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Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State was absolutely torrid on both sides of the bowl last year, scoring just 19 points per game and allowing 37. That led to a 2-10 record and zero wins in Pac-12 play. The Beavers are hoping to make some kind of mark this year and that starts with a conference win, a first for head coach Gary Andersen, now in his second year.
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The problem last year was at quarterback and it's looking like that'll be the issue again after using three different guys extensively a season ago. The good news is that Utah State transfer Darell Garretson looked able in the spring game tossing for 263 yards and three touchdowns. He should be the starter out of the gates, but gets to face tough defenses in Minnesota and Boise State early on.
Garretson will at least have pieces to work with, whether that's former quarterback Seth Collins, who is set to be all over the place, top receivers Jordan Villamin (660 yards, 5 TDs) and Victor Bolden (461 yards, 3 TDs) or running back Ryan Nall (455 yards, 3 TDs). There is a lot of speed in this offense and if they find a quarterback that can utilize that, the Beavers should be a step above last year's pace. The offensive line lost some studs, but left tackle Sean Harlow returns, as do two more starters.
But defensively, does Oregon State have anything to look forward to? They moved to a 3-4 system last year and brought in new coordinator Kevin Clune who also comes from Utah State. He inherits a defense that will have plenty of new faces, whether that's because of exhausted eligibility or guys just transferring out.
Junior college transfer Phillip Napoleon is looking to make an immediate impact at end, as well as early enrollee Shemar Smith. The secondary might be the most crowded with a few returning starters at that group as well as a lot of redshirts and two incoming freshmen. This group can be better, but even if they improve a little bit, they'll still be one of the worst in the conference.
With the aforementioned Minnesota and Boise State on the non-conference schedule, things will once again be far from easy for the Beavers. They have to travel to Colorado in their Pac-12 opener, the team they'll be competing with for worst in the conference. But following that is a California team, who may still be figuring things out. If Oregon State can't get wins out of those games, it's hard to see where one will come about. Washington State and Arizona look like the best options, but OSU's offense couldn't keep up with those teams a year ago and that would be the problem again.
Maybe the Beavers can reach three wins this year, but they are still a ways off from competing in the Pac-12 North.
2016 Oregon State Beavers Football Schedule
Sept. 1 at Minnesota
Sept. 17 vs. Idaho State
Sept. 24 vs. Boise State
Oct. 1 at Colorado
Oct. 8 vs. California
Oct. 15 vs. Utah
Oct. 22 at Washington
Oct. 29 vs. Washington State
Nov. 5 at Stanford
Nov. 12 at UCLA
Nov. 19 vs. Arizona
Nov. 26 vs. Oregon
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