Oregon State’s offense was flying high entering Pac-12 play last Saturday at home against Arizona.
But that came to a crashing halt when the Wildcats held the Beavers to a season-low 238 total yards of offense.
The Beavers dropped from first in the Pac-12 (527 yards per game) to fifth (454.8) in total offense after the 35-14 loss.
On Monday, coach Jonathan Smith said the Wildcats showed a couple new wrinkles and had some players back in the lineup.
That, coupled with the lack of execution by the Beavers, led to the low output.
The Beavers (1-3, 0-1) look to get back on track at Arizona State (2-2, 0-1) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Smith mentioned after the loss the Beavers must continue to evolve offensively, but on Monday said he didn’t feel like they were all that predictable against the Wildcats.
“We had some guys in the spots to be able to make the plays but for different reasons it didn’t get executed,” he said.
The Beavers were without quarterback Jake Luton, who suffered an ankle injury late against Nevada the previous week.
While Conor Blount started for the third straight game and completed 17 passes, he had just 137 passing yards.
Luton passed for 284 yards against the Wolf Pack.
Not having Luton available played a factor, Smith said.
“A little bit because I do think that’s one of Jake’s strengths, he can throw it down the field,” he said. “ We had some opportunities out there and for whatever reason, maybe the quarterback didn’t have time to do it. But we like having Jake available. He can do some things, he’s shown that in the games. We’re optimistic we’ll have him this week.”
After grabbing 14 passes for 200 yards against Nevada, sophomore receiver Isaiah Hodgins had just two for 19 against the Wildcats.
Smith said he was the primary target on several plays but the Beavers again failed to execute.
“Again, we’ve got to be able to distribute the ball better than we did on Saturday,” he said.
Redshirt or play
The new redshirt rule allows players to participate in any four games during a season and still use it as a redshirt year.
For some Beavers, Saturday’s game at Arizona State would be their fifth and thus eliminate the possibility of taking a redshirt and maintaining a year of eligibility.
Smith said he likes the rule as it allows player development and injury prevention for some players who may have been forced to play more snaps without the rule.
“You’re not going to see anyone that has played in all four games right now get pulled and not play,” Smith said Monday.
Those players were already going to see playing time this season, Smith said. For others who have only played a couple games, the opportunity may remain to redshirt depending on how the season plays out.
Redshirt junior tight end Noah Togiai made his season debut on Saturday. Smith said he showed some rust after not having a lot of practice through camp.
Togiai, who suffered a knee injury in the scrimmage in Bend on Aug. 23 and had been limited recovering from an ankle injury from last season, had a key holding penalty on a crucial third-quarter drive that helped to derail a potential touchdown drive.
Smith expects Togiai to continue to get back in game shape and contribute.
“It’s nice to have him back,” he said. “The guy’s got a chance to be a good player. He just has to get comfortable. I know he’ll continue to get his game even better.”
Cornerback Isaiah Dunn missed Saturday’s game after being injured in practice on Wednesday. Smith expects him to be limited this week in practice and is unsure if he will be available for Saturday’s game.
Safety Shawn Wilson left Saturday’s game with a knee injury. Like Dunn, he will likely be limited and could miss this Saturday’s game depending on how it responds this week.
Tight end Teagan Quitoriana missed his second straight game with a hip flexor and could possibly return this week.
“He was doing some really good things,” Smith said. “For him to have to miss the last two games it hurts us in ways because of his physicality.”
Running back Artavis Pierce, defensive lineman Jeromy Reichner and safety David Morris are all out this week.
Players of the week
Arizona’s J.J. Taylor was named the Pac-12 offensive player of the week after rushing for 284 yards and two touchdowns against the Beavers.
Washington’s Ben Burr-Kirven was the defensive player after posting 20 tackles and forcing two fumbles in a win over Arizona State.
USC’s Jay Tufele was the special teams player of the week after blocking a Washington State field goal to preserve a 39-36 win.
Oregon State’s home game against Washington State on Oct. 6 will kick off at 6 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.