Oregon State Beavers
Head Coach: Gary Andersen
2014 record: 5-7 overall, 2-7 Pac 12 North
2014 Postseason results: None
2015 returning starters: 7 offense, 2 defense
Odds to win 2016 College Football Championship game: 2000/1
Odds to win 2015 Pac 12 Championship Game: 200/1
Odds to Win 2015 Pac 12 North Division: 45/1
Regular season wins: under 4 -125 / over 4 -105
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Mike Riley returned to the Oregon State Beavers for a second time as head coach in 2003 after a brief stint in the NFL. He would coach 11 seasons in Corvallis before shocking the college football world after last season by accepting the head coaching position at Nebraska. Oregon State raided another Big Ten school for his replacement by luring Gary Andersen from Wisconsin. Andersen had only been at Wisconsin for two seasons after rebuilding the Utah State program.
Andersen will face a similar rebuilding job at Oregon State. The Beavers return only 9 starters including just two defensive players. Oregon State went 5-7 last year and narrowly missed out on going to bowl for a third straight season. The Beavers started off the season 4-1 but would go 1-6 down the stretch. The only highlight of the second half of the season was a 35-27 upset over Arizona State. The season ended with ugly blowout losses to Washington and Oregon.
The Beavers averaged 394 yards per game on offense last season. They were #32 nationally in passing at 275 yards per game but #113 in rushing out of 128 teams at 118 yards per game. OSU averaged 26 points a game last season. Andersen hired Dave Baldwin as his offensive coordinator who held the same position at Colorado State. Seven starters are back for the Beavers in 2015.
Oregon State must break in a new quarterback after the departure of Sean Mannion, now with the St. Louis Rams. Mannion threw for 3,164 yards with 15 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Redshirt freshmen Nick Mitchell and Marcus McMaryion will compete with true freshman Seth Collins for the job. Despite not playing in the spring, Collins has a slight leg up on the other two.
Running back Storm Barrs-Woods is back for his senior season after he had 121 carries for 766 yards and 5 touchdowns, and also making 26 catches for 179 yards and a touchdown. He had split time the last two seasons with Terron Ward the last two seasons but Barrs-Woods will get most of the carries in 2015. Ward is now with the Atlanta Falcons after he had 133 carries for 696 yards and 10 touchdowns along with 29 catches for 229 yards. Junior Chris Brown will also get more carries after rushing for 91 yards on 22 carries with 2 touchdowns and making 5 catches.
Receiver Victor Bolden is back after making 72 catches for 798 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he also rushed for 118 yards. Jordan Villamin is also back after making 35 catches for 578 yards and 6 touchdowns. Tight end Connor Hamlett is now with the Jacksonville Jaguars after making 32 catches for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns last season. Caleb Smith is back at tight end though after making 20 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown. Hunter Jarmon will also get some targets after making 20 catches for 334 yards and a touchdown as a freshman. Richard Mullaney announced he was transferring to Alabama.
The line officially brings back four starters but the five players who will start in 2015 all started the final four games last season. Center Josh Mitchell and left tackle Sean Harlow should anchor a line that needs to improve in pass protection as they gave up 36 last season. Issac Seumalo also returns after missing all of last season while recovering from two foot surgeries. He had a strong 2013 season.
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Oregon State gave up 406 yards per game including 248 passing yards last season. The Beavers allowed 32 points per game last season. Andersen hired Kalani Sitake as the defensive coordinator. He held the same position at Utah. Sitake will install a 3-4 defense but only 2 starters are back. The defense could regress in 2015 as players learn new positions.
Senior Jashwa James returns at one end. Jalen Grimble will start at the other end. Kyle Peko is a talented nose guard but has had academic issues that have kept him off the field.
The linebackers are young but talented led by sophomore Darrell Songy and redshirt freshman Bright Ugwoegbu. The linebackers were impressive in the spring and look to wreak havoc in opposing backfields.
Cornerback Larry Scott is the only returning starter in the secondary. He should pair up nicely with physical safeties Cyril Noland-Lewis and Justin Strong.
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Sophomore kicker Garrett Owens made 11 of 13 field goals last year while splitting time with the now graduated Trevor Romaine. Nick Porebski takes over as the punter. Some combination of Bolden, Rahmel Dockery and Chris Brown will return kicks and punts.
Oregon State opens the season at home against Weber State before a trip to the Big House in Michigan. The Beavers close out September with home games against San Jose State and Stanford. In October, OSU has road games at Arizona, Washington State and Utah, and a home game against Colorado. November brings home games against UCLA and Washington and road trips to California and Oregon.
With a freshman guaranteed to start at quarterback and so many new faces on defense, this could be a long year in Corvallis. The schedule is tough as well. Even with almost certain wins over Weber State and San Jose State, I can’t see more than 3 or 4 wins in conference. That might be a little generous with this team.
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