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Oregon State Preview 2006 - Offense
Oregon State Beavers
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 8, 2006


Oregon State Beavers Preview 2006 - Beaver Offense

What you need to know ... Eight starters return to an offense that should blow up as long as there's steady quarterback play. All five starters return to a line that should be among the best in the Pac 10, Yvenson Bernard and JUCO transfer Clinton Polk form a rushing tandem as good as any in the league, and the receiving corps should make up for the loss of Mike Hass with several good prospects led by Anthony Wheat-Brown. Matt Moore is back for his second year as the starting quarterback and needs to cut down on his mistakes. Expect more offensive balance with the ground game carrying the load far more than it did last year.

Returning Leaders
Passing: Matt Moore
211-355, 2,711 yds, 11 TD, 19 INT
Rushing: Yvenson Bernard
299 carries, 1,321 yds, 13 TD
Receiving: Anthony Wheat Brown
40 catches, 400 yds, 3 TD

Star of the offense: Junior RB Yvenson Bernard
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior QB Matt Moore
Unsung star on the rise: Junior RB Clinton Polk
Best pro prospect: Senior TE Joe Newton
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Bernard, 2) Newton, 3) G Roy Schuening
Strength of the offense: Offensive line, running back
Weakness of the offense:
Quarterback efficiency

Quarterbacks
There are three decent options to work with. Matt Moore is back for a second year as the starter, Ryan Gunderson a big veteran who knows the system, and Sean Canfield, who's the future of the offense. Moore has to be better at keeping things moving and must cut down on his interceptions, while Gunderson doesn't appear to be the answer for a long stretch of time, he can play in an emergency. Canfield will be a major player once he gets a little more practice time.
The key to the unit: Be more efficient. The Beaver quarterbacks combined to throw 23 interceptions and only 13 touchdown passes. If that reverses, there are guaranteed to be more wins.
Quarterback Rating: 7

Projected Starter
- Matt Moore, Sr. - 211-355, 59%, 2,711 yds, 11 TD, 19 INT, 3 rushing touchdowns
The former UCLA transfer had an odd first season. He kept up the Oregon State tradition of throwing way too many interceptions getting picked off six times in the loss to Arizona, three times in the loss to Arizona State, and three in the win over California. Around for a year in the system, he should be sharper and more consistent even though he still needs to work on his mechanics. He'll have to be even better at spreading the ball around without Mike Hass to go to.

Top Backups
- Sean Canfield, RFr.
Canfield was impressive in practice as a true freshman before redshirting. He was so good this spring that he replaced veteran Ryan Gunderson for the backup job showing off a live arm and a surprising command of the offense. The left hander is 6-4 and can make all the throws, but he's far from being a finished product.
- Ryan Gunderson, Jr. - 54-102, 53%, 542 yds, 2 TD, 4 INT
The big 6-5, 230-pound junior knows the system and has plenty of experience getting the start in the season finale against Oregon. He threw four interceptions and got replaced this spring by Sean Canfield for the number two job, but he has maintained a great attitude and will still get plenty of practice reps. He'll make his biggest impact as a holder for the kicking game.

Running Backs
This could be OSU's deepest backfield in years. Yvenson Bernard will be one of the Pac 10's most productive backs with his shiftiness and speed, but the new star will likely be JUCO transfer Clinton Polk. He's 220 pounds with excellent quickness and hands. Patrick Fuller is an experienced number three back, while walk-on Andy Stewart had a great spring and could see time in an emergency.
The key to the unit: Get more of a rotation going. With the emergence of Polk and the skills of Fuller, there's no reason to run Bernard into the ground.
Running Back Rating: 8

Projected Starters
- Yvenson Bernard, Jr. - 299 carries, 1,321 yds, 4.4 ypc, 13 TD, 37 catches, 316 yds, 8.5 ypc, 1 TD
Bernard single-handedly solved the team's rushing woes after fielding one of the worst ground attacks in 2004. The smallish, quick back is a Ken Simonton clone who turned into a surprisingly durable workhorse highlighted by a 42-carry game against Cal. He ran for over 100 yards in six of the final eight games and was a steady scorer with two scores in four straight games over the middle of the season. He's also a terrific receiver finishing fourth on the team in catches.

Top Backups
- Clinton Polk, Jr.
The 220-pound back provides a great mix of speed and power to the mix coming over from Scottsdale JC. He grabbed the second string job by the horns this spring and showed soft hands as a receiver. While he won't take over the starting job from Yvenson Bernard, he'll get at least ten carries a game.
- Patrick Fuller, Soph. - 12 carries, 25 yds, 2.1 ypc, 1 TD, 3 catches, 32 yds, 10.7 ypc
The 5-11, 199-pound sophomore is a tough inside runner with a little bit of bounce to get outside. He's the number three running back after the emergence of Clinton Polk, but he's an experienced runner who'll see a little bit of work.

