THE EARLY LOOK: Week 1 vs. Portland State

THERE ARE ABOUT 100 days left until the Beavs start their 2014 campaign against Portland State, so what better time to start looking ahead to the OSU season. The Vikings just wrapped up their spring football session on Sunday. So what do we know about Portland State coming out of the spring?

Portland State split up their 15 spring practices, which helped account for why their spring lasted so deep into May. But the break didn't help the o-line.

Portland State runs a pistol/spread offense, similar to many other Big Sky teams. But they were very thin on the offensive line this spring, and that affected how they could practice. (Sound familiar, Beavfans?)

Portland State will miss their running back this season, that seems fairly certain. And they'll also have a new quarterback.

The defense, however, might be pretty good if the spring game was any indication. This despite only four returning starters on defense. In their favor, PSU does have 21 defensive letterwinners returning, including eight others who have started games.

Portland State's defense has been only so-so for several of the past years, the offense has been the best unit. That might change in 2014.

Oregon State has shown they can't take an FCS team lightly, and they can't take any team lightly at the start of the season -- OSU has tended to start slow many years before getting on a roll.

But if they need one more reason to be wary, there's this: Portland State last year nearly, and should have, beat Cal.

PSU was 6-6 last year but lost three games by one, one and four points.

Only 15 seniors depart from last year's Portland State squad – but those 15 represent a large portion of the Vikings' top talent.

Running back D.J. Adams (1,600 rushing yards), all-conference OL Mitchell Van Dyk, record-setting quarterback Collin Ramirez, ball-hawking safety David Edgerson and all-conference punter Kyle Loomis were all seniors last year.

Still, PSU will return eight starters on offense and five on defense.

Junior quarterback Kieran McDonagh will likely be the starter in 2014, though the starting battle remains open heading into the summer. Paris Penn out of Grant High is his main competition.


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