2015 Record: 2-10 (0-9)
UW Opponent Preview - Oregon State
Head Coach: Gary Andersen (2-10; second year)
Returning Starters: 7 Offense/6 Defense
Key Returners: OT Dustin Stanton; OT Sean Harlow; LB Caleb Saulo; CB Treston Decoud; S Devin Chappell
2015 Offense: 337 ypg (178 rush/159 pass); 19.0 ppg
2015 Defense: 482 ypg (226 rush/256 pass); 37.0 ppg
Offense: It proved to be a huge step, moving from former head coach Mike Riley's pro-style offense to Gary Andersen's spread attack. The Beavers struggled to find any consistency at quarterback, using three -- Seth Collins, Nick Mitchell and Marcus McMaryion -- and heading into the offseason looking for some help. Like their in-state rivals, OSU went the grad-transfer route, signing former Utah State star Darell Garretson to take over the offense. While Garrretson isn't a guy who will be a threat with his legs, he's experienced in running a spread offense. When he drops back, he'll have Collins, who moved to receiver during the spring, as well as the top two receivers from last season -- Jordan Villamin and Victor Bolden. The tailback situation still needs to sort itself out, but the staff appears encouraged to have Sean Harlow and Dustin Stanton back as the bookend tackles although the loss of center Josh Mitchell, a three-time All-Pac 12 selection, is something they will have to overcome to have much success up front. Things couldn't get much worse offensively than they were last season. Garretson should be able to get them up into the mid 20s as far as scoring is concerned, but it will still be a work-in-progress on that side of the ball.
Defense: While the offense was bad last season, the defense was almost as bad. They struggled to stop the run and rarely got much in the way of pressure on the quarterback up front (15.5 sacks last season) as they transitioned to a 3-4 scheme. New defensive coordinator Kevin Clune, who was with Utah State last season, has been running a 3-4 for a while, so he will continue the transition to that scheme this fall. Helping matters is that he has seven starters returning including some talented defensive backs -- CB Treston Decoud and S Devin Chappell. However, up front, they will rely on several JUCO transfers to acclimate to the system quickly and inside linebacker Caleb Saulo will be the fixture inside. Oregon State has some talent, but they'll need to continue to be patient as they young guys and JUCO transfers come along. Going from 37 points per game to around 30 would be a nice improvement this season, but even that would have to be considered at stretch at this point.
The Bottom Line: Andersen is a great coach and he's got a system that will take time to implement. However, the good news for Beavers fans is that he and his staff are very aggressive on the recruiting front and they've uncovered some very talented players in the past two years to be excited about. What it will require is patience. It's likely to be another down year in Corvallis, but they should be a tougher out than they were this season, especially if Garretson plays as expected.
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