Receivers
The loss of Mike Hass takes away 90 catches, 1,532 yards and six touchdowns and the team's top player. Even so, there are more than enough decent prospects to pick up the slack as long as Anthony Wheat-Brown and Sammie Strougher can stay healthy after being banged up this spring. Along with those two, Ruben Jackson is part of the mix as a potential go-to receiver. The big cause for excitement is the return of 6-7 tight end Joe Newton from a leg injury. He could be the Pac 10's best tight end.
The key to the unit: Everyone has to stay healthy. There will be major problems replacing Hass if all the parts aren't there to chip in.
Receiver Rating: 7

Projected Starters
- Sammie Stroughter, Jr. - 5 catches, 58 yds, 11.6 ypc
A big-time prospect out of high school a few years ago, Stroughter was starting to look like a future start this spring before he got nicked up and missed time. He has tremendous deep skills with the quickness to be the team's top kick and punt returner. With speed, toughness and smarts, he'll be a top producer at split end.

- Anthony Wheat-Brown, Jr. - 40 catches, 400 yds, 10 ypc, 3 TD
The 6-1, 223-pound slotback finished second on the team in receiving as a steady, reliable performer despite being banged up all year. He'll be the number one target if he can come back 100% after being banged up in spring ball. He's tough enough to make grabs across the middle and fast enough to turn into a good deep threat.

- Ruben Jackson, Sr. - 11 catches, 118 yds, 10.7 ypc
Jackson is the team's most talented receiver with the acrobatic skills to make the highlight reel catch and the wheels to be a dangerous deep threat. The coaching staff could try to get him the ball as a runner to use his speed and elusiveness.

- Tight end Joe Newton, Sr.
One of the nation's best tight ends, the 6-7, 252-pound senior is back after missing last year with a leg injury. He
caught 56 passes for 687 yards and seven touchdowns in 2004 and is now back too 100% and looks like the players of old. Along with being a great receiver, he's a strong blocker. Expect a huge year as the go-to guy in the red zone.

Top Backups
- Marcel Love, Sr.
Love was one of the team's top receivers in 2004 but missed all of last year and has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules. Reportedly he had academic issues. He has excellent hands and the toughness to make big catches across the middle, and while he's not going to stretch the field too much, he'll make more than enough key catches to help move the offense ... if he gets back on the team.
- Brandon Powers, Jr. - 2 catches, 9 yards, 1 TD
With the on-going health issues of Anthony Wheat-Brown, Powers could play a key role at slot back. He's 6-2, 215 pounds and is a fantastic athlete. He was kept down with an ankle injury last season, but he has his speed back.
- Tight end Jason Vandiver, Sr. - 10 catches, 98 yds, 9.8 ypc
While not as tall as Joe Newton, the 6-4, 266-pound Vandiver is bigger with the hands to be use more in the passing game. With his size, he's a physical blocker.

Offensive Linemen
This might be the Pac 10's best line, and it's certainly the most experienced with all five starters returning and three excellent reserves waiting in the wings. Guard Roy Schuening is the star of the show and should pave the way for a strong ground attack. Pass protection will be the concern after allowing 32 sacks, but the consistency should improve if everyone can stay healthy. Sophomore guard Jeremy Perry will earn All-Pac 10 honors by the time he's done, while senior tackle Adam Koets is in line for a huge year.
The key to the unit: Keep everyone healthy. This should be the team's strength as long as it stay together. While there are good reserves, the starting five is terrific.
Offensive Line Rating: 9

Projected Starters
- OT Adam Koets, Sr.
The 6-6, 299-pound senior has been a steady starter for the last two years with good feet and decent pass protection skills. He grew into a strong run blocker on the left side and should be in the hunt for All-Pac 10 honors if he can keep be just a bit more consistent against the top ends.
- OG Jeremy Perry, Soph.
One of the team's biggest linemen at 6-2 and 313 pounds, Perry was named the Pac 10 Co-Freshman of the year and a Freshman All-American. He's a bruising run blocker who should get next level attention if he keeps progressing.
- C Kyle DeVan, Jr.
The quarterback on the line, DeVan should be better after a year of starting experience. A good-sized 296 pounds, DeVan is a great athlete who's great on the move. He's growing into an all-star.
- OG Roy Schuening, Jr.
The star of the veteran line, the 6-4, 315-pound junior is a phenomenal athlete for his size. He's a devastating run blocker who'll have the option to leave early and be a first day draft pick next year.
- OT Josh Linehan, Sr.
A good starter for the last two years, the 6-5, 315-pound senior moved from guard and tackle last year and will once against be a fixture on the right side. He needs to improve as a pass blocker and be more consistent.

Top Backups
- T Tavita Thompson, Soph.
A big-time recruit when he came to Oregon State, the 6-6, 325-pound sophomore should finally play a part in the rotation. Big enough to play guard, he'll be the main backup at both tackle spots.
- C Adam Speer, Soph.
Speer bulked up a bit and should be able to be more of a force in the middle behind Kyle DeVan at 282 pounds. He's a smart, tough blocker who saw time in every game last year and earned honorable mention Pac 10 All-Academic honors.
- G Andy Levitre, Soph.
A star of the future, the 6-3, 334-pound sophomore is the team's biggest lineman and the top backup at both guard spots. He saw time in every game including a start at Oregon. He's a physical run blocker.

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