Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen's Monday media address was shorter than some this season, but he did address several issues about the quarterback position, and had a little to say about the defense.
Andersen said he is "optimistic that Nick (Mitchell) will be ready" for Saturday's final home game against Washington. Mitchell left last Saturday night's game at California, after suffering a concussion in the process of throwing a touchdown pass to Noah Togiai for Oregon State's last score late in the third quarter.
"We will know much more after tomorrow's practice," Andersen added.
Andersen also officially said that Seth Collins will miss the rest of the year as a result of the hyper-extended knee injury he suffered prior to the Utah trip, ending speculation that Collins might make it back before the end of the season, saying Collins would be back and ready to go Jan. 4, which is when the students will return for winter term.
Andersen was also emphatic about it being entirely due to injury, apparently dispelling talk circulating about other reasons being at play, though he didn't address possibilities of a position change to wide receiver next season.
Realistically, that's probably a decision that will depend on what the options appear to be once incoming recruits arrive, and Darrel Garretson gets some off-season work and spring ball snaps.
Andersen also addressed the hit that knocked Mitchell out of the game. It drew a personal foul flag, but was not ruled targeting, and did not involve an ejection, something some on-lookers felt was warranted.
Andersen's first words were "Tread lightly", clearly wanting to avoid getting into trouble with the league, but he went on to say "I want to gather more information on why the hit was not a bigger penalty. It was not deliberate, but I need a definition."
I was tracking the pass to Togiai, from the far end of the stadium, as it was one of the most wide open receivers any play Oregon State has run this season has produced, and did not see the impact, only the aftermath, and no replay was afforded in Memorial Stadium, so I can't pass any judgement on the hit.
With Collins confirmed out, and Mitchell less than a sure thing, it leaves Marcus McMaryion as the only other quarterback, raising the question about who else might be available in the event of another emergency.
"The identity of the 3rd quarterback is a secret," Andersen said, "because I don't know. We will have a package for whomever might have to go back there though, by the end of the week."
On the issue of the defense, which gave up 760 yards, the most ever rolled up by any opponent against any Oregon State defense ever, Andersen noted the inexperience in the secondary that was missing both CB Larry Scott and safety Justin Strong, and got thinner quickly.
"Devin Chappell went out early, and we got into trouble in man (coverage), and had to got to more zone," Andersen said.
As a result, there was a lot of watching Jared Goff, and essentially no defending the Bear receivers and backs, who were able to run unchecked to wherever they wanted to go, Gabe Ovgard's interception of Goff not withstanding (and a notable exception).
Andersen was less than clear about Scott's prospects for return this week; when the depth chart comes out tomorrow, and there is a post-practice trainers' update, not unlike the QB situation, we should learn more.
Whether it will matter remains to be seen, though, and Washington, despite blowing 17 point lead at Arizona State on the way to a 27-17 loss after the Sun Devils ran off 27 unanswered points, still opened as 15 point favorites on the road against the battered Beavers.