Cleat Geeks

2016 Pac 12 Preview: Oregon State Beavers

Pac12IntroPhotoFor nearly the past decade, the North division has dominated the Pac-12, bringing in the conference champion every year since 2008 and hovering as the best overall division in all of college football. In a division that has been headlined by Oregon and Stanford during that span, there is much more competition heading into 2016. Washington is much stronger this season and faces huge national expectations with a possible conference crown on the horizon. Washington State is no team to sleep on due to their fast-paced offense and high-powered passing attack headlined by All-Pac 12 QB Luke Falk. The bottom feeders of the division this season figure to be California and Oregon State. The Golden Bears are faced with the tough task to replace 1st overall pick Jared Goff under center, while the Beavers are tasked with the mission of bouncing back from a winless season in conference play. Both, however, will be scrappy teams who could serve as a threat to end a team’s Playoff hopes.

Take a look as we dig deep into the Pac-12 North division. Comment with some predictions of your own regarding the Oregon State Beavers. Will their offense step up and help them gain relevance in the Pac-12? Follow @JonValencia_WiB for more Pac-12 updates throughout the off-season as we gear up for opening week.

5 – Oregon State Beavers (4-8, 2-7 – NORTH)

Players to Watch: QB Darrell Garretson, RB Ryan Nall, WR Victor Bolden, WR Jordan Villamin, TE Caleb Smith
Key Departues: RB Storm Woods, OL Isaac Seumalo

GaryAndersenA 2-10 season without recording a win in conference play, that’s how Gary Andersen’s debut season in Corvallis went. From 2012, Oregon State’s win total has decreased. There’s no place to go but up for the Beavers, one would think at least as the program remains faithful with Andersen at the helm. Like most teams in the North division, it all starts with offense.

Junior transfer Darell Garretson comes over from Utah State to assume starting QB duties for the Beavers. Garretson tossed for over 2,500 yards with 18 TDs and a completion percentage of 63% in 13 games at his previous school. A well-polished passer who has already been voted as team captain. Former starting QB Seth Collins shifts into a more versatile role on the offense. The sophomore will see time at receiver and in the backfield as well. A dynamic athlete who made a living on scrambles when under center and led the team with 575 yards last season. Along with Collins, the offense is filled with playmakers. Jordan Villamin is one of the best receivers in the conference and brings a lot of NFL traits to the table, along with his 6’5”/232 frame. His 660 receiving yards and 5 TDs led the team last season – he is primed for All-conference honors this season. Opposite of him will be senior Victor Bolden. The speedster is a dynamic athlete and has the ability to bring it to the house every time he has the ball in his hands. Has led the Beavers in receptions for the past two seasons.JordanVillamin

In addition to the WR corps, the Beavers have some weapons at tight end as well. Coming off a medical redshirt, Caleb Smith has the potential to be the best in the conference. His combination of size at 6’6”/258 and athletic ability make him a lethal pass catcher. He will be joined by Noah Togiai, another tremendous athlete who even plays for the basketball team as well. Smith and Togiai have the potential to form the best two-TE set in the nation. Taking over in the backfield is sophomore Ryan Nall. The 6’2”/235 bruiser is a tough, powerful runner who rushed for 455 yards and compiled a 6.2 yards per rush as a true freshman, he is in for a breakout year and ready to gain national recognition.

One of the worst defenses from 2015, you guessed it, was none other than Oregon State. Overall they ranked 115th in the nation, and only return four starters. There are a bunch of holes to fill, most notably in the front 7, but their recruiting class does feature 13 signees in that vicinity of the team. Baker Pritchard is the lone returning starter on the defensive line and brings the most experience, although his production hasn’t been anything to write home about. In the LB corps, Caleb Saulo leads the charge as one of three senior starters on the entire defense. Saulo should be a sturdy force in the middle and brings a versatile game. Two of the three seniors on defense work in the secondary. Treston Decoud has tremendous potential as a disruptor at corner due to his length and 6’3” size. Devin Chappell is a big, hard-hitting safety. The Beavers should be better against the pass this season which was the best unit on their defense in 2015.

I actually really like the potential of Oregon State this season. They will continue to improve under Gary Anderson, and he is no stranger to rebuilding programs. The offense is loaded with playmakers and should put a lot of points on the board. The only concern is the defense. While they may not find themselves with a bowl bid quite yet, they may be able to sneak out an upset or two in conference play.

9/1: @ Minnesota LNew-Oregon-State-Helmet
9/17: vs Idaho State W
9/24: vs Boise State L
10/1: @ Colorado L
10/8: vs California W
10/15: vs Utah W
10/22: @ Washington L
10/29: vs Washington State L
11/5: @ Stanford L
11/12: @ UCLA L
11/19: vs Arizona W
11/26: vs Oregon L

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