Hawaii Bowl scouting report

A breakdown of Boise State’s opponent: Oregon State

ccripe@idahostatesman.comDecember 17, 2013 

Oregon running back DeAnthony Thomas (6) is wrapped up by Oregon State defenders Jabral Johnson (44), D.J. Alexander (4) and Sean Martin during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Eugene, Ore., Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.

DON RYAN — The Associated Press

FACTS AND FIGURES

Where: Corvallis, Ore. (pop: 55,055)

Founded: 1868

Enrollment: 26,393

Colors: Orange and black

Nickname: Beavers

Record: 6-6, 4-5 Pac-12

Last game: Lost 36-35 at Oregon on Nov. 29

COACH

Mike Riley (87-73), 60, is the longest-tenured coach in the Pac-12. This is his 13th season leading the Beavers, with a two-year stint in 1997-98 and an 11-year stint since 2003 separated by four years in the NFL. He was the San Diego Chargers’ head coach from 1999 to 2001. Riley also has coached in the World League of American Football, Canadian Football League and small-college ranks. Coordinators Mark Banker (defense, since 2003) and Danny Langsdorf (offense, since 2004) provide enviable continuity in the program. Langsdorf is a former Boise State QB.

OFFENSE

The Beavers operate a pro-style, huddling offense with plenty of action for the tight end — but they chuck it around like a run-and-shoot squad.

The Beavers have thrown for a Pac-12 record 4,585 yards this season and, sitting at No. 3, are trying to become the first Pac-12 team to lead the nation in passing since Washington State in 1960.

Junior quarterback Sean Mannion has broken single-season school records for completions (376), attempts (570), yards (4,403) and touchdowns (36). Much of that damage involves junior wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. Cooks broke the Pac-12 record for single-season receptions (120). He needs 52 yards to break the yardage record (he has 1,670) and three scores to tie the touchdowns record (he has 15).

DEFENSE

The Beavers have allowed at least 30 points seven times this season, including in each of their past four games.

Their biggest weakness lines up with Boise State’s biggest strength: the run game. Oregon State allows 193.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks 91st in the nation. They surrender 5.2 yards per carry and have been hit for 27 touchdowns.

The Beavers, however, are dangerous in pass defense. They have grabbed 19 interceptions — fifth in the nation — and tied a school record with three returns for touchdowns. Cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Rashaad Reynolds own six interceptions each.

Defensive end Scott Crichton is the playmaker up front with 6.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Beavers have not been exceptional in any category this season, which could open the door for Boise State’s often-dynamic special teams units. Kicker Trevor Romaine is 13-of-19 on field goals. He made his last three, but was in a 4-of-9 funk before that.

DID YOU KNOW?

This will be the sixth meeting between the Broncos and Beavers in 11 seasons. The home team won the first five meetings — Oregon State in 2003 and 2005, Boise State in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Boise State returns to Corvallis in 2016.

Chadd Cripe: 377-6398; Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat

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