Oregon State soccer: USC QB Caleb Williams like Mariota, first nine-game home winning streak in 22 years?

Oregon State defensive coordinator Trent Bray has encountered myriad standout quarterbacks throughout his 15-year teaching tenure. He’ll see one other one Saturday when USC’s Caleb Williams pilots the Trojans’ offense in Reser Stadium.

The 6-foot-1 sophomore switch from Oklahoma has helped remodel USC’s offense this season. Williams is finishing almost 75 p.c of his passes (64 of 86) for 874 yards and eight touchdowns, with out throwing an interception. Williams is also succesful along with his legs, working for 145 yards, earlier than sack yardage is deducted, and two touchdowns.

Bray briefly considered a comparability to Williams, and got here up with a well-known title: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner.

“His skill to throw and athleticism, most likely Mariota. Just a man who can beat you along with his legs and beat you along with his arm. Probably the first one which involves thoughts,” Bray mentioned.

Reser Stadium benefit: Since the tip of the 2020 season, Oregon State is 8-0 in home video games, together with final week’s win at Providence Park. The final time Oregon State gained eight consecutive home video games was Oct. 2007-Nov. 2008

It’s been 22 years because the Beavers gained 9 consecutive home video games.

There should not be any drawback with ambiance Saturday. Not solely is the sport excessive profile, however that is additionally the first home recreation since college students returned to campus for fall quarter. Students make up greater than 20 p.c of Reser’s present seating capability.

During a freshman orientation Tuesday, Oregon State security Jaydon Grant mentioned he enlightened new college students about their participation for home video games.

“We will die on that subject, defending that home turf. That’s the mentality now we have,” Grant mentioned. “Reser Stadium, when it is packed out, when the scholars are rocking, it is gotta be one of many hardest locations to play in the convention. Definitely benefit Beavs when Reser is rocking.”

What about us? USC’s offense is without doubt one of the marquee tales nationally throughout the early weeks of the 2022 school soccer season. Coach Lincoln Riley has retooled the Trojans offense with high-profile transfers, ensuing in the Pac-12’s most dynamic offense.

USC leads the Pac-12 in scoring (50.7 factors), ranks second in passing yards (278.3) and whole offense (520.0) and fourth in dashing yards (201.7).

While the Trojans’ offense is the pre-game headliner for Saturday’s recreation, Oregon State’s offense is not that far behind. The Beavers rank second in the Pac-12 in scoring (45.7 factors), and fourth in passing yards (278.3). OSU scored 34 factors in opposition to a Boise State protection that’s thought-about one of many West’s finest.

Grant mentioned he is heard a lot about USC’s offense, and has immense respect for the Trojans. But he sees the Beaver offense on daily basis and says it matches up.

“We’ve obtained a damned explosive offense. We can run the ball, we will throw the ball. We have a dynamic quarterback (Chance Nolan) who all of us belief in this program,” Grant mentioned.

Don’t trouble: Of all of the movies Oregon State defensive coaches have watched in preparation for USC, one recreation they’re skipping is final yr’s OSU recreation in opposition to the Trojans. The Beavers did a quantity on USC, winning 45-27 in Los Angeles.

What a turnover from a yr in the past. Outside of the offensive line – 4 of the 5 starters had been 2021 Trojans – USC’s offense is made up of transfers from different packages. They come from colleges resembling Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Colorado.

“USC is a brand new staff,” he mentioned. “Scheme clever, it’s very completely different. We’re targeted on what they do now.”

Lighting up Reser: Oregon State introduced Wednesday that it’ll add new lighting all through the stadium in time for the 2023 season. It is a part of the $161 million west aspect transforming undertaking.

Oregon State is changing the present metallic halide bulbs with LED fixtures. The LED lights, brighter than the metallic halides, permit for fast on-and-off, flashing and programmed mild actions. LED mild additionally makes use of much less vitality.

Take that: To these pondering USC is the first problem Oregon State has confronted this season, Grant pushes again. Hard.

“If you do not assume Boise State, Montana State and Fresno State weren’t good with good receivers, it’s good to watch the tape a bit bit more durable,” Grant mentioned. “Power 5, Mountain West, Big Sky, no matter. D1 soccer is D1 soccer. You cannot get hyped primarily based on who you are enjoying. We’re blessed to have the ability to go on the market and play the sport of soccer. … We by no means take it with no consideration each time we hit the sector.”

Nick Daschel reported from Corvallis

(*22*)ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

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