 7th to Undrafted 

Willis was a non-factor against the Buffs. He didn’t record one tackle the whole game. The coaches have also cut his reps back drastically. There are no reports or anything that say he is injured. Willis is a player who is around the ball but never a reliable tackler.

His potential is there you can see it but you can’t have your linebacker missing a lot of tackles and expect to have a good defense. Willis himself recently got quoted saying that missing tackles is a problem for them. The Trojans have been nothing special at the running back position this year so Willis should be able to find himself making plays. 

Blake Brandel – Offensive Tackle

Week 1 Grade: F; Week 2 Grade: C; Week 3 Grade: C; Week 4 Grade: C; Week 5 Grade: B+; Week 6 Grade: C; Week 7 Grade: BYE; Week 8 Grade: B; Week 9 Grade: B

Week 9 Stats: N/A

Projected Round: 6th to 7th round

Brandel has been getting better every week. His run blocking has stayed aggressive allowing Jefferson to run behind him. He is still struggling with pass protection though. As a coach you never want your tackle to be giving up multiple sacks a game.

The more he stays aggressive the more his confidence builds. Brandel did give up a sack but in order for him to boost his stock, he will have to improve on his pass blocking. Christian Rector and Malik Dorton are going to be applying pressure all night for the Trojans, it is up to Brandel to slow them down. 

Jalen Moore – Safety 

Week 1 Grade: N/A; Week 2 Grade: C; Week 3 Grade: B-; Week 4 Grade: A+; Week 5 Grade: A+; Week 6 Grade: A; Week 7: BYE; Week 8 Grade: A+; Week 9 Grade: A

Week 9 Stats: 9 total tackles, 6 solo

Projected Round: 4th round

The defensive player of the year so far for the Beavers has been Jalen Moore. Another week where the safety leads the team in tackling is phenomenal. The defensive line and linebackers aren’t the best leaving a lot of tackles to be made.Moore stays around the football throughout the game making touchdown-saving tackles being the last defender before giving up a touchdown.

He can improve on two parts of his game to solidify him as an early round pick in the draft. His tackling in the open field has been average but it can improve. Later in the game, after he has made a few tackles, he will miss a couple after being winded.

Another area that he needs to improve on is his pass defending. He has yet to get an interception which is a struggle that the team carried from last season. In order for him to show he is a complete safety, he will need to improve in pass coverage in the second half of the season.

This week against USC he will be going against JT Daniels, a true freshman. USC has a young receiver corps but that doesn’t cripple them at all. Tyler Vaughn, Michael Pittman, and Amon-Ra St. Brown will all be looking for a big game against Oregon State. 

Sports Al Dente 2018