Oregon State Beavers season preview
August, 11, 2014
By Ted Miller | ESPN.com
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Previewing the 2014 season for the Oregon State Beavers:
2013 record: 7-6, 4-5 in Pac-12; beat Boise State 38-23 in Sheraton Hawaii Bowl
Final grade for 2013: C-minus. The Beavers had a dynamic pass-catch combination in Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks but little else. The back-loaded schedule probably made the season feel worse than it was, but a 7-6 finish was a win or two below realistic preseason expectations.
Key returnees: QB Mannion, OL Isaac Seumalo, TE Connor Hamlett, S Ryan Murphy, CB Steven Nelson, DE Dylan Wynn, LB Michael Doctor
Key losses: WR Cooks, DE Scott Crichton, CB Rashaad Reynolds
Instant impact newcomers: DT Jalen Grimble, OT Bobby Keenan
Projected winning percentage (ESPN.com Stats & Information): .590
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsOregon State senior Sean Mannion threw for 4,662 yards last season, but he doesn't have Brandin Cooks as his go-to receiver this time around.
Chances to win the conference (ESPN.com Stats & Information): 0.9 percent
Best-case scenario: 9-3
Worst-case scenario: 6-6
Over-under win total (Bovada): 7
Biggest question mark: How does the offense -- read: Mannion -- adjust to life after Cooks, who was the best receiver in the nation in 2013? Who steps up at receiver, and does the running game get going?
Most important game: Nov. 22 at Washington. The Huskies embarrassed the Beavers in Corvallis last year, and this game might determine the No. 3 spot in the Pac-12 North.
Upset special: Oct. 25 at Stanford. The Cardinal might be looking ahead to their Nov. 1 date at Oregon, and the Beavers played Stanford tough in 2013.
They said it: "There's no doubt about it. I think I actually became a little bit of a victim of it myself early because we were so good throwing the ball for six games." -- Oregon State coach Mike Riley, on whether he passed too much in 2013
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