TB Steven Jackson (PHOTO CREDIT - Barry Schwartz/OSU Athletics)
Coach: Mike Riley
0-0, 1st year
2002 Record: 8-5
at Temple WON 35-3
UNLV WON 47-17
at Southern Cal LOST 0-22
at Arizona State LOST 9-13
at Washington LOST 29-41
at Stanford WON 31-21
Pittsburgh LOST 13-38

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

This group has that thing all coaches draft, potential at the next level - dangerous amounts, in fact! Offensively, they use a spread formation that sends out three receivers and a tight end, whom garners coverage regularly as he takes a man out of the box. Team that with a mobile quarterback and a Heisman Trophy candidate at running back, all behind four returning linemen, and you've got what every defensive coordinator fears. They are very quick and will score gobs of points, but the true test is going to come when a defense focuses on single-back Stephen Jackson and stops the running game. Derek Anderson then has to beat a defense with his arm. Bar injury, this is going to be his and/or Jackson's year. Derek will vault himself into the 2004 Heisman campaign with a stellar year.

Defensively, the key will be the secondary gaining its new identity as a group. This is a defensive staff that has gotten better through the years. They will know on Sept. 6th whether they have the secondary to win games as they face Paul Pinegar and an impressive passing game, at Fresno State. They will also need the new OLBs to pose some sort of threat to keep Richard Seigler actively involved.

This group is taking shape and playing well enough to get through a tough (PAC-10) schedule and into a January bowl game, BCS if they can emerge from 2003's gauntlet with two-or-less losses. OSU gets Boise State, Arizona State and Washington at home this year, while playing on the road at Fresno State, Washington State, USC, and Oregon. The big tests will be at Fresno and home against Boise State. Winning early games against such teams that play PAC-10 style football will give this team that healthy shot in the arm as they enter the conference schedule.

Expect the Beavers to win enough for a probable Pac-10 Championship (as soon as by the end of November?!) Sorry to all the Oregon Ducks fans out there, but the Civil War will belong to the Beavers for a second straight year. This site's 22nd ranking will likely change as the secondary rapidly gels and wins occur.

The needed competitive schedule, a stellar offense and capable D - all the parts are in place for a title shot, or not. More realistically, they could statistically finish second in the conference and, like 2002 Southern Cal, make the BCS as the higher ranked PAC-10 team. Predicting seems foolish, though, with Washington State and Southern Cal right there again, too. This could also be the best four-loss outfit in Division I-A.

Projected 2003 record: 10-2
WR James Newson
LB Trent Bray
SS Harvey Witten
QB - 4 DL - 4.5
RB - 4.5 LB - 4
WR - 4 DB - 3.5
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Derek Anderson, 449-211-13, 3313 yds., 25 TD's

Rushing: Steven Jackson, 319 att., 1690 yds., 15 TD's

Receiving: James Newson, 74 rec., 1284 yds., 12 TD's

Scoring: Steven Jackson, 17 TD's, 102 pts.

Punting: Carl Tobey, 74 punts, 40.3 avg.

Kicking: Kirk Yliniemi, 15-16 FG, 45-46 PAT, 90 pts.

Tackles: Richard Seigler, 99 tot., 55 solo

Sacks: Bill Swancutt, 12.5 sacks

Interceptions: Mitch Meeuwsen, 5 for 26 yds.

Kickoff returns: Brandon Catanese, 9 ret., 23.8 avg.

Punt returns: Aric Williams, 24 ret., 7.6 avg.


SS Lawrence Turner (PHOTO CREDIT - Barry Schwartz/OSU Athletics)
OFFENSE: Shawn Kintner-WR, Mike Kuykendall-OT
DEFENSE: Eric Manning-DT, Nick Barnett-SLB, Erik Tuma-WLB, Terrell Roberts-CB, Dennis Weathersby-CB, Calvin Carlyle-FS, Noah Happe-DE (NFL)

written by Tim Chapman

Oregon State returns nine starters from a squad that was a downright explosive offense. The Beavers finished 20th in the country in total offense, per game totals of 262 yards through the air and 149 on the ground. The man behind the attack is 1st team All-Pac-10 junior RB Stephen Jackson, who was running himself into the Heisman trophy talks after a 4-0 start and a total of 541 yard. After a slump around mid-season, he surged for 383 yards in his final two games, to finish 8th in I-A with 1690. He's a big, quick back, who hits a hole faster than anyone in the conference. You will again be hearing his name come late October when the Heisman race starts to heat up. Dwight Wright, a bit smaller as an option, will see more playing time on third-and-long.

