Beavers look to fight with heavy hearts without Seth Collins

Oregon State vs. Washington State

Keenan Puncocher, Multimedia Contributor

The Oregon State football team partook in practice on Tuesday under different circumstances than normally accustomed to.

For one, the Beavers currently are 6.5 point favorites over Arizona this Saturday. This is significant because the team has not been favorited over a Pac-12 team since Gary Andersen arrived.

While one might think that having a slight edge over a Pac-12 team would draw praise from coaches and players, when asked about it, sophomore quarterback Marcus McMaryion doesn’t pay much attention to it .

“For me personally I had no idea,” McMaryion said. “We come into practice and we do what we do, it doesn’t really make a difference how we prepare.”

Co-offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven sang a similar tune when asked about the same thing.

“I had no idea that we were favored,” said McGiven. “I haven’t really paid too much attention to it. It is the same goal to go out and win a football game.”

A true testament to a team that may hold a 2-8 record, but is unaffected by the outside noise and focused on the end goal of improving on a week to week basis.

McMaryion will be receiving his fifth consecutive start this Saturday, has begun to settle into the role comfortably. Against UCLA, McMaryion finished 22-33 for 232 yards and one interception while connecting with five different receivers.

“I was able to recognize the coverages that UCLA was throwing at me, which made it easier,” McMaryion said. It felt like practice to me out there, and other than the (interception), overall I thought I had a pretty good performance.”

The most surprising news the team was faced with this week was that of sophomore wide receiver Seth Collins being hospitalized. While it remains unclear as to a specific diagnosis, reports have shown that he is in stable condition, recovering in a local hospital.

Schematically, Collins’ absence from the game this Saturday means that the Beavers will be without their star receiver, presenting new challenges for OSU offensively.

“There are some things, depth wise, that change,” McGiven said. “(Seth being out) brings Jordan (Villamin) into more of a full-time role. We’re also going to have to rely on Xavier (Hawkins) and Trevon (Bradford) to step in. We have to be able to properly put those guys in place (of Collins).”

While the team can adjust the game plan to accommodate Collins being out, emotionally coaches and players recognize the impact that he has had on the team so far this season as well as the seriousness of his condition.

“The Oregon State family is behind (Collins),” said sophomore running back Ryan Nall. “We are taking it the best way we can, it is a scary situation. I am just glad that he seems to be doing okay and hopefully, he will be back as soon as he can.”

When asked if Collins being out gives the team extra motivation to play harder on Saturday, McMaryion expressed how he sees him as a fighter.

“(Collins) is definitely a fighter,” said McMaryion. “You’ve seen the fire in his eyes whether that is at practice or in the game, so it gives an extra edge to go out there and fight for him.”

Not only are the Beavers striving for a win this Saturday in order to surpass last year’s record of 2-10, but extra motivation fuels the team to rally behind Collins in order to achieve a special victory for him at home.

“Not only was (Collins) working hard each week to master the position he was playing, a position that is new to him this year, but he also brings a lot of energy and excitement to our team,” said McGiven. “(We) love what he brings to the table there, we will miss that, but I think guys are going to respond in a big way for him.”

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