CORVALLIS, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon State Beavers showed off their new look Saturday during the team’s annual spring football game. New faces are all over the offense and defense for the Beavers in hopes to continue to trend upward in the conference.
Here are six takeaways from the Beavers’ spring game:
Running backs need a leader
Oregon State has always been known for their extremely talented running backs and the track record shows the production the Beavers get from the running back room year in and year out. With the departure of Jermar Jefferson to the NFL, the Beavers are looking for somebody to fill his shoes. There were a ton of bright moments for the running backs during the game and seeing the raw play-making ability they have was impressive; however, I feel the Beavers are currently lacking that number one running back and a leader who separates himself from the pack.
A big question coming into this season was how the offensive line was going to hold up. While it has always been respectable during the running game, but the pass blocking from the Beavers offensive line stood out more than anything. They really struggled at times last season to protect the quarterback and give him a fighting chance. From what we witnessed in the spring game, the offensive line has taken great strides as a unit.
Linebacker core is as good as ever
Between Avery Roberts, Omar Speights, Andrzej Hughes-Murray and the rest of the young core, this Beavers linebacker group is about as deep as it has been since Mike Riley was the head coach. Speights was by far the most impressive of the day by racking up a handful of sacks and setting the tone for the Beavers defense.
The fans brought the energy
After not seeing the Beavers play in person for more than a year, the Beaver faithful were finally able to go into Reser Stadium and watch the team perform, while at a decreased number for COVID-19 protocols once again. Fans were ecstatic the entire day, singing the fight song, giving the Beavers a standing ovation, and soaking up every moment from what they have missed out on for quite some time.
Beavers kicking game is much improved
For the last few seasons, the Beavers have had their fair share of struggles in the kicking game. Whether it be field goals, extra points, or just kickoffs in general, the Beavers kicking game has really struggled and has actually lost them a handful of games since Jonathan Smith took over as head coach. However, sophomore Everett Hayes looks like he is going to be key for the Beavers kicking game success moving forward.
Beavers experienced a lot of penalties
One thing that will drive coaches crazy is penalties, and the Beavers in their spring game probably had way too many for Smith’s liking, especially on the offense. Penalties can kill an offense drive and make things all but impossible to find their rhythm. Springtime is a time where things tend to be a little rougher around the edges. However, Beavers are going to need to clean things up come fall time.