A big week on tap for Beaver Football

GARY ANDERSEN HAS been consistent in his praise this spring on the effort level put forth from the Beavs. The execution level and quality of depth, that’s a different story. Oregon State has three more spring practices including Saturday’s spring game to shore things up, and they need to make every minute count.

From a big picture standpoint, the future remains bright. Gary Andersen and crew, based on last year’s condensed recruiting cycle, are likely to do well on the recruiting trail and Andersen’s track record as a head coach lends hope for the Beavs to rise in the Pac-12. But the near term, specifically 2015, may be a different story.

An Oregonian beat writer midway through spring ball pegged the Beavs as looking like a five-win team at this early stage. And it’s a fair assessment.

At quarterback, it remains a two-horse race with neither Seth Collins or Nick Mitchell throwing the ball at a top-notch level. The OSU receivers should be the strength of the group but if the ball is delivered to them in an inconsistent fashion, that team strength becomes less and less.

Oregon State has run the ball better this spring, and that’s a definite bright spot. Storm Woods has garnered most of the plaudits, and deservedly so. But keep an eye on Damien Haskins, too.

The first unit offensive line has been consistent for the most part this spring with Sean Harlow, Fred Lauina, Josh Mitchell, Gavin Andrews and Dustin Stanton getting the reps. If Isaac Seumalo can make his way back, the o-line would receive a big boost on top of it.

But teams will stack the box and look to take that away and if OSU doesn’t have the ability to burn defenses with the pass, well, that’s a problem.

On defense, Jalen Grimble continues to work his way back from injury and OSU will need him to excel in his new role on the outside when the Beavs go to the 3-4. The secondary has played better than many expected after being hit hard by graduation headed into spring, with corners Larry Scott, Dashon Hunt and Dwayne Williams and safeties Cyril Noland, Justin Strong and Brandon Arnold among the standouts. Kendall Hill has also been moved to bolster the cornerback ranks.

Linebacker Caleb Saulo has done well this spring, joining Rommel Mageo, Bright Ugwoegbu, Kyle Haley and Manase Hungalu to form the beginnings of a unit that could be better than expected after OSU graduated three starting linebackers.

One final week of spring ball, and a very important one at that, is about to kick off.

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