Getting To Know the Trojans Opponent: Oregon State Beavers
The USC Trojans host the Oregon State Beavers this Saturday at the Coliseum. The Trojans are 13 point favorites, which means Vegas expects Southern California to cruise in this one.
2020 Season In Review
Head Coach Jonathan Smith led Oregon State to a 2-5 record in a year where their only playmaker was junior running back Jermar Jefferson. He would eventually go on to be selected by the Detroit Lions in the 7th round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Their record looks worse than it actually was. The Beavers lost five games last year by an average of five points. With the losses coming from a score less than a touchdown, Oregon State was for the most part in a position to win.
Coach Smith played two quarterbacks that year which were then-freshman Chance Nolan and Sophomore Tristan Gebbia. The Beaver offense was no stranger to scoring points as they averaged 30 points a game; the problem was their young defense which allowed the same amount of points per game.
Key Additions And Departures
Oregon State has a hefty 19 transfers now on the roster for the 2021 season. 12 of the 19 will compete for starting jobs such as Nebraska transfer quarterback Tristan Gebbia and another Cornhusker, linebacker Avery Roberts.
Nine of the 19 transfer players were former four-star recruits coming out of high school.
Perhaps where the most turnover happened in this team would be the offensive line. Three out of the potential starting five lineman were not on the team last year.
However, as much as Oregon State seems to be a favorite landing spot, they have also seen their fair share of players leave the program. Most notably Jordan Whittely who is the starting nose tackle for Michigan and Evan Bennett who is battling for the starting defensive end spot at Fresno State.
Oregon State seems to have picked up where they were last year offensively putting up points with ease. It seems that Coach Smith will roll with Sophomore quarterback Chance Nolan who played here and there in 2020.
The Beavers are currently 2-1 with their only loss to an impressive Purdue squad. They only lost by a touchdown to the Boilermakers, while their two wins on the year were against the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and the Idaho Vandals.
The Beavers’ odds opened this year with +6000 to win the PAC 12 championship and +2000 to win the PAC 12 North.
It is clear that the favorite in the PAC 12 North or in the past 12, in general, would be the University of Oregon 50 miles away. Although, with the way the Cal Bears and Washington have been playing it would not surprise me if the sleeper Oregon State Beavers could make a push.
If defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar can find a scheme that works and can put his players in the right position, this team will do much better than what Vegas predicted.
History Against The Trojans
The Trojans and Beavers have met 78 times before and the series is 63-11, in favor of USC. The last meeting was in 2018 when the Trojans won 38-21 and the last time the Beavers won was in 2010 beating the Trojans 36-7.
On paper, this matchup should play out to be an easy victory for USC. Although, as we learned in the Stanford game, bad things happen when you relax and make mistakes. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, but I’d be shocked if the Trojans don’t get the dub.