With the victory, the No. 16 Beavers improved to 3-0 this season.
Oregon State will be on the road next week to start Pac-12 play Saturday at No. 23 Washington State. But first, here are five takeaways from the Beavers’ win against San Diego State.
1: Anthony Gould the game-changer
West Salem graduate Anthony Gould showed his breakaway speed Saturday when the Beavers needed it most.
After an Oregon State turnover, San Diego State had cut the Beavers’ lead to 19-9 with 9:01 left in the game.
On the Beavers’ next possession, Gould took a short pass from DJ Uiagalelei and took it 75 yards to the house to give Oregon State a 26-9 lead.
With his speed, Gould is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
The All-American punt returner also is a valuable offensive weapon for the Beavers.
2: DJ Uiagalelei struggled in the game
Oregon State’s quarterback struggled at times throughout the game against San Diego State.
The transfer quarterback completed just 14 of 30 passes, which is a 46% completion percentage.
Uiagalelei threw for 284 yards and a touchdown, but also had two late interceptions.
The passing game was inconsistent during much of the game.
It’s the first time that Uiagalelei has struggled this season.
3: Pressure on the opposing quarterback
Oregon State needed to take a step forward this season in applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks if they wanted to contend for a Pac-12 championship.
Coming into Saturday’s they had been better, with six sacks, which was tied for third in the conference.
The Beavers made another big step forward against San Diego State.
Oregon State had six sacks in the victory, two by linebacker Andrew Chatfield Jr.
This is a great sign moving forward in the Pac-12, which is rich with quarterback talent this season.
4: Offensive line strong again
Oregon State’s offensive line did not allow a sack against San Diego State, and has allowed just one sack all season.
The Aztecs had just three tackles for loss against the Beavers.
Oregon State rushed for 191 yards on 31 carries, an average of 6 yards per attempt.
Coming into the game, the Beavers were second in the Pac-12 in rushing at 233 yards per game, behind only California at 237.
The Beavers fell short of that, but nevertheless had a strong day running the ball.
5: First turnovers of the season
Oregon State had its first two turnovers of the season against San Diego State.
Uiagalelei threw a pair of interceptions in the fourth quarter against the Aztecs.
The Beavers had gone through the first two games with no turnovers.
That was good news for Oregon State.
The Beavers’ losses last season to USC and Utah could be directly tied to their costly turnovers in those games.
Now that the competition is getting better, is Oregon State going to fall back into turning the ball over?
It’s something to keep an eye on the next couple weeks.
With a more balanced offense and a lockdown defense, the only thing that could derail the Beavers as a conference contender is if they start hurting themselves with turnovers.
Statesman Journal reporter Pete Martini covers college and high school sports. He can be reached at pmartini@StatesmanJournal.com.
This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Takeaways from Oregon State Beavers win against San Diego State