Position battle spotlight: RG

MONDAY BEGINS IN earnest the fall camp battle scene at Oregon State. Among those starting jobs that figure to be waged and won, one that perhaps hasn't drawn as much attention as it should from the faithful -- right guard. But that all figures to change this week, as fall camp at OSU gets underway.

Two seniors, Burke Ellis and Michael Lamb, are battling for the starting spot.

Ellis is a returning starter, but the o-line had its problems last year. With Quizz in the backfield last year, the Beavers averaged only 119.6 yards rushing per game. With questions galore now at running back headed into fall camp, the cause for concern meter is spiking.

How well each thwarts pass rushing will play just as large a role, as OSU must create more offense through the air than they did last year, when they were seventh in the conference statistically.

Lamb looks to be headed into this season on an upswing. Talent has never been an issue for him, he was pegged to start at guard by Mike Riley as far back as his sophomore season, the same time that Riley slotted Ellis as his No. 2 right guard behind Gregg Peat.

But Ellis has been here before, and has turned back challengers in the past.

Lamb has seen action in 17 games over the course of his career and is versatile, having also played tackle. But Ellis has no shortage of experience, starting all 12 games at right guard in 2010.

Ellis and Lamb have each steadily gotten stronger each season, with both now checking in above the 290-pound range. Explosion is likely to be important, but whoever shows the best combination of power and balance in camp is likely to wind up starting on Sept. 3.

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