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Oregon State Beaver Preview: Offense

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This is a must win on the road for the Bruins against an Oregon State team missing some key starters on offense.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins won ugly last week, gutting out two stops on defense with the game on the line. Now they travel to Corvallis to take on the 2-6 (0-5 in the PAC 12) Oregon State Beavers, before a tough three game stretch to close out the regular season. This morning we will take a look at the Beavers' offense, both statistically and on a player-by-player basis, in order to see how the Bruins match up with OSU.

Statistics

Total Offense

Oregon State is #113 in the country in total offense, averaging 338.6 yards per game. UCLA comes into the game ranked #82 in total defense (dropping 15 spots after giving up 550 yards to Colorado), allowing 416.6 yards per game. This may be an opportunity for some of UCLA's less seasoned defensive replacements to get some much needed experience before the final three games.

Rushing Offense

Oregon State is ranked #58 in rushing offense, averaging 179.1 yards per game on the ground. UCLA's injury-plagued defense continues to struggle against the run, yielding an average of 208.6 yards per game, #108 in the nation. Advantage: Oregon State. UCLA could not stop Colorado on the ground last week. The Buffs shot themselves in the foot by trying to throw the ball when they simply should have kept pounding the rock. I would expect OSU to avoid making the same mistakes as Colorado did last Saturday.

Passing Offense

The Buffs are ranked #114 in passing offense, averaging 159.5 yards per game through the air. UCLA is #49 in the nation in passing yards allowed, with an average of 208 per game. This is a much tougher match up for Oregon State, especially with their inconsistency at the quarterback position. Speaking of quarterbacks . . .

Quarterbacks

Sean Mannion, a four year starter and the OSU record holder in career passing yards and TD passes in a single season, has graduated, and is now waiting for an opportunity with the St. Louis Rams.

There was bound to be a drop off in this department, and there has been. The Beavers have played two quarterbacks this season. Oregon State Head Coach, Gary Anderson, has announced that redshirt freshamn, Nick Mitchell, will get the start against UCLA. Mitchell has started the last two games for the Beavs, completing 28 passes on 59 attempts (a 47.5 completion percentage), with 1 TD and 1 INT. Mitchell played better in his second game, which was at Utah, going 19 of 35, for 204 yards, a TD, and no INTs.

True freshman, Seth Collins, started the season for the Beavers but was sidelined with a knee injury against Colorado two weeks ago. He did not travel to Salt Lake City last week. His availability for UCLA is not clear at this time. Collins has has completed 81 of 156 passes this year (51.9%), for 890 yards, 6 TDs, and 4 INTs.

Of the two quarterbacks, Collins is better at running the football. He is Oregon State's leading rusher in carries (99), yards (536), and touchdowns (5). He averages 5.4 yards per carry. Although Mitchell is a threat to run as well, his numbers are pedestrian, with 16 carries for 22 yards. Nevertheless, the Bruins had best be prepared for a running QB. From a rushing standpoint, having Collins available would be a huge boost to the Beavers, especially considering UCLA's inability to stop rushing QBs this season.

In the event that the Beavers need to turn to a third quarterback, it would be Marcus McMaryion. McMaryion has seen action this season, going 6 of 17 for 60 yards and one INT.

Running Backs

Storm Barrs-Woods (6'0", 207 lbs.), a senior, is Oregon State's primary running back. Formerly known as "Storm Woods," Barrs-Woods has 75 carries for 373 yards, an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He has found the end zone 5 times. Barrs-Woods has also caught 11 passes out of the backfield for 147 yards.

Ryan Nall, Victor Bolden, and Chris Brown should also see action. Nall, a freshman, has 217 yards, 5.6 YPC, and two TDs. Nall is huge, at 6'2", 255 lbs., and could present a problem for UCLA's defense. Bolden, although listed as a wide receiver, has 26 carries for 153 yards and a 5.4 YPC average. Brown has 144 yards, a 4.4 YPC average, and has scored a touchdown. Bolden and Brown, both juniors, are considerably smaller in stature than Barrs-Woods and Nall

Expect Oregon State to pound the ball with their trio of running backs and with Bolden.

Wide Receivers

Four wide receivers have seen significant action for Oregon State this season, including the aforementioned Victor Bolden, who has 33 catches for 282 yards and 2 TDs.

OSU has a pair of 6'5" receivers who could pose problems for some of UCLA's smaller DBs. Sophomore, Jordan Villamin (6'5", 235 lbs.) is a huge target who has hauled in 29 passes for 474 yards and 4 TDs this season. Datrin Guyton (6'5", 205 lbs.) has 14 catches for 178 yards.

Hunter Jarmon, who has 12 catches for 100 yards and a TD, is working his way back from injury. He missed the Colorado game and only had one catch for zero yards against Utah. Look for Xavier Hawkins, who only has 2 catches on the season for 9 yards, to perhaps get more work if Jarmon is not at full strength.

Despite some guys who have size, the Beavers' inexperience at quarterback limits, to some extent, the performance of this unit.

Tight End

Oregon State's two primary tight ends, Noah Togiai and Brent VanderVeen, have caught 3 passes for 17 yards between the two of them. Do not expect the Beavers' tight ends to figure prominently in OSU's offensive attack.

Offensive Line

Injuries have decimated Oregon State's offensive line. Here is the Beavers' preseason depth chart before Fall camp:

LT Will Hopkins

LG Sean Harlow

C Josh Mitchell

RG Isaac Seumalo

RT Gavin Andrews

Andrews, a senior, injured his foot in spring practice and is out for the season, electing to use his redshirt. Harlow injured his right ankle two weeks ago against Colorado, will require surgery, and is out for the season. Although Hopkins has battled through injuries, it looks like his is back and will start against UCLA.

A lot of guys have moved around on the Oregon State offensive line to deal with the injuries, but it looks like Hopkins will start at left tackle, Mitchell will start at center, and Seumalo will start at right guard. Fred Lauina, who has suffered through injuries of his own, should get the start at left guard. Dustin Stanton should start at right tackle.

This will be an interesting battle between OSU's offensive line and UCLA's front seven, both of which are beset by injuries. Who will get the better of whom?

Analysis

Jim Mora is 0-1 in Corvallis against Oregon State. The Bruins control their destiny in the PAC 12 South. This is a rebuilding year for Oregon State under a new head coach. Simply stated, this is a must win for UCLA. A loss would be devastating for the season, and could put Coach Mora on the hot seat, as the remainder of UCLA's games are against significantly better competition than Oregon State. UCLA has to go out and get it done and somehow try to stop Oregon State's rushing attack. Period.

That is it for the preview of Oregon State's offense. Look for BN’s preview of the Oregon State defense in the near future.

Go Bruins!!!