Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Oregon State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Oregon State Beavers Preview
Jonathan Smith: 16-28, 5th year at Oregon State
2021 Preview: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 5-4
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Oregon State Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022
Oregon State went seven years without a winning season or a bowl appearance, so no matter what, and no matter how the season finished with a big clunk to Utah State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, it was a fantastic turn in the fourth year under head coach Jonathan Smith.
Now he and the rest of the program have to do one thing a whole lot better to go up another notch or three …
Quit losing to Utah State.
When Smith was the Beaver quarterback during that magical 11-1 season in 2000, yeah the team got by an amazing Oregon squad, and it ripped through Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, but was the one loss to a bad Cal team? No. Was it to New Mexico? No.
It was to a Washington team that ended up going 11-1 including a Rose Bowl victory over Drew Brees and Purdue.
Nine of the 11 teams that Oregon State team beat either didn’t finish with a winning record or was in the FCS, but that’s the deal. You get easy teams on the schedule, you beat them.
There haven’t been a ton of super-soft teams on the Oregon State schedule since Smith took over in 2018, but if the 2019 team doesn’t lose to a lousy Stanford squad, it’s going bowling.
7-6 last season really was great, but don’t lose to Cal and Colorado, and then beat the Mountain West team in a bowl – you’re a Power Five program, Oregon State – 10-3 looks a whole lot better.
No, Oregon State doesn’t have the talent of a USC, but it beat the Trojans 45-27 last year.
No, it’s not as strong a program as Washington, but it beat the Huskies, took down Arizona State, and it beat the eventual Pac-12 champion Utah by eight.
So now it’s about consistency. Now it’s about expecting to pull off a home game over USC or winning at Washington …
And beating Colorado and Wazzu at home, too.
Now it’s about not just going bowling, but having an even bigger season.
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022: Offense
The Beavers were almost perfectly balanced, the offensive line kept defenses out of the backfield, and overall it was a steady bunch right up until it fell flat in the bowl game loss to Utah State.
The key here is the depth. There were enough good parts all-around last year to be ready to roll this time around.
Chance Nolan settled the passing game. He ran well, threw for 2,677 yards and 19 touchdowns with ten picks, and now he’s settled in along with Tristan Gebbia as a good enough option to be in the hunt. He’s not the runner that Nolan is, though.
Leading receiver Trevon Bradford might be gone, Zurich Beason left for Washington State, and Champ Flemings is in the transfer portal, but the Beaver receiving corps is okay. Tre’Shaun Harrison should be a solid No. 1, TE Luke Musgrave will be one of the team’s top receivers, and Tyjon Lindsay should do more with a bigger role.
The offensive front gets back three starters and will shuffle around a bit in fall camp to get the right starting five around all-star tackle Joshua Gray and fellow all-Pac-12 blocker Brandon Kipper either at guard or tackle on the right side. Overall this group was fourth in the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed, and it was seventh in sacks allowed, it’ll be a strength.
Again, Nolan will run enough to matter, but it’ll be an interesting backfield with freshman Damien Martinez expected to be the No. 1 guy going into the season. Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe combined for over 800 yards and five scores last season.
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022: Defense
The defense was a struggle. It finished ninth overall in the Pac-12, didn’t have a pass rush, and the secondary struggled throughout. On the plus side, the Beavers are loaded with experience with plenty of returning all-stars, especially in …
The secondary. It’s a tad odd that a secondary that gave up 244 yards per game had four Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 performers, but the talent is there.
Jaydon Grant is a pro prospect at one safety job – he made 71 tackles last year – and the corner tandem of Rejzohn Wright and Alex Austin made a whole slew of plays.
The front three will be playing around with the personnel, but Simon Sandberg is a main man at one end, Isaac Hodgins is a good one when healthy, and James Rawls has seen starting time.
Leading tackler Avery Roberts is gone, but Omar Speights is a strong veteran on the inside coming off an 89-tackle season, and the outside got a boost with former Florida transfer Andrew Chatfield about to be a factor after sitting out last season.