Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars nose tackle Ioane Gaula (95) and teammate Kalafitoni Pole (98) celebrate after a sack against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
5. Defensive line
This key goes hand in hand with the first key, the secondary. Oregon State is not known for running the ball, the Cougars and the Beavers are ranked 121 and 122 in the nation for running the ball respectively. The rush defense won’t be a huge factor this weekend, but what will be a factor is the pass rush.
The defensive line will have to get to Mannion and not allow him to have much time back in the pocket. Mannion’s ground game is not that impressive, so forcing him out of the pocket will be a big positive for the Cougars. The Beavers have only allowed the opposing defense to get to Mannion 6 times this season, that is shown in how many yards he has through the air.
Getting to Mannion should be one of the biggest goals for the defensive line this weekend. Causing pressure and forcing him to make bad throws will make good things happen for the secondary. If the secondary is able to cover their receivers and make Mannion wait longer than he wants then the defensive line will have a field day with him, the same goes for the defensive line. If they can get to him and make him throw errant throws the secondary will have themselves a field day.