Originally written November 22, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Winning the battle at the line If you’re not sure what this thing is all about, check out the first in the series which details Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. For today’s deadly Beaver tandem, we’re looking at duel defensive ends Scott Crichton and Dylan Wynn. Both players exploded on the scene in 2011 as freshmen (Wynn a true freshman, Crichton a redshirt) and have continued their heavy hitting ways into 2012. Not only have these two been instrumental in Oregon State’s stifling run defense, they also make up the cornerstones of a tough Beavers pass rush. The amazing thing is how little the Beavers go with heavy blitzes, instead relying on the ability of these two men to make plays. With how good these guys are, it’s really unfortunate that they’re just sophomores… well, at least for the rest of the Pac-12 it’s unfortunate! Scott Crichton Want to know how good Scott Crichton was as a freshman? In 2011, he led the Beavers in tackles for loss (14.5), sacks (6.0) and forced fumbles (six). He finished third on the team in tackles (74), and just for kicks he had three pass deflections. Now he’s a sophomore and opposing teams have tons of tape on him. Should have slump written all over it. Well, his tackles are down this year, with only 37—putting him at seventh amongst the Beavers. Of course, he continues to lead the team in tackles for loss (15) and sacks (9.0). Crichton is a beast, plain and simple. He’s strong, he’s fast and he’s incredibly tough to block. After allowing almost 200 yards rushing per game last season, the Beavers now rank 14th in the nation against the run. A big reason for the turnaround is Crichton. That’s what we call a double-whammy. (Photo: Keith Birmingham / PasadenaStar) He’s playing smarter this season—staying disciplined and wreaking havoc at the line, instead of constantly going for the big play. And it’s through that discipline that he’s not only learned to play the run better, but has also made even more big plays. Dylan Wynn Between these two players, Dylan Wynn is the less talented. Of course, the way he plays it’s hard to tell. Wynn was right behind Crichton last year. As a true freshman he finished the season with 44 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, a sack and five recovered fumbles. This season, Wynn remains behind his counterpart in production, but continues to put up solid numbers. His 45 tackles are fourth highest on the team. Wynn also has 2.0 tackles for loss, and a sack. If Crichton is the wreaking ball, Wynn is the speeding bullet. The sophomore has a fantastic motor, constantly chasing down opposing players. It makes him particularly dangerous on the edges—another reason Oregon State’s run defense is so improved. Crichton may be a catalyst, but his job would be much harder without Wynn as his counterpart. That’s why these guys work so perfectly together. CHECK OUT THE BEAVERS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSB!
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