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Once again the Oregon State Beavers showed potential but couldn’t pull through at the end of the game. The Beavers running attack is truly something special this season. Jermar Jefferson is the NCAA FBS second-leading rusher. The Beavers stay in games until the third or fourth quarter and let the other team take control.

The Beavers were down two touchdowns in the third quarter, after stopping the Cougars on a fourth down which they couldn’t capitalize on. The Beavers defense needs to get more takeaways to give the offense more time with the ball. The offense has shown they can strike at any time.

Safety Jalen Moore dropped an interception that hit him right in the hands allowing the Cougars to score. Plays like this are what the Beavers season has been about. Oregon State on both sides of the ball need to sync as one, when this happens the Beavers season will spark.

This week they have a challenge going against a high powered offense in Washington State. The Cougars let the ball fly in the air which will be challenging for the Beaver’s defense. 

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 5 Stats: 1 reception, 44 yards

Projected Round: 4th to 5th Round

Hodgins week was cut short unfortunately after a hamstring injury in the second quarter. Since his burst on the scene in week 3, Hodgins hasn’t found his place in the offensive flow of the game. There aren’t a lot of plays that seem like they’re made for Hodgins but he does the most he can do with what is given.

A lot of teams do shade the coverage towards his way allowing the others to get open. This never stops him from showing how good his run blocking is. He makes his presence known on the outside when it comes to blocking and is a reason why the run offense is so effective.

The Oregon State offense is super explosive. Throughout the season he has caught multiple contested passes. He isn’t the fastest out of the receiver corp for the Beavers but he is the crispest route runner. Hodgins is questionable against the Cougars so we will see what he can do with an injured hamstring. 

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 5 Stats: 31 carries, 254 yards, 2 touchdowns

Projected Round: 2nd to 3rd Round

The best athlete that the Beavers have on the field is Jefferson. This freshman has made his presence known on the field every game he has played this season. Jefferson is the second leading rusher in the entire NCAA FBS with 727 yards while splitting the load with Artavis Pierce earlier in the season.

Also, he is tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns with 8 total. The true freshman from Los Angeles has shown the power, balance, vision, and elusiveness that makes him special. The Cougar defense will have trouble with Jefferson. If the Beavers want a better chance of winning, Jefferson will need to punish the Cougars 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 5 Stats: 4 tackles, 4 solo tackles

Projected Round: 6th round

Willis has been inconsistent for the Beavers all season. He has shown that he could make the right reads on the field but still shows inconsistency in tackling. He had the Sun Devils running back in the open field during the first quarter and missed the tackle.

Later in the game, Willis redeemed himself in the third quarter by finding quarterback Manny Wilkins on a fourth-down stop when the Beavers were only down by 14. This gave the Beavers the ball back only being down two possessions.

Willis has gotten his number of plays cut, playing less than what he has in the previous four weeks. He isn’t the best linebacker in pass coverage which will be tested against the pass-heavy Washington State.

The Cougars quarterback Gardner Minshew has thrown for 1,992 yards and 14 touchdowns. If Willis wants to improve his draft stock this will be a good game to show he can be good in pass coverage and also make tackles in the open field.

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 5 Stats: N/A

Projected Round: 6th to 7th round

Week-by-week Brandel has improved in many areas. He looks quicker, meaner, and more aware of how other teams are trying to attack him. Brandel was aggressive and explosive this weekend against Arizona State. If he locked on to any of the Sun Devils, he was finishing them through the whistle and also stopping them from getting the quarterback.

He drove his defender to the end zone allowing Jefferson to score his touchdown in the second quarter. Brandel did get lost on a play when the Sun Devils ran a delayed blitz to his side. There will be plenty of these at the next level so it is something that he has to work on. He will be tested with a Washington State team that has multiple players with sacks. 

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 5 Stats: 8 total tackles, 7 solo

Projected Round: 4th round

Moore keeps saving the Beavers defense every week. He has multiple tackles that save big plays even though the Beavers defense has given up plenty. There was a play where Moore missed the tackle but got up immediately and chased down the ball carrier to help bring him down. He is relentless on the football field and it shows.There was another play where he had a missed tackle against Eno Benjamin which resulted in a touchdown but he played a good game.

Moore’s pass defense can improve drastically, but there are plenty of safeties who have followed this prototype and have been amazing safeties at the next level. He did drop an interception before the half that would’ve stopped the Sun Devils from scoring a touchdown.

The lack of spectacular plays defensively is holding the team back from a better record.  Quarterback Gardner Minshew will definitely test this defense in the air. 

Sports Al Dente 2019

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