Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Oregon State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Oregon State Beavers Preview
Jonathan Smith: 16-28, 5th year at Oregon State
2021 Preview: Overall: 7-6, Conference: 5-4
Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Oregon State Top 10 Players | OSU Schedule & Analysis
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022
Oregon State went seven years without a winning season or a bowl appearance, so no matter what, and no matter how the season finished with a big clunk to Utah State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, it was a fantastic turn in the fourth year under head coach Jonathan Smith.
Now he and the rest of the program have to do one thing a whole lot better to go up another notch or three …
Quit losing to Utah State.
When Smith was the Beaver quarterback during that magical 11-1 season in 2000, yeah the team got by an amazing Oregon squad, and it ripped through Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, but was the one loss to a bad Cal team? No. Was it to New Mexico? No.
It was to a Washington team that ended up going 11-1 including a Rose Bowl victory over Drew Brees and Purdue.
Nine of the 11 teams that Oregon State team beat either didn’t finish with a winning record or was in the FCS, but that’s the deal. You get easy teams on the schedule, you beat them.
There haven’t been a ton of super-soft teams on the Oregon State schedule since Smith took over in 2018, but if the 2019 team doesn’t lose to a lousy Stanford squad, it’s going bowling.
7-6 last season really was great, but don’t lose to Cal and Colorado, and then beat the Mountain West team in a bowl – you’re a Power Five program, Oregon State – 10-3 looks a whole lot better.
No, Oregon State doesn’t have the talent of a USC, but it beat the Trojans 45-27 last year.
No, it’s not as strong a program as Washington, but it beat the Huskies, took down Arizona State, and it beat the eventual Pac-12 champion Utah by eight.
So now it’s about consistency. Now it’s about expecting to pull off a home game over USC or winning at Washington …
And beating Colorado and Wazzu at home, too.
Now it’s about not just going bowling, but having an even bigger season.
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022: Offense
The Beavers were almost perfectly balanced, the offensive line kept defenses out of the backfield, and overall it was a steady bunch right up until it fell flat in the bowl game loss to Utah State.
The key here is the depth. There were enough good parts all-around last year to be ready to roll this time around.
Chance Nolan settled the passing game. He ran well, threw for 2,677 yards and 19 touchdowns with ten picks, and now he’s settled in along with Tristan Gebbia as a good enough option to be in the hunt. He’s not the runner that Nolan is, though.
Leading receiver Trevon Bradford might be gone, Zurich Beason left for Washington State, and Champ Flemings is in the transfer portal, but the Beaver receiving corps is okay. Tre’Shaun Harrison should be a solid No. 1, TE Luke Musgrave will be one of the team’s top receivers, and Tyjon Lindsay should do more with a bigger role.
The offensive front gets back three starters and will shuffle around a bit in fall camp to get the right starting five around all-star tackle Joshua Gray and fellow all-Pac-12 blocker Brandon Kipper either at guard or tackle on the right side. Overall this group was fourth in the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed, and it was seventh in sacks allowed, it’ll be a strength.
Again, Nolan will run enough to matter, but it’ll be an interesting backfield with freshman Damien Martinez expected to be the No. 1 guy going into the season. Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe combined for over 800 yards and five scores last season.
Oregon State Beavers Preview 2022: Defense
The defense was a struggle. It finished ninth overall in the Pac-12, didn’t have a pass rush, and the secondary struggled throughout. On the plus side, the Beavers are loaded with experience with plenty of returning all-stars, especially in …
The secondary. It’s a tad odd that a secondary that gave up 244 yards per game had four Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 performers, but the talent is there.
Jaydon Grant is a pro prospect at one safety job – he made 71 tackles last year – and the corner tandem of Rejzohn Wright and Alex Austin made a whole slew of plays.
The front three will be playing around with the personnel, but Simon Sandberg is a main man at one end, Isaac Hodgins is a good one when healthy, and James Rawls has seen starting time.
