Oregon State addressed the issues that plagued them against TCU. Ryan Katz was far more effective in the passing game. While throwing for just one more attempt than the loss to TCU, Katz connected on 15 of 26 passes.
It also appeared as though head coach Mike Riley balanced the offense better this week. Jacquizz Rodgers saw an increase in carries and it paid off. After just 18 carries against the Horned Frogs, Rodgers had 24 against the Cardinals. He made it count, rushing for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
While Jacquizz stepped up his game, the most surprising aspect of the game was the lack of presence of his brother James. The wide out recorded two carries for 12 yards and only three receptions for 27 yards.
Louisville's pass defense was up to the challenge. But their rush defense failed to address the biggest piece of the Oregon State offense, Jacquizz Rodgers.
The Beavers were also effective in the Red Zone which has been a staple of Riley's teams throughout his career.
The defense struggled mightily to stop the tandem of quarterback Adam Froman and Doug Beaumont. Froman threw for 288 yards, 121 of them to Beaumont on nine completions. Perhaps they keyed too heavily on the running game of Louisville that racked up 169 yards against Eastern Kentucky. Oregon State allowed far too many yards through the air and nearly paid for it with a loss.
The game could have had a different outcome if not for the Cardinals' offense struggling deep in the Red Zone. A stop on fourth down and a fumble by Froman on the one changed the outcome of the game.
OSU proved it has a potent offense, but also gave away the weak defense. Next week Oregon State will take on Boise State on the cold blue turf in Idaho. The ineffectiveness of the Beavs' secondary won't cut it against one of the most prolific offenses in college football. The Broncos' QB Kellen Moore racked up nearly 300 yards against Wyoming, and it's only halftime in that game.
If the Beavers expect to compete against Boise State, the main focus now should be on defensive quickness and route reading by the secondary.
Up next for Oregon State: @ Boise State, Saturday September 25, time TBD.