The offensive line.
Mike Riley said it best on Thursday, "It's a mess, really." OSU has been without two-fifths of its starters this spring with offseason surgery for Isaac Seumalo and Josh Mitchell. Guard Grant Bays has been dinged up and he won't play Saturday either.
What: OSU Spring Showcase
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis
When: 1 p.m. - Saturday, May 3
TV: Pac-12 Networks
The Beaver d-line has won handily the majority of battles this spring against their offensive line couterparts. How it unfolds Saturday remains to be seen but headed in, it's feeling like a day that will see a lot of OSU "sacks" -- and maybe even at some point Mike Riley to start directing the defense to rush only three.
From a big picture standpoint, Riley remains positive on the o-line potential headed into fall camp. But what's become apparent through spring ball is that OSU will need to get their front-line guys healthy for fall camp, and then they're going to have to perform to their capabilities and beyond. And then those guys are also going to have to stay healthy -- OSU simply does not have quality depth in place if the spring has been any indication.
And if you needed further convincing, consider that Riley said Will Hopkins and Dustin Stanton have moved permanently over from tight end to the o-line in order to try and shore things up.
Everything flows from the offensive line and Beaver fans saw that last year with Sean Mannion. When Mannion had time against teams in the first half of the season, he was unstoppable. When teams were able to apply heat in the latter half of 2013, his yards and TDs fell dramatically, his interception numbers rose sharply and the losses came one after another.
Fred Lauina, Riley says, is going to be a good one up front. But he also added that's likely to come down the road, not in 2014: "I don't know if Fred will be ready to be a front-line player this fall," said Riley.
The spring game should be exciting, there should be multiple storylines across multiple positions for the Beaver Faithful to sink their teeth into on Saturday.
But none figures to be as compelling as the one authored by the Oregon State offensive line.
OSU Spring Showcase Saturday, OL is 'a mess'
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