Sunday, June 12, 2011

Oregon State Beavers 2010 Review

Oregon State Beavers
2010 Record: 5-7 (4-5), Tied 5th Pac-10
2010 Bowl Game: None

     There were some heavy expectations from some in the national media last fall, but they were completely ignoring history as it pertains to the Beavers. Oregon State tends to always struggle in seasons in which they are breaking in a new QB, despite other talent that may be on the team. Last fall, the Beavers were breaking in Sophomore QB Ryan Katz, and sure enough, as history would have it, the Beavers struggled.
     Katz had some solid moments in his first season holding the reins, and was never pushed by another QB, which was a great sign for 2011. Katz passed for 2383 yards and 18 TDs to go with 11 picks, but he averaged just under 200 yards per game, something that will have to improve next fall if the Beavers hope to turn it around. Katz will also have to improve on his 59.8% completion ratio.
     Jacquizz Rodgers did pretty much what he was supposed to do last fall, as he rushed for 1187 yards and 14 TDs to carry the Beavers. Rodgers, who appears to be the modern day Warrick Dunn, carried the football 21 times per game last fall, averaging 4.62 yards per carry. He also posted a rather nifty line of 43-284-3 as a receiver, making him the primary weapon in the OSU offense. The main issue with the run game is that there was little depth.
     The Beaver receiving corps was not as deep as some others in the conference last fall. James Rodgers was lost after 4 games and never returned, stunting the production of the overall group. Markus Wheaton led the team with a line of 54-660-4. Only 4 other receivers caught as many as 20 passes on the season. Joe Halahuni finished second with 30-390-6, and was followed by Jordan Bishop (22-353-2), Aaron Nichols (31-336-1), and Rodgers.
     The Beavers defense was as leaky as a garbage barge at times last season, as they gave up 407.9 yards per game. Five Beaver defenders averaged over 5 tackles per game last fall, led by senior LB Dwight Roberson with 88. He was followed closely by DB Suaesi Tuimaunei with 85. Lance Mitchell (74), Brandon Hardin (63), and Keith Pankey (62). James Dockery finished his senior season in the secondary with 56 tackles.
      Brennan Olander and Stephen Paea were highly active up front, as Olander finished with 11.5 TFLs, as Paea wrapped up with 11. That being said, the Beavers were prone to giving up big plays against the run, having given up 179.5 yards rushing per game. The Beavers, although they averaged 2.5 sacks per game as a team, were led with Paea's 7 on the season, hardly earth shateering numbers. OSU had 30 sacks last fall, but they gave up 35.
     OSU was not making a ton of plays in the secondary either, and that may have been a product of the lacking pressure up front. Dwight Roberson finished with 8 passes defended, but only Dockery joined him as members of the backfield with 5 or more passes defended on the season, and Roberson was not a DB, he was a LB. Dockery also led the team in picks with 4 on the season, but the Beavers only picked off 10 passes all season.
     Justin Kahut was not exactly killing it on FGs last fall, as he only hit on 8 of 12, good for only 66.7%. He'll be replaced in 2011. Johnny Hekker was solid as the punter last season, and he will return this fall. Hekker averaged 41.72 yards per punt, and he was used 5.1 times per game. James Rodgers had been having a fine season on kick returns, as he had been averaging 28.67 yards per return before his season ending injury. Jordan Poyer took over, and he really blossomed in the role, as he averaged 27.79 yards per return, and he piled up 917 yards on kick returns. The OSU punt return team only returned 18 punts all season. Not good.
Final Notes
      The Beavers got through their developmental season with Ryan Katz, so you have to wonder where they would go after the season as far as creating an environment for success in 2011. There were more question marks coming out of the season than going in, and now it looks as if Mike Riley and company have much work to do to create a stable situation heading into fall camp. OSU predictably struggled through last season, and Katz had his bumps and bruises, but he found some other stars in the passing game to make up for the injury to James Rodgers. If he can find some complimentary pieces to get the ball to in 2011, the Beavers could sneak back into the postseason. But...that defense...damn.

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