“We certainly lost a lot of very good football players who were probably the most or one of the most successful classes (three bowl victories in as many games) in Oregon State history,” eighth-year head coach Mike Riley said. “But, at the same time our entire coaching staff is excited about what lies ahead. We have watched a young group gain experience playing behind veterans, now it’s their turn to be the veterans.”
The preview for 2008 begins March 31 with the first official day of spring practice, culminating with the spring scrimmage May 3 at Reser Stadium.
Spring will be critical for the Beaver special teams as the program will have its first new placekicker since the 2004 season. Sophomore Justin Kahut saw minimal action in that role last season, but is the only player with experience. Sophomore Jake Webber has also been in the program for two previous seasons.
One of it not the most ambitious schedules awaits the 2008 Beavers. Eight of the 12 opponents played in bowl games last season and the schedule opens with the first five games at Stanford, at Penn State and home for Hawai’i and USC, and back on the road to Utah.
“We have been slow starters the last couple of seasons, we can’t afford that this year,” Riley said. “It’s an entertaining schedule for our fans and I know the players are looking forward to it. Spring practice will be extremely important as we look to solidify some areas before embarking on such a challenging schedule. It should be fun.”