This Saturday spring football practices come to an end with the annual spring game. Oregon State will take on, well, Oregon State in a scrimmage in Reser Stadium. The coaching staff uses spring ball as an evaluation period to get an idea of what they have in newcomers, and who they have to replace graduating seniors. The spring game will be the final chance for players to prove themselves between now and the start of fall camp in July. The game is usually an offense versus defense affair in which the offense gets point for achievements such a long plays, sustained drives and of course field goals and touchdowns, while the defense can rack up points with turnovers, 3 and outs, and defensive scores.
Following the game the players will have a break from team activities, while the coaches get a leg up on the 2018 recruiting class which added its first member, 3-star DB DeShon Wilson yesterday.
Saturday March 18th, 1 p.m.
The game is free to attend
How To Watch
Note: If you wanna really get in the mood for football, the Pac-12 Networks will be showing 60 minute replays of 2016 OSU victories leading up to Civil War replay at noon (I have watched it multiple times, and it just keeps getting better).
What To Look For
Scrimmages can sometimes be difficult to evaluate, say the offense dominates, does that mean we have a great offense or a really bad defense, and vice versa. The main focus will be more on new schemes, individual performances and key position battles.
The ‘New’ Offense
Gary Andersen has talked several times this offseason about evolving to the offense to incorporate the passing game a lot more using elements of the Air Raid offense. The offense will likely still feature the run a lot, cause when you have Ryan Nall you better use Ryan Nall, but fans should expect more down field passes than we have seen in the early years of the Gary Andersen era.
The QB Derby
Coach Andersen and offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven have declined to give a timeline on naming a starting QB, so for now the derby continues. The current battle seems to be a 3-man race with Darell Garretson, Marcus McMaryion and newcomer Jake Luton. The three QB’s have been given fairly equal reps throughout spring practice, a trend that should continue this Saturday. The spring game could be the deciding factor for the QB derby, so look for each QB to step up and try to take charge of the offense.
BTD prediction: Luton will eventually be named the starting QB as he seems the most equipped to run the evolving offensive scheme.
New Look O-Line
Coach Woods has his hands full replacing three starters from last year’s unit in Sean Harlow, Dustin Stanton and Gavin Andrews. Fred Luiana, Gus Lavaka and Blake Brandel will most likely be starting come fall, but that leaves two spots open for guys like Trent Moore, Sumner Houston (moved from the D-line to center), Yanni Demogerontas, Will Hopkins, and Justin Sattelmaier (the JUCO transfer will arrive in Corvallis next month). The offensive line battle will likely not be settled until the weeks leading up to the season opener in Fort Collins, but Saturday could provide Beaver Nation a glimpse of what to expect.
The New Faces
Early enrollee wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins and academically eligible cornerback Christian Wallace have been battling each other all spring while impressing coaches. Hodgins will be battling to fill the hole(s) left by Victor Bolden and potentially Seth Collins (may redshirt this season as he recovers from his battle with Meningitis). Wallace, who missed last season due to academics, will be fighting to lineup in Treston Decoud’s old spot alongside returning Freshman All-American Xavier Crawford.
Other names to watch: Isaac Garcia(LB), Jaydon Grant(CB), Hamiclar Rashed (LB), Kee Whetzel(LB), Jaylynn Bailey (RB)