Oregon State has turned into a
Pac-10 power since Mike Riley took his coaching wares to the NFL. Now that he is
back, can it stay there? Oregon State checks in at No. 16 in the Athlon Sports
preseason Top 25.
Mike Riley returns to a program he
coached in 1997 and '98 before a four-year engagement in the NFL. In the
meantime, Oregon State has risen to the status of a player on the national
stage. After backing up Jonathan Smith as a freshman in 2001, Derek Anderson
took over as the Beavers' starting quarterback last season and threw for 3,313
yards and 25 touchdowns, but he needs to work on his accuracy (47-percent
completions). His receivers, led by the explosive James Newson, are among the
fastest humans on the planet. But Riley might employ the passing game just to
loosen up defenses for tailback Steven Jackson, who returns after rushing for
1,690 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall.
For in-depth, daily coverage of the Beavers, visit BeaverFootball.com.
Athlon Preseason Top 25
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