After a much needed bye week, the Oregon State football team returned to the practice field Tuesday in preparation for the Washington Huskies. The Beavers know that the Huskies are arguably the best team they will play all season, and they will need their A game on Saturday to have a chance to pull of a massive upset.
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With UW coming to town on Saturday, there is no doubt that the Beavers have to be better in all aspects of the game if they want to hang with arguably the best team in the Pac-12.
For the Beavers, it all starts with their new starting quarterback Darell Garretson. With Jake Luton’s injury clouding his future, it’s Garretson’s team moving forward.
Garretson is excited for the opportunity and feels like he is ready to go for the Beavers as their starting quarterback.
“I feel really good,” Garretson said. “I feel comfortable with the things that are going on, and I’ve prepared every week like I was the starter anyways because that’s what you have to do as a backup.
Garretson also noted that having the bye week to make the transition to starting QB and prepare for UW was great in terms of timing.
“Without a doubt it was good,” Garretson said. “Anytime you get an extra week to gameplan for a team like Washington you have to take advantage of that. We just gotta go out there and execute and do what we do.”
With the Beavers have a switch at quarterback, the bye week was crucial for receivers like Jordan Villamin to get chemistry back with Garretson.
“We are just trying to get our execution down and get the timing right with Darell since he’s the guy now," Villamin said. "The bye week was pretty much just gathering all the information we needed for this game and putting in a game plan. This week we are trying to get everything executed and perfect.”
The Huskies bring one of the best defenses in the country to Reser Stadium. Offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven noted that they pose the exact same problems as last year and they will be challenge to deal with.
“It’s the same things,” McGiven said. “There are some new faces on that defense because they lost some guys, but they are still a very talented team and very good at what they do. They are well coached and very very disciplined with their scheme and have some really good athletes so it’s definitely a challenge.”
Villamin notes that UW’s defense will be challenge for the Beavers on Saturday and that they will have to execute in order to come out on top.
“We already know that their defense is gonna be solid,” Villamin said. “They are going to be a smart defense and we have to be just as smart and execute. Last year we were able to run the ball for 100 yards against them and that was the first time that happened to them. That happened because we executed against them. If we can execute the whole game against them this time good things could happen. If we play to our potential, it could be a good game.”
-The first team run defense is looking much better compared to past week. The Beavers have been much more gap sound and have been flying to the ball during the bye week and today. However, the pass defense is still a work in progress. The scout offense was able to beat the first team defense for a deep completion over the middle. So far, it appears OSU’s secondary still has a lot of work to do.
-Despite being listed as doubtful on Saturday, cornerback Shawn Wilson was wearing a red no-contact jersey and was practicing with the first team defense.
-Artavis Pierce continued to show great burst as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He made a really nice catch on an RPO during 11 on 11 work and was able to turn upfield for about a 25-30 yard gain. He is starting to get more comfortable in his role as a true dual threat running back.
- Kyle White made a nice interception during 11 on 11 work today as well. He is starting to grow into his role as cornerback with Dwayne Williams likely out for the season. I really like his energy, moxy, and swagger on the field.
- Darell Garretson looked really good running the offense today. I was impressed with his ability to pull the ball on the read-option and make throws out of the read option look as well. One underrated aspect of Garretson’s game is his ability to lead the team. I’m impressed with his leadership on the field. He could surprise some people come Saturday.