The annual Oregon State spring football game will take place on Saturday, March 18th at 1:00 PM PT, which gives fans the first chance to see the 2017 version of the Beavers, live in person. The game is open to the public (via free admission) and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. According to the official Oregon State athletics website, a full day of activities are planned, starting with a “Surplus Sale” at Truax Center at 9:00 AM, where Beaver fans can load up on their favorite Oregon State gear for a reduced price. The gates for Reser Stadium open at noon for any of those planning to attend.
This year’s spring game will be especially intriguing, due to the fact that Oregon State is in the midst of a heated quarterback competition, featuring last year’s opening-day starter Darell Garretson, Ventura College transfer Jake Luton and Marcus McMaryion, the gunslinger who led the Beavers to wins over Arizona and Oregon to finish the 2016 campaign. Additionally, a new influx of talent from last year’s solid recruiting haul, will lead to some new key players across the board.
Date: Saturday, March 18th
Time: 1:00 PM PT
Location: Reser Stadium (Corvallis, OR)
Coverage: Pac-12 Network
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)