Beaver football looks to bounce back

The OSU Beavers line up agains the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sept. 9.

Riley Youngman, Sports Chief

Four games into the 2017 season, the Beavers football team is last place in the Pac-12, their starting quarterback may be lost for the season, they’ve been out-rushed, out-passed and they’ve been out-scored.

Yet, head coach Gary Andersen remains optimistic the team can turn the season around. With the first quarter of the season behind them, he feels the squad is in the position to put all this behind them and do just that.

“I don’t think I would say it’s another start of the season. I know it’s another tremendous opportunity,” Andersen said at practice on Sept. 20.

One of the main stories coming out of the team however is the loss of starting quarterback Jake Luton to injury. Luton collided with Washington State safety Jalen Thompson on a scramble and immediately laid motionless on the field following the hit. After being carted off and taken to the hospital, Luton was diagnosed with a thoracic spine fracture. His return time has been determined to be a week-by-week basis, and there is no set time table.

Senior quarterback Darell Garretson is now set to replace Luton. Having been the backup for Luton all season, Garretson said he goes into every week knowing the plays and packages, and is always prepared to step in when called upon.

With Garretson now running the offense, the team is looking to increase their offensive output. Running back Ryan Nall is one of the players that is looking to benefit from a revamped team.

“I would say (the offense) looks a bit more versatile with Darell being able to run as well as he does, and he can throw the ball as well—so it’s back to where we were last year,” Nall said.

However, despite the various positive spins the team has put on the season, Andersen has acknowledged the year so far has affected his players in some negative ways.

“You definitely have to talk about frustration, especially with a young team. You can’t just say everything is normal,” Andersen said at practice on Sept. 20. “When there is tremendous success, or success, you also have to address that. I think it’s the job of all coaches to be able to do that, and the job of team leaders to be able to do that.”

The frustrating start to the season hasn’t changed the overall mentality and attitude of the team though, Andersen said.

“I think morale is good. Do they like where they’re at? No,” Andersen said at practice on Sept. 20. “But I haven’t seen any type of quit and their care factor is still very high and I don’t expect that to change regardless of outcomes.”

Andersen and the team used the bye week this past weekend to refocus.

The Beavers will take the field against the University of Washington on Saturday in Corvallis at Reser Stadium. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The Huskies are one of the four Pac-12 teams that remain undefeated on the season and is ranked sixth in the country going into the matchup with against OSU.