NCAA FB

2003 PREVIEW: Oregon State Beavers

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Out with the old, in with the ... old. Sometimes in life, you have to realize that you have a good thing and that the pastures aren't always greener. Mike Riley left the Beaver program a few years ago to coach the San Diego Chargers, and Dennis Erickson took over and made the program a player on a national scale. Riley returns to the team he helped build and walks into a locker room loaded with talent. With ten returning starters on offense and a defense strong enough to be one of the best in the Pac 10, Riley should have his new/old team in the hunt for the league title. So just how good is ? After all, the last time we saw the Beavers, they were being manhandled by . This isn't the most physical team in college football, but it's athletic and they can flat out fly. is the type of franchise back you design a whole offense around. Quarterback has raw skills and could be an All-Pac 10 performer this season with one of the fastest receiving corps in college football. The defense needs to avoid injury and must find a way to equal the run defense of last year. At the very least, the Beaver front line will get to the quarterback. Oh yeah, the kicking game should be the best in the league. Is there pressure on Riley in his first year back? With all this talent, there should be.

Team Information
Head coach: Mike Riley
3rd year: 8-14
Returning O Lettermen: 27
Returning D Lettermen: 23
Lettermen Lost: 18
Ten Best Players
1. RB Steven Jackson, Jr.
2. WR James Newson, Sr.
3. LB Richard Siegler, Sr.
4. DE Bill Swancutt, Jr.
5. QB Derek Anderson, Jr.
6. SS Mitch Meeuwsen, Jr.
7. PK Kirk Yliniemi, Sr.
8. DE Noah Happe, Sr.
9. DT Dwon Edwards, Sr.
10. FS Lawrence Turner, Sr.
2003 Schedule
8/30 Sacramento St.
9/6 at Fresno St.
9/13 New Mexico St.
9/20 Boise State
9/27 Arizona St.
10/4 at California
10/18 Washington
10/25 at Wash St.
11/1 Arizona
11/15 Stanford
11/22 at Oregon
12/6 at USC
The Schedule: The non-conference slate has a couple of landmines against and if the Beavers don't take the WAC powers seriously. Missing in Pac 10 play isn't a bad thing as the Bruins are one of the few league teams with as much raw athletic talent as the Beavers. 2003 powers Washington and come to Corvallis, but it could all come unraveled at the end with road trips to Eugene and Los Angeles. Best Offensive Player: Junior RB Stephen Jackson. He's be the first running back taken in the 2003 draft and could be the lead back in 2004. Combining workhorse power and nice bounce, he'll be in the hunt for the national rushing title all season long. If he played for , he'd be on the short list of top Heisman candidates. Unfortunately, most of the lazy voters aren't going to see him play. Best Defensive Player: Senior LB Richard Siegler. With and gone from the great run defense of 2002, Siegler will have to play an even bigger role in the middle. Key player to a successful season: The corners. was one of the best players in the Pac 10 last season. needs to unearth a new lock down corner with and getting the first shot. The season will be a success if: finishes second in the Pac 10. Asking to win the league might be a little too much. There's enough talent here to win the title, but there are several other Pac 10 teams that have as many playmakers, if not more. Key game: Nov. 11 at Oregon. It's extremely possible can get through the first six Pac 10 games without a blemish. It could all come crashing to a halt if Oregon pulls off a win in the Civil War. The USC game might not mean much if the Beavers can't win in Eugene. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Yards per carry: OSU 3.9 - Opponents 2.6
  • Penalties: OSU 126 for 1302 yards - Opponents 100 for 823
  • First half scoring: OSU 248 - Opponents 146
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    Andy Darkins, LB, 6-2, 228, Lake Oswego, OR (Lake Oswego High School)
    Selected as the High School 4A Defensive Player of the Year by The Oregonian...selected first-team All-State by The Oregonian...selected first-team all-league (Three Rivers League) and he was named the Three Rivers League Defensive Player of the Year...earned 3.95 GPA in high school...also played fullback on offense...his team allowed just eight first-half touchdowns in 14 games during his senior year...as a junior, Andy had 127 tackles and eight sacks, scored one touchdown on a fumble recovery, forced three fumbles and recovered a pair of fumbles...as a senior, he had 133 tackles, 49 tackles for loss, eight sacks and three fumble recoveries...he combined for 18 pass deflections in two years and scored one defensive touchdown...he was mainly a blocking fullback on offense, but still rushed for 260 yards on 42 carries and scored four touchdowns...his blocking was a key to Lake Oswego's rushing attack for two years that produced tailbacks that rushed for over 5,000 yards.

    Yvenson Bernard, TB, 5-9, 205, Boca Raton, FL (Boca Raton High School)
    Charles Burnley, TB, 6-0, 180, Valencia, CA (Valencia High School)
    Lorenzo Bursey, TB, 5-9, 170, Long Beach, CA (Long Beach Poly High School)
    Curtis Coker, DT, 6-0, 288, Las Vegas, NV (Desert Pines High School)
    *Kevin Davidson, LB, 6-2, 221, SO, Tuscumbia, AL (Northeast College)
    Kyle DeVan, OT, 6-3, 275, Vacaville, CA (Vacaville High School)
    Naymon Frank, DE, 6-5, 240, Honolulu, HI (Roosevelt High School)
    Phil Ghilarducci, WR, 6-4, 190, Palo Alto, CA (Henry M. Gunn High School)
    , QB, 6-4, 215, Portland, OR (Central Catholic High School)
    Zach Hagemeister, TE, 6-4, 232, Lebanon, OR (Lebanon High School)
    Jeff Kruskamp, TE, 6-5, 225, Milpitas, CA (Milpitas High School)
    Gerard Lawson, CB, 5-11, 170, Las Vegas, NV (Palo Verde High School)
    Clint Polk, TB, 6-3, 190, Phoenix, AZ (Desert Vista High School)
    Brandon Powers, WR, 6-2, 205, Los Angeles, CA (Franklin High School)
    Keith Robertson, TE/DE, 6-3, 235, Lake Oswego, OR (Lake Oswego High School)
    Roy Schuening, OG, 6-3, 284, Pendleton, OR (Pendleton High School)
    Danny Southwick, QB, 6-2, 200, Provo, UT (Timpview High School)
    Jeff Van Orsow, DE, 6-4, 225, Las Vegas, NV (Foothill High School)
    Anthony Wheat, WR/FS, 6-1, 208, Compton, CA (Dominguez High School)
    , CB, 6-2, 180, Los Banos, CA (Los Banos High School)
    *Potential Instant Impact Players

  • Tagged: Boise State, Arizona State, Oregon State, Washington, UCLA, Mississippi, Fresno State, Notre Dame

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