Trevon Bradford said it was the right play call at the right time.
Down 7-0 at Ohio State on Saturday and with backup quarterback Conor Blount pressed into service, Bradford caught a 15-yard slant pass then outraced the Buckeyes' defense for a 49-yard touchdown, the Beavers' first of the season.
“Perfect defense for the play,” Bradford said. “Coach called a good play at the right time. I just caught the ball and ran.”
It was the start of a breakout performance for the junior receiver from Oregon City High, who finished the game with six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns.
“It was fun to watch,” receivers coach Kefense Hynson said. “He competed, he ran. I just appreciated he was the same guy he was Saturday that he has been since I’ve known him. Just went out and competed (and) the moment wasn’t too big for him. I was excited to see him make some plays and establish himself as a guy that wants the ball and will do something with it when he gets it.”
Hynson and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren both said Bradford, who missed some time in the spring, has worked hard throughout fall camp to put himself in a position to be a playmaker for the offense.
“He’s a leader, a guy that wants to be good, wants to be coached and he made plays every opportunity he's had,” Hynson said. “He didn’t do a lot in the spring but when he was out there in the spring he made some plays.”
Bradford’s second touchdown came in the closing seconds of the first half when he ran under Blount’s pass to the back corner of the end zone.
“Conor gave me a good ball so I figured if I just run into it I would be in,” Bradford said. “Toe-tap drill is something we work so that’s what I did.
“He put it exactly where it needed to be for me to get a chance to go get it.”
Bradford was targeted seven times and came away with six catches as the Beavers had 14 receptions as a team and finished with 196 yards passing.
“I thought our offense executed for the most part. Obviously there’s stuff that we have to clean up and get better at, but I feel like scoring 31 points on a team like that is pretty impressive,” Bradford said.
While Bradford did come up with a couple big plays, Lindgren would like to see a little more out of the 6-foot, 179-pounder, who had 16 career receptions for 264 yards and one touchdown entering the season.
“I think he can still be more consistent when he’s not getting the ball,” Lindgren said. “As far as the blocking and the run game goes, we were on him pretty hard about that. But when the ball went his way I was really happy with what he did when the ball was in his hands.”
Artavis Pierce added three receptions for 41 yards and Isaiah Hodgins added two for 40. Hynson was asked Tuesday if the Beavers want to get Hodgins more involved in the passing game.
“Our offense is diverse in that the quarterbacks have a progression they go through and the receivers have little control over that,” Hynson said. “Our job is to get open and when the ball is thrown to us we catch it. And I don’t overcomplicate that. … If the progressions take the ball to Isaiah Hodgins then I expect him to make plays and he’ll have a great day.”
It wasn’t like he had a bad game against the Buckeyes, Hynson said.
“He only had two catches but he was open a lot of the time and had opportunities for more,” he said. “So I was pleased with how he played. Stats don’t always tell the story.”