Know Your Opponent: UCLA at Oregon State


#23 UCLA travels to Corvallis this Saturday to face the Oregon State Beavers. The game kicks off at 130PM and will be televised (?) on the Pac-12 Network. Here is your UCLA at Oregon State Preview!


UCLA Bruins
UCLA Bruins /

UCLA Bruins

The Bruins enter the game with a 6-2 record and on a 2 game winning streak. The Beavers are 2-6, they have lost 5 in a row, and they are currently on a 7 game Pac-12 losing streak dating back to last year. UCLA’s all-time record against Oregon State is 40-16-4, but the Beavers have won 3 of the last 5 games against the Bruins. Head Coach Jim Mora has only faced the Beavers once. That was a 20-27 loss at the Rose Bowl that was notable because then Beaver Coach Mike Riley took his team to In n Out to celebrate the upset.

This is Oregon State’s first season under Head Coach Gary Andersen, and he has had a rough start taking over for Riley. Although most pundits predicted a rough season for the Beavers this year, injuries have made a tough road even tougher for Oregon State in 2015. The Beaver offense has been hampered by season ending injuries to the offensive line, injuries to skill players like running back Storm Barrs-Woods and most notably the broken neck of freshman quarterback Seth Collins. The defense has also been very banged up. In last Saturdays loss to Utah, the Beavers were playing without both starting cornerbacks and they  started a freshman at linebacker. With no real post-season aspirations for the Beavers, many young players will be given playing time as Andersen continues to evaluate the talent he has on his team moving forward to next year.

Beaver Offense

The Beavers are the worst offensive team in the Pac-12 by most statistics. They are last in the conference in scoring (19.4 PPG), passing offense (160 YPG, 5.4 yards/attempt), total offense (339 YPG) and 3rd down conversions (33%). They are also last in the Pac-12 in offensive plays of 10-39 yards, and they are last in 3rd down percentage (33%). The Beavers are the only team in the Pac-12 that don’t average at least 5 yards per offensive play.

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Certainly the Oregon State offense looks to be a welcome relief for a Bruin defense that has been on the field for an average of 35 minutes per game in 2015 (most in the Pac-12). With multiple players out with injury or playing on the mend, the Bruins should be able to get the Beaver offense off the field this Saturday and hopefully get some rest headed into the home stretch of the season. That being said, although the Beavers are young, hurt and relatively unproductive on offense, quarterback Nick Mitchell managed to pass for 200 yards and a touchdown against the formidable Utah defense and Beaver fans are anxious to see what running back Ryan Nall can do after a 122 yard performance against Colorado two weeks ago (he did not see significant time against the Utes).

If things go wrong for the Bruin defense, it will probably look very similar to last week against the Buffaloes: long boring drives that will tire the defense out and rely on big plays to save the day.

Beaver Defense

Oregon State’s defense has not been as bad as the offense in 2015, but it has still struggled. Like UCLA, injuries and inexperience has made it tough for the Beavers to stop the run (230 YPG). Pac-12 opponents have been able to control the ball, keep the Beaver defense on the field and wear them out over the course of the game (even Washington State out-possessed the Beavers). The difference between UCLA and OSU is that the Bruin offense could at least put up some points. As mentioned above, no such help has been forthcoming from the Beaver offense.

If UCLA knows whats good for them, they will follow in the footsteps of Stanford, Utah, Arizona and Colorado (all of whom ran for at least 170 yards against OSU) and squash the Beavers with the running game. This will have the added benefit of protecting a Bruin defense that was beat up by Colorado last week.


The Bruins officially control their own destiny to the Pac-12 Title Game, but they will come up short if they don’t change a few bad habits. Oregon State should be a good game for them to reestablish some efficiency on offense. Heading into games against Washington State, Utah and USC, this will be the Bruins final opportunity to make work the kinks out. Here’s hoping they do.

UCLA 38 Oregon State 12

Go Bruins