When you are beaten 47-6 the way Oregon State was on Saturday in Boulder, Colo. it can be hard to find positives out of the game. Against Colorado, the reshuffled offensive line played well enough to give coaches and the players optimism moving forward into the Pac-12 schedule.
It was a lot of trial by fire for the offensive line. Sean Harlow made his return to left tackle, which forced Blake Brandel to flip to right tackle, which moved Dustin Stanton from right tackle to right guard, and Gavin Andrews moved from guard to center.
“I think that they did really well in my opinion,” said co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach TJ Woods. “Dustin’s first game at guard, he had one (missed assignment) the whole game--which is outstanding. I thought he played his best game of the season thus far."
Stanton was not the only linemen who got moved around, senior Gavin Andrews shifted from guard to center, taking over for Yanni Demogerontas. One of the areas where Andrews succeeded was snapping the ball, something he hadn’t had to do since he arrived in Corvallis.
“He did awesome. He was covered which was always tough as a center, he did a tremendous job,” said Woods. “I don’t think he had one bad snap the whole game, I think you saw some of that early in the year with us.”
Starting his career as a tight end, Stanton never envisioned himself as a tackle, let alone a guard when he stepped on campus in 2012. But the move has been a positive one for Stanton.
“It went well, it was fun playing guard, I had a pretty good game," the senior said. “You don’t realize how much of an island you are on when you are playing tackle until you play guard.”
The addition of Harlow, a team captain with 29 starts under his belt, helped solidify the offensive line. The more reps he gets and more rust he is able to dust off, the better the unit can be.
“Sean brings what he always brings, a little bit of attitude” Stanton said. “Great player, strong player, he has great technique so it was good having him back on the left side of the line.”
Freshman Gus Lavaka also made an appearance when he filled in for Fred Lauina after Lauina suffered an injury. Lavaka worked with the first-team offense in practice on Tuesday, while Launia did not participate during the portion available to the media.
“I was impressed with the way he came out and play,” Woods said. “Anytime you are a backup guy you are one play away, your goal is to make sure that no knows the guy in front of you got hurt, and I think he did that.”
Still confident in Darell Garretson
Two offensive players that have struggled through the team’s first four games have been quarterback Darell Garretson and wide receiver Jordan Villamin. Two player that before the season started, were pegged to be big-time contributors for the offense.
After a strong start to the season with a three touchdown performance against Minnesota, Garretson has struggled to get the offense in rhythm, and hasn’t played in the second half against Boise State or Colorado.
Co-offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven, who coached Garretson at Utah State, still has full confidence in his starting quarterback because of the success he’s had in the past.
“I’ve seen him do it,” said McGiven. “I’ve got to help him get into a rhythm with some of the calls and some of the situations that I put him...as his coach I’ve seen him complete 80 percent of his balls for 300 yards and a couple touchdowns in a game, and he tore a team up.”