2010 Record: (5-7, 4-5 in Pac-10)
Head Coach: Mike Riley (69-54 at Oregon St, 43-42 in Pac-10)
Last Bowl Game: 2009 Las Vegas Bowl (lost to BYU 44-20)
CFBZ Oregon State Links
9/3: Sacramento State
9/10: at Wisconsin
9/24: UCLA (2010 result: lost 17-14)
10/1: at Arizona State (2010 result: won 31-28)
10/8: Arizona (2010 result: won 29-27)
10/15: BYU (2009 result: lost 44-20)
10/22: Washington State (2010 result: lost 31-14)
10/29: at Utah
11/5: Stanford (2010 result: lost 38-0)
11/12: at California (2010 result: won 35-7)
11/19: Washington (2010 result: lost 35-34 2OT)
11/26: at Oregon (2010 result: lost 37-20)
2010 Offensive Statistics:
Scoring: 24.4 ppg (7th in Pac-10, 82nd in Nation)
Rushing Yds/Game: 121.08 yds/game (9th in Pac-10, 96th in Nation)
Passing Yds/Game: 205.4 yds/game (7th in Pac-10, 71st in Nation)
Total Yds/Game: 326.5 yds/game (9th in Pac-10, 94th in Nation)
2010 Defensive Statistics:
Scoring: 26.8 ppg (7th in Pac-10, 64th in Nation)
Rushing Yds/Game: 179.5 yds/game (7th in Pac-10, 88th in Nation)
Passing Yds/Game: 228.2 yds/game (7th in Pac-10, 79th in Nation)
Total Yds/Game: 407.7 yds/game (8th in Pac-10, 86th in Nation)
2010 Misc Stats:
Turnover Margin: +0.33 per game (3rd in Pac-10, 35th in Nation)
Penalties: 56.3 yds/game (4th in Pac-10, 80th in Nation)
Top Returning Statistical Leaders:
Passing: QB Ryan Katz, Jr (211 of 353 for 2383 yds, 18 TD, 11 INT)
Rushing: WR Markus Wheaton, Jr (28 for 235 yds, 2 TD)
Receiving: WR Markus Wheaton, Jr (54 rec for 660 yds, 4 TD)
Tackles: S Lance Mitchell, Sr (74)
Sacks: DT Kevin Frahm, Sr (3)
Interceptions: CB Jordan Poyer, Jr; S Lance Mitchell, Sr (2)
Athlon Sports: None
Phil Steele: Las Vegas (vs TCU)
With the Rodgers brothers poised to lead an explosive Oregon State offense we had high expectations for the Beavers in 2010. Unfortunately, that never came to be as the Beavers dropped early games to TCU and Boise State and then lost James Rodgers in game five against Arizona when he went down with a season-ending injury. Oregon State started 4-3 overall and 3-1 in conference but then dropped games to UCLA and Washington State and dropped four of their final five games to finish with a losing record overall and in the conference. While the Beavers did not live up to our expectations last year their first year QB Ryan Katz did gain some valuable experience and had his moments. WR James Rodgers has been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA when they granted him a medical hardship for the 2010 season. It remains to be seen how quickly Rodgers comes back or how effective he will be but this sounds like very good news to me. One reason to be apprehensive about this years Beavers squad is their schedule. In addition to playing a nine game Pac-12 schedule, Oregon State picks up two very tough match-ups in Wisconsin and BYU. To get an inside take on the 2011 Oregon State Beavers we caught up with Travis Rice. Make sure you check out his Oregon State football blog and BeaverBlitz.com to keep up with Oregon State and the Pac-12 this year.
Jacquizz Rodgers racked up over 1,400 yards last year and scored 17 TDs? Who is going to replace him?
OSU returns senior running back Ryan McCants and junior Jordan Jenkins, the two most likely to earn the starting spot or at least share time until one emerges as the true starter. Jenkins suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder and should be ready by fall camp. Jenkins is the best all around back for the Beavers (improved his speed, good size at 6-1 207, and reliable hands in the passing game) and was expected to get the bulk of the carries until he went down with the injury in the early spring.
McCants is a big back (6-1 235) but the knock on him is he doesn't know how to run behind his pads and use his size effectively. He's not a juke-n-jiver like Jacquizz Rodgers was. People thought he would be the next Steven Jackson and the talent is there, it's whether or not he can put it together in his final season as a Beaver and run downhill with a purpose.
