Notebook: Beavers prepare for life after Luton

Brenden Slaughter, Senior Writer
Beavers Edge

The Oregon State football team returned to the practice fields on Tuesday as the Beavers prepare to work out their kinks during their bye week. OSU returns to the football field next Saturday as they will host Jake Browning and the Washington Huskies.

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Jake Luton update

By this point, everyone who follows college football has seen the hit and the injury that Jake Luton sustained in the Washington State game. Luton was diagnosed with a Thoracic Spine Fracture and his status for the rest of the season is TBD.

“Everything kinda gets put into perspective when those things happen,” offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven said. “It really makes you stop and think for a little bit.

“It’s one of those things where it’s just really unfortunate for Jake and his family,” running back Ryan Nall added. “I’ll continue to pray for him and his family and our team is going to play for him. He’s going to be alright and he’s gonna bounce back and I can’t wait to have him back with us.”

McGiven also noted that he’s been talking to Luton since the injury and that he is in a good state of mind right now.

“I’ve been in close contact with Jake over the last couple days,” McGiven said. “He seems to be in good spirits and has been going through the things he needs to go through with doctors and finding out where to go from here.”

Darell Garretson, who will be the teams new starting quarterback, added that this was one of the toughest things that he’s ever seen on a football field and offered nothing but support for Luton.

“It was really scary to be honest,” Garretson said. “Obviously you don’t want anything like that to happen to one of your friends so it was tough to see. That dude is tough as shit, excuse my language, but he’s tough.”

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Moving forward with Darell Garretson

The next man up mentality has to apply to the Oregon State Beavers moving forward at the quarterback position as the status of Luton is still very cloudy. Luckily for the Beavers, they have a quarterback in Garretson, who has been the starter for this team, and is comfortable and fluent as a quarterback in McGiven’s system.

“Now, it’s about going out there and having fun and making the most of it (during my senior year,” Garretson said. “I’ve gotta dive deep into the gameplan to what we are doing and just get going on it.”

McGiven noted that nothing will really change for the Beavers other than that they will most likely utilize Garretson’s ability to run more now.

“Darell has been the backup quarterback in the same offense and has been preparing for the gameplan each week just like the starter,” McGiven said. “Obviously, Darell has a little bit more mobility as he did some of the things in the spread run game last year. It would be dumb not to utilize that in our offense.”

Nall noted that having Garretson back as the starting quarterback adds a unique dimension to the offense.

“We can be a little bit more versatile with Darell being able to run as well as he does,” Nall said. “It’s back to where we were last year and I believe Darell can lead the ship and I’m gonna follow him in his footsteps. We just have to execute.”

One issue of concern is that OSU is down to their last quarterback who currently doesn’t have a redshirt on. With the departure of Marcus McMaryion in the offseason, the Beavers were left with just Luton and Garretson as the Beavers were hoping to sit Conor Blount and Aidan Willard out for the season.

However, not everything goes according to plan in football, and OSU must now make adjustments based on the circumstances. McGiven noted that the situation is less than ideal, but if Garretson were to go down, the Beavers would be prepared to play Conor Blount.

“Once you run two deep through any position, that’s probably the risk that you take,” McGiven said. “Once you get down to a third or a fourth, that may be a young kid who may have been planning to redshirt and now they don’t have the ability to do that. Knock on wood, hopefully we don’t have that situation, but if it shows up, we will have the next guy ready to go.”

Return of Wrecking Nall

One bit of good news to come out of OSU’s loss to Washington State was the return and re emergence of Ryan Nall. After a subpar start to the season Nall bounced back in a big way against the Cougars rushing for 118 yards on 15 carries while also adding two touchdowns. Nall also snagged three passes for 12 yards in the passing game.

But perhaps most importantly, was the return of Nall’s ability to break through the line and rip off big runs. His longest run of the day was a 45 yard touchdown run where he was able to dodge defenders and outrun WSU’s secondary on his way to the house.

Moving forward, if OSU hopes to find success this season, it has to start with Nall’s ability to be a gamechanger.

“The lineman were blocking well first and foremost,” Nall said. “I’m just trying to play my game and do the things that I’ve been doing since I got here.”

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