The Oregon State Beavers went into the 2015 campaign knowing it would be a long season. The Beavers had just 9 returning starters and were one of the least experienced teams in the country.
Not to mention they were in the first year under new head coach Gary Anderson. Oregon State won 2 of their first 3, but would proceed to go 0-9 in Pac-12 play to finish up at 2-10.
While the Beavers figure to be greatly improved in year two under Anderson, they have a lot of ground to make up. They were outgained by over 200 yards/game inside conference play last year. They also had just one Pac-12 loss by less than double-digits.
It’s unlikely Oregon State will make a serious jump and compete for a bowl game. Oddsmakers only have their win total set at +3.5.
|Date||Opponent||Spread (Est.)||Win Chance|
|Estimated Wins: TBD|
*We take the win chance by using the college football win percentage chart for each point spread.
The non-conference schedule will be a great test for the Beavers. They open up on the road against Minnesota. After a favorable matchup at home against Idaho State, they will host a very good Boise State team.
Oregon State’s best chances at racking up a conference win or two come early in the season. They open up at Colorado before hosting both California and Utah.
They have a couple more winnable home games against Washington State and Arizona. However, the rest of the schedule will be a challenge. The Beavers have to travel to Washington, Stanford and UCLA, while also hosting Oregon.
We knew the offense was going to struggle in 2015. Anderson replaced the Beavers pro-style passing attack with a run-first spread scheme. Oregon State also had zero experience returning at the quarterback position. The end result was a mere 19.0 ppg and 337 ypg. It was their lowest offensive output in almost two decades.
The Beavers ended up using 3 different quarterbacks. Seth Collins and Marcu McMaryion are both back, but neither is expected to start. That honor will go to Utah State transfer Darell Garretson. This a big upgrade, as Garretson showed a lot of potential in 4 starts in 2014 with Utah State.
Better quarterback play should lead to improved production out of the skill positions. The biggest impact figures to come at wide receiver, where Oregon State has some talent. They get back their two best weapons in senior Victor Boldin and junior Jordan Villamin.
The hope is that sophomore Ryan Nall can take over as the lead back. Nall was 3rd on the team last year with 455 yards, but did avegage an impressive 6.2 yards/carry. Anderson likes to use multiple backs, so look for others to contribute here as well.
The most encouraging thing for the offense outside of Garretson, is the offensive line. Oregon State essentially gets back 4 starters. They have a pair of senior starters returning at tackle in Dustin Stanton and Sean Harlow. They also get back last year’s starting left guard Fred Lauina. At right guard, senior Gavin Andrews returns, as he missed last year with a medical red-shirt. At center they added a couple of transfers to compete with sophomore Yanni Demogerontas.
While the offense looks to be in better shape, the defense could continue to struggle. Last year the Beavers gave up 37.0 ppg and 482 ypg. It was their highest scoring average allowed in almost 30 years (1987).
Given the scheme changes and just 2 starters back from the previous season, it was to be expected. This year’s unit will at least be more experienced with 6 returning starters.
The Beavers run a 3-4 scheme and in order to succeed you need production up front. Unfortunately the only starter back is junior end Blake Pritchard. There’s a big hole at nose tackle, where they have to replace 2nd-Team All-Pac-12 Kyle Peko. They also lose starting end Jaswha James and reserve Lavonte Barnett. Plus, junior end Titus Failauga will be moving to linebacker.
To help fill the voids up front, Oregon State brought in three junior college transfers. All of which are over 300 lbs. They are also counting on breakout performances from sophomores Sumner Houston and Kalani Vakameilalo.
At linebackers the Beavers lose top tackler Rommel Mageo, but are in decent shape. They have 6 back with starting experience. That includes their #2 and #3 tacklers from last year in Caleb Saulo and Jonathan Willis.
The secondary was a big weakness last year. Opposing teams averaged 256 passing yards/game. Given the losses that departed from 2014’s squad, it wasn’t a big surprise. While still not a strength, the unit should be much better in 2016.
The Beavers have a couple of experienced seniors back at corner in Treston Decoud and Cyril Noland-Lewis. Though one of them could be losing their job to sophomore Bright Ugwoegbu. At safety they get back senior Devin Chappell. Starting alongside him will be either junior Brandon Arnold or true freshman Shurod Thompson.
Regular Season Win Total
Pac-12 North Odds
Pac-12 Championship Odds
National Championship Odds
Odds Courtesy of 5Dimes
*Odds updated live on our college football odds page
Last year I was all over the Beavers to go UNDER their win total of 4. I had them pegged exactly where they finished at 2-10. This year I have them finishing with an identical record at 2-10, but I’m not near as confident. Especially with their win total now at just 3.5.
There’s no question Oregon State will be a better team than last year. I just don’t know that it will be enough to close the talent gap on the other teams in the league. The schedule certainly has plenty of favorable matchups with 4 very winnable home games.
I’ll definitely be watching this team closely to start the year. If they can hang on the road at Minnesota and keep it respectable against Boise State, they should be a covering machine in Pac-12 play.
Win Total Prediction