2008 Oregon State Preview |
2008 OSU Offense
2008 OSU Defense |
2008 OSU Depth
2007 CFN Oregon State Preview |
2006 CFN Oregon
Head coach: Mike Riley
7th year: 38-34
Off. 28, Def. 31, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 13
Best Beaver Players
2. LT Andy Levitre, Sr.
3. DE Victor Butler, Sr.
4. CB Brandon Hughes, Sr.
5. SS Al Afalava, Sr.
6. WR James Rodgers, Soph.
7. LG Jeremy Perry, Sr.
8. DE Slade Norris, Sr.
9. RB Ryan McCants, RFr.
10. WR Darrell Catchings, Soph.
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2008 Record: 0-0
Sept. 6 at Penn State
Sept. 13 Hawaii
Sept. 20 OPEN DATE
Sept. 25 USC
Oct. 2 at Utah
Oct. 11 Washington State
Oct. 18 at Washington
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 Arizona State
Nov. 8 at UCLA
Nov. 15 California
Nov. 22 at Arizona
Nov. 29 Oregon
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2007 Record: 9-4
Sept. 22 at
Arizona St L 44-32
California W 31-28
USC L 24-3
Wash St W 52-17
Oregon W 38-31 OT
Dec. 28 Maryland W 21-14
The Beavers were clearly built for last year. Now what?
Mike Riley has quietly had a steady run in his second stint in
Corvallis, but the coach and his kids are staring at a rebuilding season
after losing top rusher Yvenson Bernard and each member of the front
seven of a terrific defense. While that doesn’t mean the Beavers are
automatically going to go in the tank, in an improved Pac 10, and step
back could appear to be major.
Although Oregon State has confounded experts more than once this decade,
it’ll need pleasant surprises just about everywhere on the depth chart,
and far more consistency from the quarterback position, in order to
approach last year’s nine-win season. It’s a good thing for Riley and
the school that Beaver fans are patient, understanding that just a
little over a decade ago, this was one of the most inept programs in the
country. However, on the flip side, this has been an underappreciated
program with 19 wins over the last two seasons, and now the hope is to
be able to quickly reload.
While almost everyone will put OSU in the bottom half of the preseason
Pac 10 picks, there’s a good base to build around and good potential to
get back to a bowl game. But it’s going to take everything Riley has in
the bag to make it happen with few certainties on either side of the
ball. Even the kicking game is no longer a sure thing on a roster that’s
blanketed by uncertainty and inexperience.
With trips to Penn State and Utah to go along with a rough Pac-10
schedule, the Beavers could hover around the .500 mark for the first
time in three years, but they’re used to being disrespected and have
often thrived in the underdog role. They’ll have to do it again.
What to watch for on offense: Sammie Stroughter. The wide
receiver and punt returner extraordinaire is returning from a tumultuous
year marked by personal tragedy and a season-ending kidney injury. He’s
back with the same energy and infectious smile that permeated throughout
the program before last season, which is great news for a Beaver offense
searching for new playmakers and greater consistency in the passing
game. Whether it’s Sean Canfield or Lyle Moevao, the starting
quarterback will benefit greatly from having No. 19, one of the Pac 10’s
premier playmakers, to work with.
What to watch for on defense: The emergence of new stars on the
front seven. Sure, Oregon State was gutted by graduation, but that only
means that a new wave of smart, speedy defenders is set wash over the
rest of the Pac-10. Players, such as DE Victor Butler and LBs Keaton
Kristick and Bryant Cornell, are upperclassmen pining for an opportunity
to step out of ex-Beavers’ shadows. They’ll all excel this season as key
cogs in a Mark Banker-coached defense that perennially plays well beyond
its perceived talent level.
The team will be far better if… the quarterbacks begin turning
the corner. Canfield and Moevao were a collective mess, which can’t
continue if the offense is going to improve on last season’s No. 8
finish in the Pac-10. With the defense and the running game undergoing
significant changes, it’s up to the two quarterbacks to cut down on
their interceptions, while distributing the ball to the two
primary playmakers, Stroughter and James
Fine, so Hawaii isn't the Hawaii of last year, but Oregon Sate can't be
accused of taking it easy playing
the defending WAC champions along with road trips to Penn State and
Utah. If those weren't interesting enough, the season starts with a Pac
10 road trip to Stanford while the late September home game against USC
comes after a week off. Things ease up the rest of the way with Arizona
State, California and Oregon all coming to Corvallis, while there aren't
back-to-back road games after the opening two weeks. Going to UCLA isn't
going to be easy, especially after facing the Sun Devils, but there has
to be at least one killer league away date.
Best offensive player:
Senior WR Sammie Stroughter. A dual-threat who’ll beat the other team as
a receiver or punt returner, Stroughter is back after missing most of
last season with a kidney injury. More than just a talented playmaker,
he’s the type of polished receiver who runs tight routes, picks up yards
after the catch, and generally makes the quarterback more
Best defensive player: Senior CB Brandon Hughes. Hughes came into
his own as a junior, parlaying 57 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and a
dozen pass breakups into a spot on the All-Pac-10 Second Team. An
aggressive defender, he’s as good defending the run and jamming the
receiver at the line as he is playing in pass coverage.
Key player to a successful season: Redshirt freshman RB Ryan
McCants. Unless the quarterbacks suddenly experience an unlikely
epiphany, Oregon State will continue relying on the running game. The
heir apparent to Yvenson Bernard is McCants, a burly 236-pounder with
the toughness to pound between the tackles and the light feet to dance
outside of them. Considering the uncertainty in the 87th-ranked
passing game, the Beavers need McCants to be the next in a long line of
The season will be a success if ... Oregon State bowls for the
eighth time in the past decade. With the season being billed as a
rebuilding year, an additional game would be a nice accomplishment for
Mike Riley and exactly what the younger players need as a stepping stone
for 2009. Despite the massive turnover from a year ago, don’t forget
that 16 starters coming out of spring were juniors or seniors. The
Beavers may be undergoing a makeover, but they’re certainly not without
a bunch of familiar faces.
Nov. 29 vs. Oregon. Besides being the Civil War, which is always the
biggest clash on both team’s schedules, this could be a do-or-die game
for the Beavers’ bowl hopes. They’re likely to straddle the .500 mark
all season, making the visit from the Ducks even more poignant than
usual. Oregon State has owned Oregon in Corvallis lately, winning the
last five, a trend that could produce a ton of school pride and 15 more
practices in December.
2007 Fun Stats:
- First quarter scoring: Oregon State 134 – Opponents 30
- Average net yards per punt: Opponents 36.2 – Oregon State 31.7
- Kickoff return average: Oregon State 21 yards – Opponents 17.9 yards