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Dr. Saturday

James Rodgers’ return brings hope to Oregon State’s offense

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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Oregon State got some much-needed good news Wednesday when coach Mike Riley announced that the Beavers top all-purpose player James Rodgers was returning to the lineup this weekend against UCLA.

Rodgers underwent two knee surgeries last season after severely twisting his left knee against Arizona last October. Riley was hopeful that Rodgers would return this season, but maintained that he wouldn't push a return if Rodgers wasn't ready.

In the past couple weeks, Rodgers has been getting back into playing shape and this week he's been working with the first team.

Having Rodgers on the field will be a huge boost for an Oregon State offense that ranks last in the Big 12 in scoring with just 14 points per game. The 0-2 Beavers also rank 10th in the conference in total offense and have no receiving touchdowns.

Rodgers is fourth all-time at Oregon State in receiving yards (2,064), third in receptions (177) and holds the school record for all-purpose yards (5,784).

The Beavers also get tight end Joe Halahuni, who had surgery on a nagging shoulder injury, back this weekend. Halahuni also has been one of the Beavers best offensive weapons in the past.

"(In) a perfect world, you'd love to have those major inside threats and those same guys as threats outside because when you configure coverages, you can only double-team so many guys,'' Riley said. "So when you have good threats throughout that front, interior and outside, then you're at your best.

"And if we can get this thing rolling a little bit, with those guys and making plays, then we'll be a lot better for it.''

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