Pac-12 Conference Football Preview: Oregon State Beavers (Part 1: Offense)

The 2011 season was not one to remember for the Oregon State Beavers. Oregon State finished with an overall record of 3-9 and a conference record of 3-6 (fifth in the Pac-12 North). The Beavers will look to improve in 2012, but will have to do so with no nationally televised games. Despite not having any nationally televised games, Oregon State will have two big games this year. These games include a week 2 match-up against Wisconsin and the Civil War game against the Oregon Ducks to end the season (Oregon defeated Oregon State 49-21 in 2011).

The Beavers will need to look to their offense if they want to see any improvement this upcoming season. Here’s a look at the averages they had per game and their rankings compared to the other schools in Division I:

  • Nov 26, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks linebacker Boseko Lokombo (25) pressures Oregon State Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion (4) during the first half at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE

    Total: 373.7 yards (73rd overall)

  • Passing: 304.8 yards (17th overall)
  • Rushing: 86.9 yards (118th overall)

The good news for the Oregon State Beavers is that replacing will not be a huge issue entering the 2012 season. The returning players on offense for the Beavers include: their starting quarterback, all three of their top running backs from 2011, and three of their top wide receivers from 2011.

The only departure on offense for Oregon State is that of second overall wide receiver from 2011, James Rodgers. Rodgers leaves Oregon State as a fifth year senior was picked up by the Atlanta Falcons this past off-season. Last season, Rodgers was second on the stats sheet in receiving yards for the Beavers. He had 514 receiving yards on 45 receptions with three receiving touchdowns.

However, replacing Rodgers will not be a problem for Oregon State this season. The Beavers have three of their top four leaders in receiving yards during the 2011 season coming back in 2012. The biggest player returning is Markus Wheaton. Wheaton enters the 2012 season as a senior and will most likely be the #1 wide receiver for the Beavers. Last season, Wheaton was the leader in receiving yards as he had 986 receiving yards on 73 receptions, but only had one receiving touchdown.

Another huge returning player for Oregon State in 2012 will be their starting quarterback, Sean Mannion. Mannion enters the 2012 season as a sophomore and threw for 3,328 yards on 305 completions last season for the Beavers. He also had 16 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Mannion could be the spark plug for the Beavers this season. The one aspect that needs the most improvement from Mannion in 2012 will be his interception numbers. If Mannion can reduce the interceptions in 2012, he could have a successful season.

The 2012 season should be more successful than the 2011 season for the Oregon State Beavers’ offense. They are a young offensive squad and do not have many holes to replace. It would be surprising if they do not finish higher than they did after the 2011 season (fifth in the Pac-12 North).

For more stories on Oregon State, check out Beaver Byte.

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Topics: Civil War Oregon Vs. Oregon State, Civil War Rivalry, James Rodgers, Markus Wheaton, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State, Oregon State Beavers, Oregon State Football, Pac-12 Conference, Pac-12 Overview, Sean Mannion

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