2012 Oregon State Beavers Football Preview
2011 Record: 3-9 (3-6 PAC-12)
Head Coach: Mike Riley, twelfth season (72-63 all at Oregon State)
Projected Returning Starters: 14
Spring Game: April 28th
Notes: Coach Riley has become somewhat of a fixture in Corvallis. His first stint with the Beavers was short, lasting only two seasons before becoming head coach of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. After coaching the Chargers for three seasons and spending time with other NFL teams, he returned to Oregon State, where he has been since 2003. The Beavers have been to six bowl games since 2003, but posted his worst season in 2011. Some will say Riley is on the hot seat, but they forget that the coach is signed through the 2019 season. Don’t expect Riley to be terminated if the Beavers have another less than stellar season.
BVTSB Take: Inconsistency at the quarterback position hurt the Beavers last season, as both Sean Mannion and Ryan Katz saw time at the position, with Mannion seeing significantly more time. Mannion is projected to be the starter, but will need to improve his numbers as he threw for 16 touchdowns but 18 interceptions in 2011. Running back Malcolm Agnew will return for his sophomore campaign after missing roughly half of the season. Despite the time missed, Agnew averaged 4.8 yards per carry and had nearly half of the Beavers rushing touchdowns. Wide receiver James Rodgers is headed to the NFL, but Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks two of the top three receivers, return. Wheaton and Cooks combined for over 1200 yards receiving and four touchdowns. Part of Oregon State’s problem is their non-conference schedule, which generally ranks among the toughest in the country. A loss to Sacramento State was a surprise last season, but losses to Wisconsin and Brigham Young, two powerhouses, were not. The non-conference schedule for the Beavers doesn’t get any easier, as they host Nicholls State and Wisconsin, but travel to Brigham Young. Their winnable conference games are, for the most part, at home. Experience at the quarterback position should help. With a veteran wide receiving and running back corps, Oregon State is poised to return to the post-season.
2012 Early Projection: 6-6
To see the 2012 PAC-12 composite schedule, click here.
What are your thoughts on Oregon State football? Tweet to us @BVTSB.