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Previewing the Oregon State defense

How do the Beavers line up?

NCAA Football: Washington at Oregon State Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Civil War. Perhaps not what many predicted this to be heading into this season, but this should still be a great game with honestly a lot on the line for both squads. If Oregon wins, there is a very slim chance at accepting a bowl bid as a 5-7 team, and if the Beavers win they are able to break the streak and carry bragging rights into next season.

The leader:

Coach Kevin Clune leads the way as the Oregon State defensive coordinator. Since the 2014 season he has actually held the title of defensive coordinator at three different schools, being Hawai’i, Utah State and finally Oregon State. His long-term success at Utah State earned him a call from head coach Gary Andersen. The Beavers technically run a 3-4 defense, but a lot of the time it looks more like a 2-5. I think that the Ducks have a lot of room to simply run up the middle in this one.

Stats:

So far this year, the Beavers are giving up an average of 31 points per game. Probably the worst statistic to look at is the fact that they’re giving up close to 435 total yards per game. Honestly, the yardage is pretty split as they give up 211 per game on the ground and 224 per game through the air.

Surprisingly the Beavers haven’t been that bad at getting off of the field when they need to. On third down plays, they have allowed the offense to convert on 71 out of 167 attempts. On fourth downs they have allowed a slightly worse percentage, allowing the offense to convert on 11 out of 21 attempts. In the Red Zone is where the Beavers have been very poor. They’ve allowed teams to reach the red zone 42 times, allowing touchdowns on 24 trips and field goals on another eight of those.

Last year it was really Vernon Adams Jr. who did the Beavers in. Adams threw for 366 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions in the victory. The running game was solid as well as Royce Freeman led the way with his 167 yards as the team compiled a total of 308 yards.

Three players to watch:

Caleb Saulo, #35, senior linebacker, 6' 1", 235 lbs.

Saulo leads the team with his 87 tackles. He’s also second on the team in both tackles for loss (6) as well as sacks (3). The senior linebacker will be one to watch.

Devin Chappell, #9, senior safety, 6' 2", 203 lbs.

Once again, it’s another senior who leads the way for this Oregon State defense. From the safety position he has six tackles for loss, which is quite impressive. The biggest stat going his way is that he has six forced fumbles.

Treston Decoud #14, senior cornerback, 6’ 3”, 208 lbs.

Decoud has had a solid season as he leads the team in interceptions with two. I think that he’s a solid corner but one that the Ducks should look to go after with Carrington.