QB - Darell Garretson: B
Darell Garretson was mostly impressive in his Oregon State debut. Throwing for 3 TD’s and completing 62.5% of his passes despite a number of drops from his receivers. The only thing holding him back from from an “A” grade was his two fumbles (which weren’t entirely his fault) and the lack of offensive production in the fourth quarter. Garretson took some big hits and bounced back each time. He was under pressure most of the night and stayed in their delivering some nice throws. Head Coach, Gary Andersen wasn’t shy about handing out praise to his new quarterback telling OregonLive “You're not going to find a tougher kid than that, He'll stay in there and he'll fight like crazy."
RB - Ryan Nall: B+
Ryan Nall was extremely effective for the Beavers against the Golden Gophers. He led Oregon State in rushing and receiving, recording 151 all-purpose yards. He bounced off would-be tacklers and found running room when few others could. He tweaked his ankle and had it re-taped during half time. After that it looked like he lost some explosiveness and that contributed to Oregon State’s offensive decline in the 4th.
Offensive Line: C-
The offensive line is an interesting position group to judge because they swung back and forth from good to bad all night. For starters, newcomers Yanni Demogerontas and Blake Brandel were mostly solid in their debuts as starters. For all the talk of bad snaps in fall camp, Demogerontas snapped the ball fairly well despite a few low snaps. Minnesota on the other hand had a bad snap result in a safety. Overall, Oregon State’s offense outgained Minnesota’s 317 yards to 280 yards. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the line though. True freshman, Tai'yon Devers forced two fumbles and changed the complexion of the game, leading to 14 Gopher points. Dustin Stanton was beaten on the edge multiple times and it was disappointing to see some of the veterans on the offensive line struggle.
Wide Receivers: D
The receivers were mostly a disappointment. Jordan Villamin was a non-factor with 1 reception for 5 yards, including a couple of drops that could have gone for big gains. Victor Bolden snagged a beautiful touchdown just before halftime, but besides that catch had 4 other receptions go for a total of 2 yards (not a misprint). Bolden also dropped a couple of catchable balls. Not a good sign from the two veteran receivers. Seth Collins was a bright spot though, at times looking like the best receiver for the Beavs.
Defensive Line: C+
The defensive line started the night off strong, mostly stopping the run and overall being very active. They wore down as the game went on and had trouble stopping the read option. Minnesota QB, Mitch Leidner was more effective running the ball then passing and Oregon State couldn’t muster much pressure in the backfield failing to record a single sack. Expectations were fairly low for this group with so few returning starters, but hopefully they can pick up the pressure on opposing quarterbacks as the season wears on.
The linebackers were solid versus Minnesota. They had more success getting into the backfield then the defensive line and also provided some nice coverage clogging up potential passing lanes. Oregon State might have to start tinkering with blitz packages in order to generate some pass rush though, Mitch Leidner just had too much time in the pocket.
The Secondary: A-
Oregon State held Minnesota to 130 total passing yards. That’s impressive especially considering the extensive time Leidner had to throw at times. Devin Chappell stood out making a couple of highlight plays. Also, redshirt freshman Xavier Crawford looked good recording eight tackles on the night and also holding up well in coverage.
Oregon State showed a lot of promise against Minnesota. They gained more yards than Minnesota and had less penalties. Not to mention, the Gophers had 3 players ejected for targeting while Oregon State managed to stay aggressive without crossing the line. The Beavers had a golden opportunity to steal a game on the road against a formidable Big Ten opponent, but Beaver fans can take solace in the fact that Oregon State is showing on-the-field improvements.