By Nick Daschel

The Oregonian

Nevada at No. 16 Oregon

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: Pac-12

Radio: KBND 1110-AM, 100.1-FM

CORVALLIS — Following nine months of looking at the same game videos of their team, Oregon State football coaches finally have something fresh to see.

Coach Jonathan Smith’s reaction to the weekend video viewing of the Beavers’ 52-36 loss to Oklahoma State was not surprising. Smith thought there was some good (offensive line, quarterback play), and some areas in need of immediate, as he would say, clean up.

The third-down defense was jolting, as the Cowboys converted 10 of 13 attempts. On the other hand, Smith noted that Oregon State put Oklahoma State in a number of third-and-long situations but could not finish the job.

“I told this to the team, we’re not overreacting to game one,” Smith said during his Monday press conference. “This is the first game after working all that time in practice. Games are different. But also, we’re not underreacting. We’re focusing on the details and urgency to improve.”

Defense was a primary topic of discussion following Friday night’s game. Following a season in which the Beavers were among the country’s worst in nearly every meaningful defensive category, OSU gave up 555 offensive yards, 352 yards on the ground and 52 points. The storylines of adding transfers and recruits and building up the team’s overall physical ability during the offseason fell flat in the opener.

The defensive line remains a work in progress. Smith noted that JC transfer Jordan Whittley got into the Cowboys’ offensive backfield several times, “which was different than last year. But we still need to be able to stay in our gap and maintain the edge.”

The secondary was a revolving door of players, particularly with senior safety Jalen Moore sidelined with a hamstring injury. Freshman Jojo Forest and sophomore Nahshan Wright played in their first-ever FBS game at cornerback, while safeties David Morris and Omar Hicks-Onu played on defense for the first time since 2017.

Smith called Moore “questionable” for Hawaii, but he said he did more during Monday’s practice than at any time last week.

On the flip side, Smith said quarterback Jake Luton played well from the pocket, and the offense’s overall pass protection was good. The lone sack of Luton was due to coverage, not a protection mistake. As a whole, Smith liked what he observed from the offensive line, particularly since the Beavers used two centers.

After the long trip to Hawaii, the Beavers return home to close the nonconference portion of their schedule Sept. 14 against Cal Poly. Following a bye week, Oregon State plays its Pac-12 opener Sept. 14 in Corvallis against Stanford.

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