Junior QB Derek Anderson is going to be a good one. Like Jackson, the 6'6" future-NFLer started the season as the best (QB) in the Pac-10 after the first four games, only to have OL problems set the lulling mid-season tone. He brings a fleet set of feet and a strong arm, both of which make him tough to defend. But, when it came time for conference play, QB Derek Anderson found out what PAC-10 football was really like. He started to throw the ball errantly and forcefully, which led to an increase in INTs. He finished the season with 13, but 11 came in the team's five losses. Simply put, if he takes care of the ball, the Beavers win. He will need to step up this year - defenses will certainly be focusing on stopping Jackson. Trust me, you'll see him shine!

The receivers at OSU are good, very good indeed! Seniors Kenny Farley and James Newson have great speed and a knack for finding an opening somewhere in the defense. Newson is the real playmaker and the guy that Anderson will go to most often. Regularly utilizing a three-receiver set helps take the focus off one particular receiver. When a defense has to cover three receivers and a tight end like senior Tim Euhus, it makes for a hard time to effectively blanket all three. Watch out for junior Cole Clasen, who steps in at the third receiver spot. He is strong (though small), quick, and has incredible hands. Clasen is going to be the difference-maker, and by season's end he should be Anderson's favorite target.

Protecting and paving up front are four returning starters on the OSU offensive line. Led by senior OT Brian Kilkenny, this is a group that is vital for any offensive success. Jackson and Anderson were forced into sub par games last season when these guys up front couldn't establish a line of scrimmage. It doesn't help that there is no FB leading the surge, or also that the TE is too often running a pattern instead of staying home to protect (whoever). If defenses match up well with a quality secondary (especially versatile LBs), look for a similar slump in 2003. This offense certainly has the weapons, but if they don't have time to load, they're of no use.



QB Derek Anderson (PHOTO CREDIT - Barry Schwartz/OSU Athletics)


Returning Starters in bold
QB Derek Anderson-Jr (6-6, 227) Adam Rothenfluh-Jr (6-3, 198)
TB Steven Jackson-Jr (6-3, 229) Dwight Wright-Jr (5-9, 196)
SLOT Kenny Farley-Sr (6-3, 221) Cole Clasen-Jr (5-9, 185)
WR Jayson Boyd-So (6-4, 200) George Gillett-Jr (6-1, 214)
WR James Newson-Sr (6-1, 208) Josh Hawkins-Jr (6-0, 186)
TE Tim Euhus-Sr (6-5, 251) Pat Loney-Jr (6-6, 254)
OT Brian Kilkenny-Sr (6-5, 294) Adam Koets-Fr (6-6, 275)
OG Jason Fyda-So (6-3, 282) David Lose-Sr (6-2, 317)
C Matt Brock-Jr (6-2, 301) Brent Bridges-Jr (6-3, 299)
OG Kanan Sanchez-Jr (6-3, 344) J.C. Ronnfeldt-Fr (6-4, 338)
OT Doug Nienhuis-Jr (6-6, 299) Brandon Lockheart-Jr (6-6, 343)
K Kirk Ylimiemi-Sr (6-1, 195) John Dailey-So (6-1, 205)




written by Tim Chapman

The front-four was a strong unit last fall and will be even better this year. Three starters return who formed the core of the 9th ranked run defense in I-A. They are lead by junior DE Bill Swancutt, who led the team with 12 sacks. He's quick and makes great decisions up front, causing havoc in the backfield regardless of the play selection. Senior Dwan Edwards, a great run-stopper and a mountain of a man with size and mobility, is tough to run against inside and allows for Swancutt to use the outside affectively. Getting the ball off in good time will be tough for opposing QBs this year.

The linebackers may have lost their two outside guys, but the man in the middle is solid. First team All-Pac-10 LB senior Richard Seigler is a ball hawk. He's a perfect fit as a middle linebacker in any scheme because he can make adjustments as he realizes what is needed. He is aggressive so is greatly maximized on blitzes, where defenses will have to make a decision on who to throw extra protection against- Happe and Swancutt on the outside or Seigler coming through the middle. He has to step up and take the limelight in the group while two new OLBs get adjusted.

The outside LBs and the secondary were greatly decimated by graduation. Other than Seigler, junior FS Mitch Meeuwsen is the only returning starter in the back seven. A smart defender with a keen knack for always being near the ball, Meeuwsen had a team-leading five INTs. He will cause teams to throw to the outside or underneath, but this might not be a hard task with so much new blood. Juniors Seth Lacey and Jonathan Pollard look to fill the roles on the outside for the Beavers. Pollard looks to be the better of the two and will certainly be involved this season as he takes over for Nick Barnett, the team's top defender last year.

