Oregon State football: What to know about the Beavers spring game

Lindsey Wisniewski
NBC Sports Northwest

Oregon State football: What to know about the Beavers spring game originally appeared on nbcsportsnorthwest.com

The Oregon State football team left the 2018 season with a lot of questions.

Putting their 2-10 season behind them, the Beavers will showcase their newly-improved defense, excellent depth at the receiver position and of course, the battle for starting quarterback on Saturday at the Oregon State Spring Game. 

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Beavers fans can take in the team's annual scrimmage, which concludes Oregon State's spring practice period, before the season starts on August 30.

The QB race heats up

Jake Luton has looked sharp as of late and is the obvious frontrunner for the starting quarterback nod come August. Luton, who has started nine games for the Beavers since his first season due to injuries, was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA in June. In his time with Oregon State, Luton has passed for 2,513 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Tristan Gebbia split first-team reps with Luton in the Beavers last full practice ahead of this Saturday's game. Gebbia was the first QB to take the field, connecting on two of his first three passes to I'Shawn Stewart. Luton took more snaps in team drills than Gebbia, but must step up in order to protect his role.

The spring game should give Beaver fans a clearer idea of which of the two players will be named starting quarterback for the 2019 season. The decision could be made as soon as the conclusion of spring camp.

Deep receiver depth on display

All Pac-12 Honorable Mentions Isaiah Hodgins and Trevon Bradford were both sidelined for the Dam City Showcase, but Oregon State's receivers didn't miss a beat. Keep your eyes on the young Beavers, who are vying for a spot in the highly-competive receiver group. 

Underclassmen Jesiah Irish and Anthony Gould made their presence known in Saturday's showcase and emerged as game-changers. 5-foot-11, 172-pound Irish gave Beaver fans a glimpse of the future, speeding past the cornerback to catch a 32-yard touchdown pass from Jake Luton. Irish saw the field two times last season, but didn't exceed the maximum four games to preserve his redshirt.

Gould also stood out on Saturday, turning a long catch and run into a 75-yard touchdown play. The 5-foot-10, 180 pounder out of West Salem has the explosiveness and speed to compete for a spot in the receiver rotation.

Hodgins, who is working through a minor leg injury, and Bradford, who sported a boot to protect a broken bone in his right foot, are expected to be ready to go come preseason.

Building the dam on defense 

Oregon State's defense was statistically one of the worst in the FBS ranks in 2018. OSU allowed 45.7 points per game, approximately 12 points per game worst than any other team in the conference and they know it's time to change that. 

The Beavers are expecting some help from their incoming recruiting class, which includes three-star linebacker Omar Speights, three-star defensive lineman Evan Bennett and transfer Jordan Whittley. Sophomore Isaac Hodgins will be returning to the D-line after playing in all 12 games and making 11 starts last season. With three seasons under his belt, senior outside linebacker Andrzej Hughes-Murray, one of the squad's anticipated co-captains, will bring experience to the the table. 

Here's more information on Oregon State's Spring Game: 

Where: Reser Stadium

When: Saturday, April 20 at 11:00 a.m. in Corvallis, Oregon

More details: The scrimmage game is open to the public, and there will be an autograph session beginning at 9 a.m. on the concourse. Posters will be provided, with one autograph per person. Fans can also enter to win a $200 concession voucher for the regular season.

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