Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
The Bruins have to protect Brett Hundley
The health of quarterback Brett Hundley is a question mark at this point.
He's suffering from a gimpy ankle due to a malfunctioned slide against Nebraska in Week 2. The pain was evident against Houston the following week. It wasn't so much that Hundley had trouble moving around, but the game plan didn't cater to his mobility at at.
Last week, plays designed for the quarterback to run were minimized considerably from the previous two weeks. With head coach Jim Mora's reluctance to convey any injury news to the public, it's still a question mark as to how healthy Hundley truly is.
For the Beavers, they possess good team speed on the defensive side of the ball. Linebackers D.J. Welch and Michael Doctor are very fast. Welch in particular has a great nose for the football. He led the team in tackles against Wisconsin, and was literally all over the field. Unsurprisingly, he was recognized as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Defensive ends Dylan Wynn and Scott Crichton also pose problems for the Bruins' young offensive line. Both Wynn and Crichton were freshman All-Americans last season, and attack with a relentless nature.
It will be up to the freshmen-laden offensive line to withstand the talented quartet in the Beavers' front seven. Against Houston, the line didn't have the best game. The Cougars did game plan well against UCLA, and filled in gaps with blitzes from the linebackers. It would not surprise me to see Oregon State do things similarly with their speedy defense.
Freshmen tackles Simon Goines and Torian White have to withstand the pressure of Wynn and Crichton. White in particular had a rough game last week.
He even committed three penalties on one drive alone.
He will have to play much better against the toughest defense the Bruins have faced thus far.
Keeping Hundley upright is paramount for the young squad. Picking up blitzes will be key, as will playing with leverage and technique on the offensive line. Oregon State is a fundamentally sound football team. The offensive linemen have to match that type of discipline and technique in order to protect their quarterback.