The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Oregon State Beavers.
No. 71: Oregon State Beavers
Spring Practice Starts: April 4
Spring Game: April 28
Oregon State Beavers Spring Status
With just four wins over FBS teams in the last three seasons – and none last year – it’s been a rough go for Oregon State. But now the hope is for new head coach – and former OSU quarterback – Jonathan Smith to be the type of superstar head man who can turn it all around.
It’s not going to be easy, but at least the team returns experienced with seven starters back on offense and everyone returning up front. There needs to be more pop, more downfield passing, and more excitement – and that’s where Smith comes in.
The other side is solid in the back seven, but it needs to find a pass rush and has to come up with an alpha-linebacker to replace Manase Hungalu.
There are no expectations for this season, and no one’s thinking Smith and his staff will pull off miracles. But this should be the Pac-12’s most interesting rebuild.
Oregon State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. Is Jake Luton healthy? The 6-7 bomber and starter early last year was knocked out with a frightening back injury. He’s back and throwing it around, but redshirt freshman Aidan Willard and quarterback-turned-safety-turned-quarterback Mason Moran will be part of the mix. Luton might be the leader, but the offense needs a star to work around – it’ll be an interesting competition.
Oregon State Biggest Issue
The Beavers have to improve their turnover margin. The defense didn’t do enough to take the ball away, and the offense gave it up way too often, turning it over two times or more nine times and 28 times overall. The Beavers were a -14 on the year, being on the right side just twice, including being a +1 in the lone win over Portland State.
Oregon State Biggest Positive
Tackling experience. Leading tackler Hungalu is gone after coming up with 97 tackles, but the next eight tacklers are back. It might have been a rough year, but it was partly due to a youth movement with six underclassmen playing big roles. The secondary returns intact led by safeties Jalen Moore and David Morris, who tied for second on the team with 75 stops.
Really, Why Are The Oregon State Beavers Ranked Here?
After struggling against everyone but Colorado and Stanford – getting blown out in nine of the other 11 losses, with with the lone win coming against FCSer Portland State – there’s still a long, long way to go.
However, it’s a young team with a young new coach and with plenty of energy. This offseason is about finding playmakers on both sides of the ball – the team needs an identity, and it needs stars.