Beavs run wild in OSU's spring game

THERE HAVE BEEN issues on offense this spring at Oregon State. You sure wouldn't know it by the way the Beavers' spring game began. The defense settled in a after the initial fireworks but still, the OSU run game was the star of the show in the White team's 38-7 win over the Orange.

The white team ran for 260 yards. The orange team rushed for 197 hashes. That's 457 ground yards and 7.4 yards per carry.


Storm Woods only saw four early carries, but his 24 yards was a sign of things to come in Saturday's spring game. Chris Brown galloped for 89 yards on nine carries and QB Seth Collins took off for 74 yards on seven carries.

The top eight Beaver ballcarriers on the stat sheet all averaged at least 5.4 yards per carry.

There were three touchdowns in the space of 24 seconds. First Brown took it in from three yards out for the first score of the game, capping off a nice, long drive for the white team, which primarily consisted of the first team.

But Xavier Hawkins took a fly sweep on the very next play for the orange team 70 yards and all the way to knot the score at 7-7.

Collins then hit Victor Bolden on an inside screen. In traffic, Bolden found a seam and turned on the jets, going 70 yards the other way to make it 14-7.

The defense rose up a little after that. Cyril Noland had some terrific coverage on a double pass from tight end Brent Vanderveen, picking it off and returning it 34 yards for the white squad. The orange team saw Adam Soesman make a great break on a well-thrown ball from Mitchell for the day's other interception.

Speaking of the quarterbacks, Collins put up far more impressive stats but Mitchell had a good day as well -- both had moments of inconsistency but they were far better over the last week, including today, than they had been earlier in the spring.

Collins is certainly the flashier of the two, hurtling a would-be tackler and a somersault when another defender caught him leaping. (The quarterbacks were supposed to be off-limits when it comes to contact but there were still some takedowns).

Collins was 9-15 for 175 yards with 2 TDs for the white team, the other a 20-yard seam route to a wide open Richard Mullaney. Mitchell was 3-8 for 42 yards for the orange squad but the stat line doesn't do his play justice. He also ran twice for 15 yards.

The quarterback competition will continue but Collins attempted 15 passes with the first team, Mitchell five. (Collins also attempted seven passes with the orange team, while Mitchell tossed eight).

But the big takeaways were the increased tempo, spread offense and of course, just how well Oregon State ran the ball. It should be noted the Beaver D stayed very vanilla throughout, with no blitzes and sticking to their base. The unit is also replacing nine starters from an up and down unit in 2014.

Still, Oregon State looked quick and explosive on the ground, especially early on. At the very least, it's something to build on.

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