We are almost two weeks away from the kickoff of the Trojans 2017 campaign! To pass the time we’ve been previewing each conference game on USC’s schedule, next up on the list:
The Beavers will travel to Los Angeles early October for a week six clash against the Men of Troy. Last time they faced off, USC cruised to a 35-10 win in 2014. The Beavers went 4-8 last year with a 3-6 conference record. They finished the season with big wins over both the Arizona Wildcats and the Oregon Ducks. We asked our OSU friends what they thought of this matchup.
Brendan Kearney-Conquest Chronicles
Marcus Russell-Building the Dam
Brendan: What’s the environment like surrounding the program? How is Gary Andersen viewed by the fanbase?
Marcus: The environment around the program is very good right now. Morale is high and fans are excited to see what the Beavers do in year three of Gary Andersen. Gary Andersen's Utah State squad made a huge leap in year three and fans are hoping for a similar leap for the Beavers. Fans were ecstatic after winning the Civil War and hoped that the momentum would carry-over to recruiting. Oregon State has really seen a boost in recruiting under Andersen, but that has been somewhat overshadowed by Willie Taggart and the University of Oregon; despite losing the Civil War they are bringing in an impressive recruiting class. Overall, Gary Andersen is highly-regarded in Corvallis and even if they don't take a huge leap in year three, he won't be placed on the hot-seat as long as the Beavers keep improving.
Brendan: Which QB should we expect to see taking the snaps (barring injury) come week six? What performance will we see?
Marcus: Jake Luton is the man. The 6-foot-7 junior college transfer was named the starter a couple weeks before the start of the season and hasn't looked back. The announcement caused Marcus McMaryion to transfer to Fresno State and last years opening day starter (Darell Garretson) is the back-up. Luton's performance is still a big question mark at this point though. Beaver fans have high hopes and haven't seen a capable quarterback at the helm since Sean Mannion graduated. I expect Jake Luton to be a solid quarterback, he's got a great arm and big receivers to target. He's also got a reliable running game to lean on and as long as the offensive line can keep him upright the Beavers should have a much more balanced offensive attack in 2017.
Brendan:Tell me more about Ryan Nall.
Marcus: Fun fact about Ryan Nall... When he's not playing football he's saving the world from intergalactic aliens. In all seriousness, he is awesome and every Beaver fan has a huge crush on him. Hopefully, he stays healthy, but Oregon State is so deep at running back they wouldn't even experience that big of a drop-off.
Brendan: OSU seems to return key veterans at the Dline and Linebacker positions, but how will they replace Treston Decoud and Devin Chappell in the secondary?
Marcus: It will be impossible to replace Decoud and Chappell, but the Beavers have a nice building block with freshman All-American Xavier Crawford returning for his sophomore year. Senior safety Brandon Arnold has taken on a strong leadership role and the rest of the secondary features inexperienced, but talented players. The biggest worry in my mind for the Beavers defensively is the ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If Oregon State can generate pressure the secondary will hold up just fine, if not they will get picked apart by the talented quarterbacks in the Pac-12.
Brendan: What are OSU fans expectations for this upcoming season?
Marcus: Bowl game or bust! Expectations are fairly high going into the season. Getting to a bowl game is the top goal, but the schedule isn't exactly forgiving. Six or seven wins would be a successful year.
Special thanks to BuildingtheDam.com for working with us. We’re looking forward to this matchup on Saturday, October 7 in the Coliseum.