OSU vs PSU Football Hodgins celebration-01

Oregon State is looking to get tight end Noah Togiai, right, more involved in the passing game.

Andy Cripe, Mid-Valley Media

The bye week is over and Oregon State now faces one of the biggest challenges of the season on Saturday when No. 6 Washington comes to Corvallis.

The Huskies are 4-0 and coming off a big 37-10 win at Colorado.

OSU coach Gary Andersen said UW is deserving of its ranking and is a well- balanced team with talent throughout the offense, defense and special teams.

"A lot of people talk about the weapons that they have on the offensive side of the ball and quite frankly on the defensive side of the ball and special teams," Andersen said. "To me, the group that needs to be talked about also is the defensive and offensive lines.

"Very talented kids. They change the game, play the game right with big, physical kids. They do a nice job with the offensive line and defensive line."

The Huskies have a major special teams threat in Dante Pettis, who has an NCAA-record eight career punt returns for touchdowns.

Andersen said the Beavers will try to keep the ball away from Pettis as much as possible.

"He's a big, long kid that can cover distance, too. So if you're going to get it away from him it has to be a pretty good kick to get it away from the kid," Andersen said. "So we'll scheme it up. The key is to get the ball in the air. He is very calculated on his opportunities when they're going to come his way."

Looking for consistency

The Beavers have not played well this season, and three of the four games have gotten away from them and wound up as blowouts.

Andersen said the Beavers are not making the proper decisions in critical moments.

"In the simplest terms I suppose you would say it doesn't look like it's supposed to in the critical situations and scenarios," Andersen said. "We need to definitely coach that and the kids need to focus in on it and you need to make sure the fundamentals, the techniques, are all in those positions in that situation. We need to put kids in position to make the right decisions at the moment when they need to make the right decisions.

"That has been a little disappointing in the first games. There's streaks where it looks very good and there's other times when it doesn't, and that needs to go away for us to compete at a high level."

Good bye week

Andersen said the timing of last week's bye week was good for the Beavers, who now head into game week.

The Beavers practiced through the week but had the weekend off.

"This was in a good spot," Andersen said. "It was good recruiting for the coaches to be able to get out there, it was the first week of school for the kids, so that transition was clean. I thought that went very well for them and they're back into the flow of school now. So it was good timing."

It was also an opportunity for banged-up players to heal.

Andersen said the team is in pretty good shape as far as injuries.

"Other than the serious ones that we have, I think our kids are in pretty good shape and ready to come back," he said.

Targeting Togiai

With tight end Noah Togiai healthy this season, it looked as if he would be a consistent target in the pass game for the Beavers.

Togiai had a fast start to the season with seven catches for 67 yards and a touchdown at Colorado State and five for 95 against Portland State, but he had two receptions against Minnesota and none at Washington State.

Andersen said the Beavers need to find a way to get Togiai the ball.

"I'd like Noah to be more of a factor in the throw game and catch some balls," Andersen said. "I think he's definitely a weapon that we need to make sure we're doing our best to use and we all know we could definitely throw the ball better, so if Noah added a few catches every game that would be a great thing."

NFL players take a knee

Many NFL players decided to take a knee during the national anthem on Sunday.

Andersen said he is open to talking to the Beavers about the issue if they are interested.

"If our kids want to talk about it and communicate about it, there's absolutely no doubt that we would want to talk about it from a coaching staff or from a team standpoint, but there would be an educational standpoint," he said.

"If we think we need to get together as a team at some point and talk about it then definitely would."


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