Beavers looking to avoid trouble in paradise

Riley on Hawaii, "we are in for a game here"

Beavers looking to avoid trouble in paradise
September 1, 2014, 3:15 pm

The Beavers were right back to business as usual on Monday, in preparation for their battle with the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Saturday. Coming off of a lackluster 29-14 win against Portland State over the weekend, the Beavers’ priority is to fix mental mistakes before heading to paradise.

Against PSU, the Beavers allowed big plays by the Vikings’ offense and were unable to move the ball effectively for much of the game. They also had a staggering 13 penalties, totaling 119 yards. If not for the defense stepping up late, the Beavers may have had a repeat of 2013’s season opener. The Beavers will have to play mistake free football to get by a much better Hawaii team this weekend, because as we saw this past weekend, their own mistakes can be their undoing.

On Monday, Coach Riley addressed those mistakes. “Hopefully we can clean some of that stuff up, and play much more efficiently, which we will have to do,” said Riley.

“This is a really good football team. People forgot how good they got at the end of last year, even though they were losing.”

Hawaii opened its season with a loss, but they played a potential Pac-12 sleeper down to the wire. Hawaii’s defense came out strong against Washington, only allowing 17 points, and held the Huskies scoreless in the second half. The Beavers are in for a physical battle, and Riley knows it. “Really their defense out physicaled Washington. That was a very impressive performance defensively. Offensively they pounded the ball. They got the big back. We’re in for a game here.”

The big back Riley is talking about is 6’1”, 245-pound senior Joey Iosefa. Iosefa ran all over the Huskies, totaling 143 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries. Iosefa, as of right now, is the biggest weapon the Beavers are looking to stop. Safety Tyrequek Zimmerman, who had two picks against the Vikings, says Iosefa is the focus of the Beavers defense. When asked what he has seen thus far from Hawaii, Zimmerman said, “a physical back. That’s the main thing I see right now.” Zimmerman also said he hasn’t even worried about Hawaii’s receivers yet, because their offense runs through Iosefa.

“I haven’t really watched the receivers yet, but the back, that’s the guy right there,” said Zimmerman. “That’s their main guy. He had 30 carries, so it explains a lot, like he’s the key. He’s the guy.”

Iosefa is a relatively unknown for the Beavers, as he did not play when the two teams matched up last season. Regardless, the Beavers know one thing: Sean Mannion’s arm can carry them. In last year’s 33-14 win over the Warriors, Mannion went for 372 yards and four touchdowns, on 31-43 passing. If Mannion can repeat that success, the Beavers can fix the mental mistakes that plagued them against PSU, and the defense can shut down Iosefa, OSU will be happy with the result. If not, the Beavers may have to deal with trouble in paradise.