Corvallis, Ore. -- Oregon State's defense feels poised for a breakthrough game. They had a couple of glimpses in the last two seasons, whether it was the defensive slugfest loss to Washington or a bend-don't-break performance against Cal, the Beavers have had their moments. But the consistency of full fourth quarter efforts have eluded them. In their week one loss to Purdue, defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar saw some positives but also plenty to work on. First and foremost, getting pressure on the quarterback.
"That's gotta be part of every single week," he said. "We gotta be able to get pressure on the quarterback. It's hard to play coverage for a long period of time with today's offenses because they've got all these receivers out there and they got a lot of talent."
But even though the statistics from the game may lead one to believe the defense did not pull its' weight in this game, the unit kept the Beavers involved for most of it. As Oregon State's offense sputtered and eventually changed quarterbacks, the defense did just enough to keep Purdue from breaking the game open until the last two minutes of regulation. The defensive secondary has been down a few players with Kansas transfer Elijah Jones and Jaden Robinson still working their way back. But in a place where injuries led to worrying depth concerns, the defensive line held the Boilermakers to just 2.7 yards per carry.
"At a certain point, you gotta beat the guy across from you. Whether you're talking offense, defense, special teams. In order to wins games you gotta out execute them. There's only so much you can schematrically. We try to put them in great spots all the time. At the end of the day, I gotta win that matchup. The more you win. the more succcessful you're going to be."