Our weekly Q&A series returns this week as we get back into the swing of things. This week I spoke with SB Nation’s Building the Dam. Max (a.k.a., The Coach) has provided some great answers about the Beavers as they come to Ross_Ade:
1. The season is finally here! How was the offeseason and were there any major injuries?
Overall, the Beavers had a relatively “normal” off-season if there is such a thing, with a few transfers who left the program and a few who transferred in. I wouldn’t say there was anything of too much relevance long-term in the injury department besides the continued rehab of quarterback Tristan Gebbia from an injury last season so pretty much what you’re getting on the field Saturday is what the Beavers kind of expected their 2021 squad to look like.
2. Who won the quarterback derby and is it a good thing?
The starting quarterback against Purdue will be Sam Noyer, who was a late off-season transfer into the program from Colorado. The question of is that a good thing is something really unknown to Beavers fans, as Noyer was suitable for the Buffs last season, tallying 1,101 passing yards, 208 rushing yards and 11 total TD’s, but not exactly knock your socks off great. Although, the tightness of the quarterback competition which included last year’s starter, Tristan Gebbia and others, means that come Week 1, Oregon State may opt to switch up the quarterback to spark the offense if things go south. Simply put, don’t be surprised if the Beavers use more than one QB in the season opener, even in the early stages of the game.
3. How has the offensive line improved after a struggle last season?
I wouldn’t say the offensive line struggled last season so much as they just showed their true colors in that sometimes, you are simply as good or bad as you are when you hit the field and there’s not much you can do about it. There’s some really strong pieces on the offensive line, beginning with center Nathan Eldridge, who any team in the country would be glad to have and both tackles in Joshua Gray and Brandon Kipper are legitimate contenders for an all-conference spot. Where the weakness of the line comes in is really in the pass game as Oregon State loves to pound the rock and the staff recruits up-front to compliment that notion. I think this might be the best mix though on the front five that the Beavers have had in recent memory.
4. