How Beavs' returning starters measure up

JUST HOW IMPORTANT are returning starters? Oregon State fans should find out in 2014. The Beavs have the fourth-most returning starters in the Pac-12 according to the conference.

The Pac-12 has released their 2014 season prospectus and in it, they run down the number of returning starters.

The Pac-12 defines a returning starter as a player who started at least half of his team's games or a majority of game at a specific position.

Oregon State is listed by the Pac-12 as having 16 returning starters -- seven on offense, seven on defense and two specialists. Only USC (18), Colorado (17) and UCLA (17) have more.

Sean Mannion threw for a Pac-12 single-season record 4,662 yards last season, but the Beavers will have to overcome the loss of WR Brandin Cooks and his 1,730 receiving yards/16 TDs.

The defense allowed more than 400 points for the third time school history in 2013 but Oregon State has a stout, experienced and finally healthy linebacker corps returning in '14 and the interior of the d-line is expected to be improved as well with newcomer Jalen Grimble at d-tackle.

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