Leading tackler Avery Roberts is gone, but Omar Speights is a strong veteran on the inside coming off an 89-tackle season, and the outside got a boost with former Florida transfer Andrew Chatfield about to be a factor after sitting out last season.
Oregon State Beavers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT
Oregon State Beavers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats
Oregon State Beavers: Key To The 2022 Offense
Be more consistent with the passing game.
The Beavers were able to throw well against Oregon and Utah State – and lost. They couldn’t throw a bit against Washington – and won. That’s all a bit of an outlier for an offense that was hit-or-miss with the passing game.
On the year the offense hit 63% of its passes and came up with several big plays, but it didn’t start to kick in until the final month.
As long as the Beavers are able to hit 65% of their passes every week, the running game will take care of the rest.
Oregon State Beavers: Key To The 2022 Defense
Come up with a third down stop.
It all ties together. The Beavers didn’t generate enough of a pass rush, and it gave up. a ton of first downs. That goes hand-in-hand with not being able generate enough stops on third downs.
The defense was the fourth-worst in the nation on third downs, allowing teams to convert a whopping 50.3% of their chances. It only allowed teams to convert fewer than 40% three times.
This has been an issue for years, though. 2014 was the last time Oregon State went through a season allowing fewer than 40% for a season.
Oregon State Beavers: Key Player To The 2022 Season
WR Tre’Shaun Harrison, Sr.
The Oregon State passing attack was fine. It averaged 217 yards per game, it was consistent, and it was occasionally explosive. But it could stand to do a wee bit more down the field.
Trevon Bradford led the team with 42 catches for 631 yards and five scores, but it was the 15 yards per catch that opened everything up. Harrison averaged 14 yards per grab on his 29 catches, but he needs to become a top target.
Oregon State Beavers: Key Transfer
RB Damien Martinez, Fr.
Oregon State doesn’t have a slew of big transfers coming – it’s a young team that didn’t need a bunch of new parts – so taking this in a different direction. Who’s going to be the big new part to the puzzle?
The 6-0, 228-pound Martinez was a good recruit out of Texas with big-time speed to go along with his size. How good is he? Oregon State already has two capable backs in Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe, and Martinez appears ready to shoot up into the starting job.
Oregon State Key Game To The 2022 Season
Boise State, Sept. 3
Oregon State has a Mountain West problem.
It beat Hawaii last year, but got rolled by Utah State in the bowl loss and is 1-5 since 2016 against the conference.
Boise State is probably the best team in the Mountain West this year, and if it’s not, it’s probably Fresno State, who’s the Week 2 opponent on the road.
After Montana State comes USC, at Utah, at Stanford to start the Pac-12 season. Lose to Boise State at home in the opener and it’s going to be a rough first half of the season.
Oregon State Beavers: 2021 Fun Stats
– Rushing Yards Per Carry: Oregon State 5.3 – Opponents 4.1
– Points Allowed in the 1st: 69, in the 4th: 105
– 3rd Down Conversions: Opponents 93-of-185 (50.3%) – Oregon State 79-of-161 (49%)
Oregon State Beavers Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT
Oregon State Beavers Season Prediction, What Will Happen
There might not be the star power of the top Pac-12 teams, but there’s a lot of returning experience.
There might not be a splashy style like USC is about to bring, or the defense that Oregon will show up with, but this team should once again be steady, and it should be able to come up with enough victories to make it back-to-back winning campaigns for the first time since 2012 and 2013.
It’s just going to be a grind to get there.
Where are the sure-thing wins?
Set The Oregon State Beavers Regular Season Win Total At … 5.5
Montana State isn’t a layup. It went 12-3 last season and shocked Washington and will be good again, but that has to be a win.
How about the other non-conference games? Boise State and at Fresno State – yikes.
Beating Washington State, Cal, and Colorado at home is a must, but those aren’t easy breezy dates.
There’s no UCLA to face, but there’s no Arizona, either.
USC and Oregon are coming to Corvallis, but going to Stanford, Arizona State, and Washington are tough.
Oregon State will pull off a few big wins to get to five wins, but it’s going to take something special to get past six with this nasty slate.