Jovan Stevenson is another guy to watch for. He played 2nd fiddle to Jacquizz in 2009 as a true freshman, then missed the entire 2010 season due to a shoulder injury. He's added 12 pounds of muscle since his freshman year and looks to be a legit factor in the running back battle. Stevenson is the quickest of the trio and can make people miss in space and separate with good top end speed.
James Rodgers has been granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA. What kind of impact do you think he will have this year?
It was great news and frankly, just sheer luck that allowed James to return for his fifth year. He played as a true freshman and never used up his redshirt year. Unfortunately for him and the team, he suffered a concussion in the Boise State game, then two weeks later blew up his knee in an upset against then #9 Arizona on the road. How it all worked out, he was one quarter shy of not receiving a medical hardship.
The road to recovery has been long and included two separate knee surgeries. James is one of the hardest workers on the team (Coach Riley has said as much) and if anyone can bounce back it's him. He's running on his leg now with no support and catching balls from QB Ryan Katz, but it remains to be seen how confident he will be come fall camp.
If he does return healthy, he is one of the most dynamic play-makers on offense and in the return game in the entire nation. I'd expect big things in 2010 from James, maybe not in the first couple weeks as he gets stronger and more confident, but mid-season look for him to be back to his old self. His leadership on offense is immeasurable and it will be a huge morale boost to see #1 (switched his number) in the huddle.
Who are some under-the-radar guys that you think will step up for Oregon State this year?
It's going to come down to whether or not OSU can stop the opposing offense in 2011. Speed at linebacker may be the most noticeable factor and the place where Beaver Nation sees the biggest improvement. Michael Doctor (5-11 223) out of Oklahoma has a season under his belt and is lightning quick at his OLB position. He and Cam Collins should both be upgrades to the two senior 'backers OSU lost to graduation.
Another unsung hero could be Grant Johnson. Johnson started as a guard the past two seasons, but now shifts over to fill the void left at center by the departed Alex Linnenkohl. Johnson is a smart player who will anchor the offensive line with fellow senior tackle Mike Remmers.
Oregon State loses a lot of talent on the defensive side of the football. Who will be the defensive leaders on this team?
Cam Collins will need to take on a leadership role for the Beaver-D, along with senior safety Lance Mitchell. Collins transitioned from safety to OLB last season and came on strong at the end of the year. He's comfortable now that he's learned the position and at 6-2 240 and 4.5 speed, NFL scouts will love his game and hopes are he can seal the edge and not allow broken plays or QB scrambles that killed OSU last season.
Lance Mitchell is the leader of the secondary and has been a playmaker for two seasons now. His teammates respect him and I expect big things from Mitchell in 2011. Mitchell has five interceptions and may double that number this year.
Looking at the schedule, what are the most important games this year?
OSU @ Utah on October 29th looks to be a tough task, 2nd road game in as many weeks and it will be the 6th straight game for the Beavers. Rice-Eccles Stadium is a tough place to play (elevation) and Utah is riding high now that they're playing with the "Big Boys" of the Pac-12. Any win in year 1 will be a statement for Utah and they've beaten OSU in Salt Lake before.
What is your gut feeling on the final record for the 2011 season and what makes the season successful in your eyes?
To tell you the truth, my gut and brain are arguing about the Beavs' potential in 2011. There are pieces in place, and while they may be upgrades in speed and athleticism you can't argue with on field experience. Defensive tackle is a huge question mark, as is runningback. Both positions vital to OSU's success on each side of the ball.
I do think OSU makes it back to the post season due to the infusion of speed on defense and an offense that I think we see evolve under Ryan Katz, now in his 2nd year as the Beaver signal caller.
A successful season would be getting to the post season and winning a bowl game. Coach Riley has taken OSU to the post season six times since 2003 and won five bowl games. OSU has started off well regarding their 2012 recruiting class and a successful season, topped off with a bowl win will go a long way in ensuring that OSU remains a perennial threat in the Pac-12 North.
I'd put OSU at 8-5 after a bowl win to cap the season off.
Coming in August: Pac-12 Preview
Next Preview: Western Michigan
2011 Team Previews