Jonathan Smith Says Oregon State’s Defense Is Building On The Standard Set Last Season


Following a 2022 campaign that saw Oregon State’s defense become the best in the Pac-12 conference in terms of points allowed (20 per game) and yards allowed (333 yards per game, there were some questions if the defense could sustain last year’s success.

Head coach Jonathan Smith joined the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano and said last year’s defense was so good because of how they worked together.

“The defense last year, the back half of the season, played lights out,” Smith said on 750 The Game. “We got to that point because that team last year continued to improve throughout and ended up playing at a high level.”

The 10-win season last year added a lot of confidence to the entire Beavers program. Jonathan Smith says the defensive line in particular knows they need to live up to last season.

“I do think there is some confidence. There is a standard on defense. The line of scrimmage has affected the passer to help the back end.”

Losing Jaydon Grant, Alex Austin, and Rejzhon Wright seemed problematic for the Beavers secondary. But so far through the first two games the secondary has looked really good. Coach Smith says there is an individual who he has been really excited about.

“I will say the back end has played solid. Jaden Robinson is playing really well and at a high level. He had a couple of pass breakups in the San Jose State game. The way we’re tackling on the back end has been huge and limiting the explosives plays.”

Smith knows that it’s a long season, but he likes where the defense is at.

“Small sample size. But after two weeks there’s no doubt we’re playing good defense.”

Oregon State takes on San Diego State at Reser Stadium on Saturday where the defense looks to continue their winning ways.

Listen to the full interview with Jonathan Smith by clicking the podcast below. Catch the Bald Faced Truth with John Canzano weekdays 3-6 pm in Portland exclusively on 750 The Game.