- QB Matt Moore – Mike Riley has said it. Sammie Stroughter
touched on. Joe Newton and Kyle DeVan mentioned it. Everyone that is
part of the Oregon State program firmly believes that Moore will have a
successful senior year. And one reason why they think he will be better is
because it is the first time in his career that he has run the same offense
back to back.
He has dedicated himself to the film room, watching hours and hours of game film in preparation for the upcoming season. He has embraced a leadership role both and off the field. And with a better understanding of the offense and a better understanding of where to throw the ball Moore has set himself up to succeed. Derek Anderson had a fantastic senior season due to many of the same factors.
One marked improvement over last year is his ability to get rid of the ball quickly. This indicates a better understanding of the offense. Plus, he is not afraid to dump the ball off to the running back or chuck it out of bounds instead of launching a pass that is up for grabs.
The first real test of the season comes against Boise State on the blue turf in front of a hostile crowd in an important non-conference match up.
- WR Sammie Strougher – This California native has been involved
with the football program from the day he showed up in Corvallis. He was
just one of six true freshman to play in 2004 where he eventually became the
team's primary punt returner.
Stroughter served in similar capacity in 2005 as punt and kick returner. He also saw action at receiver catching five passes for 58 yards. In just his third season of collegiate football he is already an integral part of the Beaver offensive attack starting at split end while returning punts and kicks.
This off-season, like many of his teammates, he dedicated himself to the weight room. And while you won't find many people saying this, he is glad that Mike Hass is gone so the offense has a chance to spread the ball around.
Stroughter is excited that the team will throw to more people making the offensive potent with many weapons. If he makes a play he wants to challenge his teammates to make a play and hopefully that kind of playmaking attitude will catch fire.
- WR Shane Morales and Chris Johnson – Morales is more of a
possession type of receiver with good size and hands. He will probably
battle Brandon Powers for the slot position. Johnson is a big play receiver
with good speed and a person who can stretch the defenses. He will work out
at split end and flanker.
Each was brought in to compete for a starting spot and with the recent shake down at receiver each has a good chance at cracking the two deeps. Also, on a related note look for Taylor Kavanaugh to make a run at the two deeps at the slot position. He caught three passes for 55 yards in the spring game and looked good doing it.
- WR Anthony Wheat-Brown – The beleaguered junior moves from the
inside to the outside in a position change that could cause headaches for
Coach Riley always talks about playmakers and that is just what Wheat-Brown is. He, like his counterpart Sammie Strougther, devoted himself to the weight room and is one of the strongest receivers on the team. His strength and leaping ability will help him wrestle the pigskin away from defensive backs.
In two seasons he has grabbed 73 passes for 800 yards and six touchdowns. With his move to flanker Wheat-Brown's catches could go down but his yards per catch and touchdown passes could go up. He may just be that big play receiver that the Beavers need to stretch the field.
- TE Joe Newton – The Roseburg high standout absolutely dominated
the redzone in the spring drills giving OSU fans a brief glimpse into the
future. Everyone on the squad is happy with Newton's return as they expect
their offense to be almost unstoppable 20-yards in.
Newton and Moore are still developing a rapport that will continue into the start of the season. What the fans want to see in the fall is lots of Moore to Newton hookups with many of them coming on play action passes as the defense loads up against the run.
Fall Camp Focus: 5 to Watch - Offense
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