Keeping the momentum
The Oregon State football team surprised everyone last season, thanks in part to a rejuvenated offense.
OSU rode it’s passing attack and reestablished running game to a 9-4 record. Their 32.5 points per contest ranked fifth in the Pac-12, while the team averaged 431.5 total yards of offense a game.
While the defense has certainly come into it’s own, it’s once again on the offense to make the difference in a tough Pac-12. Looking towards 2013, here are the important names that will make the biggest difference in the upcoming football season.
Brandin Cooks, WR
Brandin Cooks had a phenomenal year last year, far better than you’d expect from a sophomore. The 5’10, 181 pound, wideout posted 1,233 all-purpose yards, averaging 17.2 yards per catch.
Cooks has the deep speed and cunning to be as good as—if not better than—Wheaton. Come this fall the Beaver’s high-flying offense will be depending on him to prove that.
Sean Mannion, QB
I’ve said it over and over again, the starting quarterback job belongs to Sean Mannion. Through OSU’s first four games last year he proved it.
The Beavs were 4-0 through Mannion’s first four starts last season, a stretch in which he averaged 339.5 passing yards per game while throwing seven touchdowns.
Then came his injury and everything got knocked out of whack. Once the second-year quarterback returned to the field the rest of the season became a set of ups and downs.
2013 is a new year, and it’s time for Mannion to finally make good on the promise he showed as a freshman. If he can do that, the sky’s the limit for this Oregon State offense.
Storm Woods, RB
The offense wasn’t just about the pass last season. Unlike 2011, the ’12 attack was a well-oiled machine. A large part of that was the rejuvenated running game.
That was thanks to Storm Woods.
Not only does Woods have one of the best names ever, he’s also a helluva football player. He put up 1,253 all-purpose yards last year as a redshirt freshman, which included 940 on the ground. He also punched in 13 touchdowns.
OSU has a lot of great running options, which is perfect for the less-than-durable Woods. If the sophomore can stay fresh in 2013, he could be in for a huge season.
Isaac Seumalo, OL
OSU took huge steps forward last year at the line, and it helped the offense make strides as a whole. It’ll be important to keep that up in 2013.
Isaac Seumalo is OSU’s best lineman, and he proved that last year playing center as a true freshman. And this year there’s talk of moving him to left tackle—arguably the most important position on the line.
Seumalo is a keystone in the offense, and he’ll certainly be pushed to the test in ’13. As long as he can shoulder that responsibility, the Beav’s will be okay.
OSU had some great starters last season, and they have some in 2013 as well. But this is a game about depth, and it’s time for the second-stringers to step up and play a bigger role.
With Wheaton gone, the passing game needs a new No. 2. With Woods needing to stay healthy, the running backs need more carries. And isn’t it about time someone filled the void left by Joe Halahuni two seasons ago?
Heading into 2013, keep in mind guys like Richard Mullaney (WR), Chris Brown (RB) and Caleb Smith (TE).
These young guns aren’t only the future of OSU’s offense, but also a vital support system that will keep things rolling in 2013.