The secondary loses two outstanding corners, so teams will be more likely to throw the ball on the outside (until this new duo proves they can't be beat.) Stepping in will be junior Aric Williams, who brings speed and a six-foot frame to challenge big receivers. Don't be surprised if the Beavers move soph Robert Herbert back to the corner position. Recruited as a CB, Herbert saw limited action as a tailback last season.

The big thing with this defense is attitude. It is much easier to bring attitude when you can back it up with experience. Six men on this unit haven't had that yet. Last year's defense gave up only 94 yards per game on the ground and 199 in the air, ranking 6th in all I-A for pass efficiency allowed. In the pass-happy PAC-10, this new squad needs to bring heat on opposing QBs, and to do that, the secondary needs to step up and jam receivers at the line as they prevent the big play. A tall order, but attainable sooner than equaling 2002's numbers.



LB Richard Seigler (PHOTO CREDIT - Barry Schwartz/OSU Athletics)


Returning Starters in bold
DE Dan Rothwell-Sr (6-7, 258) Brandon Scales-Fr (6-5, 213)
DT Alvin Smith-So (6-2, 310) Henry Anderson-So (6-3, 288)
DT Dwan Edwards-Sr (6-3, 305) Chris Scott-So (6-1, 295)
DE Bill Swancutt-Jr (6-4, 260) Jayson Jean-Baptiste-Sr (6-3, 244)
SLB Seth Lacey-Jr (6-2, 231) Jason Lowe-Sr (6-2, 223)
MLB Richard Seigler-Sr (6-3, 239) Trent Bray-So (6-1, 229)
WLB Jonathan Pollard-Jr (6-1, 232) Kevin Davidson-Jr (6-2, 230)
CB Brandon Browner-Fr (6-4, 193) Shamon Jamerson-Sr (5-11, 184)
CB Aric Williams-Jr (6-0, 171) Kellen Marshall-Fr (5-10, 179)
SS Lawrence Turner-Sr (5-11, 194) Harvey Whiten-So (6-3, 214)
FS Mitch Meeuwsen-Jr (6-3, 210) Brandon Catanese-Sr (5-11, 202)
P Carl Tobey-Sr (6-2, 235) Josh Millar-Sr (6-3, 200)




This group should provide a big help to the Beavers. Senior kicker Kirk Yliniemi was 15-for-16 in FGAs, including two-for-two from 50. He can be counted on to provide meaningful points at crucial pivots of games- something for which the PAC-10 seems to be notorious. Senior punter Carl Tobey gives this team a good field position artist, but the coverage has to improve on 10.2 yards-per-return or Tobey's abilities don't matter much. The Beavers also do a great job protecting on special teams. Neither Yliniemi nor Tobey had either of their kicks blocked. Special teams will win games for this team sooner than lose one.


Starting DE Noah Happe has declared himself eligible for the NFL's Supplemental Draft.

Kanan Sanchez's streak of 21 consecutive starts on the O-line may come to a halt at the start of the season, due to a suspension handed down by head coach Mike Riley for violation of team rules. He may rejoin the team once certain conditions are met… James Newson continued to prove why he's the premier receiver in the Pac 10, with a seven catch, 138-yard, 2-TD enforcement in the spring game. His cohort, Josh Hawkins, may profit the most from his abilities. Hawkins is a serious deep threat and with extra attention being paid to Newson, Hawkins will put up some lofty numbers… One of the problems on offense was the amount of turnovers. There were a total of 3 fumbles and four INTs in the spring game, which must be cut down if this team is to achieve higher levels this season… There is a pretty even battle for the #2 TB spot between Wright and Ryan Cole.

Backups Trent Bray (MLB) and Harvey Whiten (SS) left coaches thunderstruck with astonishing performances this spring and give Mike Riley the healthy "problem" of getting these valuable defenders field action. He vows they will see plenty of time this fall. Another defender who poked his head into the thick of things is reserve free safety Sabby Piscitelli. He added to his profitable spring with a 94-yard INT return for a score to end the spring game. His emergence is a good sign, as the secondary has been the main concern this spring. Riley notes that they must get better at taking away the deep ball- good call… DT Henry Anderson stepped up in impressive fashion, giving the O-line consistent fits this spring. He continues to battle for a starting spot… CB Brandon Browner was noted as the best cover man in the secondary this spring and has earned the top spot opposite Williams.

Special teams were impressive last year, but should be even better this fall. LeCharls McDaniel was hired as the special teams coach and brings a pretty good track record with him. The return teams will have Catanese and Ryan Cole returning kicks, with Newson and Aric Williams on punts.