Stopping Texas a test in discipline for Oregon State

Beavers coaches say Longhorns' schemes similar to Boise State's

SAN ANTONIO — When Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker reviewed the video on the Texas offense, he saw Boise State in orange instead of blue, and the players bigger and faster.

The Beavers have had fits with the Broncos over the years, so that caused Banker some concern.

OREGON ST. (9-3) VS. TEXAS (8-4)

WHEN, WHERE: Saturday, 3:45 p.m., at San Antonio.

  • TV: ESPN.
  • RADIO: WOLF (105.1-FM) and ESPN (580-AM).

Co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin came from Boise State two years ago and installed parts of that offense before he left for the head coaching job at Arkansas State after the regular season.

"We'll see a lot of pre-snap shifts and motions," Banker said. "It's constant movement all the time. That's a challenge."

Texas coach Mack Brown said nothing will change about the offense with the other co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite calling the plays now for Saturday's Alamo Bowl.

That's good and bad for the Beavers. There's something to study, but then they have to stop the Boise State style of offense with better athletes.

"We have our hands full," Banker said. "It's just a good scheme to not let you concentrate on one thing. They are multiple and they use some tempo. Then they remind me of the U.S. Olympic track team."

However, since those defensive nightmares the Beavers have changed their style.

They play more nickel and dime packages to not only stop the passing attacks, but they put more speed on the field against the running teams.

That has led to more success against the misdirection style of offenses that have become popular. OSU allows 130.5 yards a game rushing and 223.2 passing.

"The thing that stands out is how hard they play," Applewhite said. "The tempo and passion with how they play jumps out. A scheme is a scheme but how you do it is important. That says a lot about coach Banker and what they do."

Creating big plays has been their forte while not allowing many against them. They Beavers have 19 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries.

"We just have to be sound," cornerback Rashaad Reynolds said. "They do a lot of moving and shifting to mess with your eyes and mess with your calls. They are going to try and get us out of our base defense."

OSU expects to see a heavy dose of the run against the Longhorns, who average 176.0 yards a game on the ground.

Stellar ball carriers Johnathan Gray and Joe Bergeron are offensive staples who have combined for 1,248 yards and 19 touchdowns.

"The offensive line is extremely athletic," Banker said. "We've seen athletic offensive lines at USC and they are every bit as good as we've seen out of USC. They pull a lot and get out on the edge. They can run with big bodies, and two quality running backs."

Quarterback David Ash throws for 223.5 yards a game and runs for 10.8. His mobility creates a problem, but the extra defensive back is typically the counter.

"They remind me of TCU, not from a schematic standpoint, (but) they love to play football," Applewhite said. "They play hard and play good defense. They present a challenge, but we play hard, too."

The Beavers' plan as usual starts with stopping the run and forcing Ash to pass into their aggressive secondary and force turnovers.

If they stay assignment sound, they should have a good chance to keep up with the athletic Longhorns.

"At the end of the day, it's about us," Reynolds said. "If we do what we are supposed to do right, it doesn't matter what they do. If we have their best day and they have their best day, we'll come out on top."


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