By STEVEN VAUGHAN, 750 THE GAME
Even though the Beavers have a conference loss, they are not out of the Pac-12 championship picture yet. According to Betonline.ag the Beavers are +900 to win the Pac-12. Good enough for the fourth-best odds to win the conference.
This week they take on another team that has one conference loss in UCLA. It should be a great battle between two teams that are looking to make a move and get to Las Vegas.
Oregon State is coming off of a game against Cal where they scored 52 points and quarterback DJ Uiagalelei looked like the guy Beavers fans were expecting. Uiagaleleli threw for 275 and 5 touchdowns against Cal, but the defense, which is usually the strength of the team, gave up 40 points.
Jonathan Smith joined the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano and talked about how the Beavers don’t need all three phases to be perfect on Saturday. But against a good team like UCLA, the Beavers need them to play at a high level to be dangerous.
“We want to put it together especially as you continue to play quality opponents and we got a big-time one coming in here,” Smith said of the Bruins on 750 The Game. “So we’re going to need all three phases, not to play perfect, but play at a high level. You got to find ways to win games with your defense, offense, and special teams. So I’m confident if we continue to improve and can play well in all three phases we can beat a lot of people.”
UCLA is tied for first in the nation in yards given up per play and second in the nation in rush yards allowed per attempt. Needless to say, the Bruins defense is elite. They just held Cameron Ward and Washington State to 10 points on offense. Smith knows that this defense is going to be a challenge to score on.
“Lights out is one way to describe it,” Smith said. “These guys have been dominant rushing the passer. Long, athletic, and they schematically challenge you. They have length in the secondary. Stopping the run and sacking the passer. This is a real good defense. Really throughout the season you look at people who score points and there aren’t a lot of points on there. Causing havoc, creating turnovers. It’s a serious challenge.”
The best thing about college football conference games is you get common opponents. Both Oregon State and UCLA have played Washington State. Oregon State lost to the Cougars while UCLA beat Washington State and the score didn’t reflect how the game was played. UCLA should have won by more. Canzano asked Smith if he was surprised with how well UCLA played against Washington State knowing that the Beavers lone loss is to the Cougars.
“Washington State is really good but I’m not surprised cause you knew that defense from UCLA could affect the passer,” said Smith. “They do a good job doing that. Got a couple of turnovers. I thought the game would be close and it was. So not totally surprised because these things are competitive. You just don’t really know week in and week out how games are going to go. For us I was surprised it was 52-40 against Cal. That was surprising. You just don’t know how these games are going to go and I think UCLA-Washington State last week was the same thing.”
Oregon State is -3.5 according to betonline.ag. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. at Reser Stadium on Fox.
Listen to the full interview with Oregon State head football coach Jonathan Smith by clicking the link below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 p.m. in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.