#90 Oregon State Football 2012 Preview

Oregon State Beavers

2012 Overall Rank: #90
#8 Pac-12
Oregon State College Football 2012 Preview
Oregon State Team Page


Oregon State has had some trouble finding itself in the last couple of seasons.  While their arch rivals in Oregon have risen to the apex of the college football world, the Beavers have struggled just to find themselves on the right side of a winning season for the last two seasons.  They had some success in the late 2000s, but have never gotten over the hump within the conference.  Hometown boy Mike Riley continues to lead his team after 12 consecutive seasons, and he is the longest tenured coach in the Pac-12 (he was also head coach in the late 90s).  However, another 3-9 season might put the beloved Riley’s career on the line.  In an improving Pac-12, Oregon State cannot afford to get left behind.  

2011 Record: (3-9, 3-6)
2011 Bowl: None
Coach: Mike Riley (72-63)
Offensive Coordinator: Danny Langsdorf
Defensive Coordinator:  Mark Banker

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Malcolm Agnew, RB, 423 yards
Passing: Sean Mannion, QB, 3,328 yards
Receiving: Markus Wheaton, WR, 986 yards
Tackles: Brian Watkins, CB, 85
Sacks: Scott Crichton, DE, 6
Interceptions: Jordan Poyer, CB, 4

Other Key Returnees: RB Jovan Stevenson, WR Jordan Bishop, WR Brandin Cooks, LB Michael Doctor, LB Feti Unga

Key Losses: WR James Rodgers, QB Ryan Katz, DE Taylor Henry, P Johnny Hekker


Oregon State still has a fairly young team that can grow together as the season continues.  Many of their statistical leaders return for the 2012 season.  Sean Mannion emerged last year as the true starter at quarterback for Mike Riley.  In years past he had platooned quarterbacks due to lack of production.  Ryan Katz had a couple of opportunities, but Mannion stepped up to seize control of the job.  They will look for him to improve on his impressive 3,328 yards in 2011.  The Beaver offense was top-20 in the country in throwing the ball.  They have a solid receiving corps returning that has played together.  Markus Wheaton will lead the way and Jordan Bishop and Brandin Cooks will try and complement him.  Riley and Mannion have to feel pretty comfortable with where they stand at wideout.  Oregon State was a great special teams club last year as well, but they do lose a really good punter in Johnny Hekker.  It will be interesting to see if they can sustain special teams success with a new man setting up defensive field position.

The Beavers have a lot of weaknesses, and most of them come on the ground.  Their rushing offense was third to last in the country last season.  Their leading rushing gained less than 500 yards on the season and the entire team only rushed for 1,043 yards for the season.  They have a promising back in Malcolm Agnew, but the team needs to find a way to churn out yards.  Mannion cannot be the entire offense.  Because of their inefficiency on the ground, the Beavers had a tough time scoring points, they scored just over 21 points per game, which was second to last in the conference.  The Beavers also turned the ball over a lot, which limited their possessions and ability to score.  They had trouble defensively in the running game, giving up nearly 200 yards per game.  The offensive line will also have to improve.  The Beavers allowed over two sacks per game last season.  Not only does that kill drives, but it also risks injury for their young quarterback.

The Bottom Line:
Oregon State has a lot of work to do, but they should also feel a bit encouraged.  They have a great deal of young talent, and it seems like they have finally found a full-time starting quarterback with a bright future.  Their receiving corps is in-tact, despite losing a strong and productive leader in wide receiver James Rodgers.  They need a running game to emerge in order to find some offensive balance.  It will still be an uphill battle for Oregon State to try and breakthrough for a bowl bid in 2012, but they can certainly strive for a few more victories.  With all the talent in the Pac-12, it will be difficult for the Beavers to compete for the North division title.  But Corvallis has a lot of faith in Mike Riley.  Hopefully, they can continue to gradually climb the ladder.  

Projected Bowl: None

2011 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 86.92 (118th in nation, 12th in conference)
Passing Offense: 286.75 (19, 5)
Total Offense: 373.67 (73, 10)
Scoring Offense: 21.83 (100, 11)
Rushing Defense: 196.83 (101, 12)
Pass Defense: 214.42 (46, 2)
Total Defense: 411.25 (84, 7)
Scoring Defense: 30.83 (89, 7)
Turnover Margin: -.67 (100, 12)
Sacks: 2.0 (54, 8)
Sacks Allowed: 2.25 (81, 8)

Madness 2012 Football Recruit Rankings:
#28 Isaac Seumalo