The ESPN analyst praises the Pac-12 team for their physical and explosive performance against San Jose State
Kirk Herbstreit, one of the most respected voices in college football, has named the Oregon State Beavers as one of the teams he loves after week 1 of the 2023 season. The Beavers, led by former Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, defeated the San Jose State Spartans 42-17 on Sunday afternoon at Reser Stadium.
Herbstreit took to social media to express his admiration for the Beavers, who are coming off a 10-win season in 2022. He highlighted their veteran group, their physical brand of football, their great coach in Jonathan Smith, and their dynamic quarterback in Uiagalelei.
“Love this @BeaverFootball team. Veteran group coming off 10 a win season-play a very physical brand of football-a great coach in Jonathan Smith-and now QB DJ Uiagalelei. These boys are gonna make some noise again this year,” Herbstreit tweeted.
Uiagalelei shines in his debut for the Beavers
Uiagalelei, who transferred from Clemson after losing the starting job to Cade Klubnik, made his debut for the Beavers on Sunday and did not disappoint. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 239 yards and four touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also ran for 47 yards and another score on seven carries.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound sophomore showed off his arm strength and accuracy, connecting with four different receivers for touchdowns. He found Trevon Bradford for a 19-yard score in the first quarter, Tyjon Lindsey for a 28-yard strike in the second quarter, Teagan Quitoriano for a 12-yard toss in the third quarter, and Zeriah Beason for a 9-yard dart in the fourth quarter.
Uiagalelei also displayed his mobility and toughness, scrambling for a 15-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He broke several tackles and dragged a defender into the end zone.
The Beavers dominate on both sides of the ball
The Beavers outgained the Spartans 467 to 287 in total yards, and controlled the time of possession by almost 10 minutes. They converted 8 of 13 third downs, while holding the Spartans to 4 of 14. They also forced two turnovers and sacked the Spartans’ quarterback three times.
The Beavers’ defense, led by linebacker Avery Roberts and defensive end Isaac Hodgins, limited the Spartans’ offense to just 17 points, well below their average of 30.5 points per game in 2022. They also shut down the Spartans’ star running back Tyler Nevens, who rushed for only 38 yards on 13 carries.
The Beavers’ offense, meanwhile, was balanced and efficient, rushing for 228 yards and passing for 239 yards. They averaged 6.4 yards per play and scored six touchdowns on nine drives. They also did not commit any turnovers or penalties.
The Beavers look to build on their momentum in week 2
The Beavers will host the UC Davis Aggies next Saturday at Reser Stadium. The Aggies are an FCS team that plays in the Big Sky Conference. They opened their season with a 31-28 win over Tulsa on Thursday night.
The Beavers will look to improve to 2-0 and continue their impressive start to the season. They will also try to avoid a letdown against a lower-division opponent, as they did in 2019 when they lost to Hawaii and then to FCS team Sacramento State.
The Beavers are hoping to contend for the Pac-12 title this year, after finishing second in the North division last year behind Oregon. They have not won the conference championship since 2000, when they shared it with Washington and Oregon State.
Herbstreit believes that the Beavers have what it takes to make some noise again this year. He is not alone in his praise for the Pac-12 team, as they are ranked No. 15 in the AP Top 25 Poll and No. 16 in the Coaches Poll.