The Eastern Washington Eagles had never beaten a Pac 12 team. Heading into Corvallis on Saturday, EWU was 0-9 all time but had played FBS teams tough the last two seasons. They finally broke through into the win column against the Oregon State Beavers as Mike Riley‘s defense let the No. 25 team in the nation down in a major way to kick off the 2013 season.
There were concerns about the Oregon State defense heading into this season, particularly along the defensive line with major questions about the depth of their defensive tackles. But few expected the defense to be quite as porous as they were against the Eagles on Saturday who racked up 625 yards of total offense. Eastern QB Vernon Adams torched the Beavers’ secondary for 411 yards and four touchdowns. When he wasn’t stretching the field with his arm, he was running past defenders, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
While the Eagles are one of the stronger teams from the FCS ranks, there is plenty of reason to be concerned about the state of the Beavers’ defense heading forward. The complete inability of the defensive line to contain Adams does not bode well for the Beavers as they face other mobile quarterbacks in the Pac 12, like Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley and Kevin Hogan. If Adams could run circles around them, more premier athletes coming up on OSU’s schedule will eviscerate them.
Even if they had contained Adams rushing attack, their secondary was helpless to stop the passing game. Adams averaged 13.7 yards per completion and hit on 77 percent of his attempts. Oregon State forced zero turnovers on the day and allowed EWU to score on every possession of the first half. They were overmatched by a program that they paid out $450,000 to for the privelege of getting embarrassed.
It’s a long season, but Oregon State came into 2013 with high expectations for this year. If they can’t contain a competitive FCS opponent at home, what hope do they have of hanging with the top teams in the Pac 12?