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UCLA Football Preview: Oregon State Still Struggling Under Jonathan Smith

The Beavers have only won three games since Smith took over last season.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the Oregon State Beavers coming to town on Saturday, let’s take a look at the OSU coaching staff and special teams.

Jonathan Smith is in his second season as head coach of the Beavers. Smith’s job is to try to get the Beavers to stop being the Pac-12’s perennial doormats. So far, he hasn’t had much success. It’s hard to imagine a team experiencing less success than the UCLA Bruins under Chip Kelly, but Oregon State is certainly doing exactly that.

Last season, Smith’s Beavers were just 2-10. So far this season, they are 1-3. So, the Beavers have an opportunity to come into the Rose Bowl and walk out having matched their win total from last year.

Before being hired as head coach at OSU, Smith had been a QB coach at Idaho from 2004 to 2009. He was also offensive coordinator/QB coach at Montana in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, he joined Chris Peterson at Boise as his quarterback coach. When Petersen left for Washington, Smith followed and he served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach there until being hired to be the head coach at his alma mater.

Brian Lindgren joined Smith’s staff as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, If his name sounds familiar, it’s because Lindgren served in the same capacity at Colorado from 2013 until 2017. He was a key part of Mike McIntyre’s staff until accepting the same job with Smith. In fact, he also worked under McIntyre at San Jose State in 2012.

Tim Tibesar is the Beavers’ defensive coordinator. Tibesar arrived at Oregon State after coaching linebackers at Wisconsin from 2015 until 2017. He previously served as defensive coordinator at Purdue in 2012, at Kansas State from 2006 to 2008 and at North Dakota in 2004 and 2005. Under Tibesar, the Beavers play a 3-4 defense.

Moving to special teams, the Beavers’ place kicker is Jordan Choukair (pronounced Shoe-care, not choke-air). So far this season, Choukair is just 2 of 5 on field goal attempts. He’s missed both attempts greater than 50 yards as well as a 37-yard attempt which Stanford blocked last week. He has made all 17 of his PAT attempts. Choukair has also kicked off 19 times for the Beavers while true freshman Everett Hayes has kicked off six times so far this season.

Redshirt senior Daniel Rodriguez is the Beavers’ first string punter. He’s averaging 48.0 yards per punt so far on 11 punts. He’s had two punts go for touchbacks, two have been fair catches and four have been inside the 20.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Jesiah Irish has been Oregon State’s only punt returner so far this season. He’s returned five punts for 39 yards. He has also returned one kickoff for 30 yards.

Champ Flemings has been the Beavers’ primary kickoff returner. He has 12 returns so far and is averaging 26.0 yards per return. He is a dangerous return man whose long this season is 66 yards, even though he hasn’t taken one all the back yet.

That wraps up our preview of the Oregon State coaching staff and special teams. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the OSU offense.

Go Bruins!!!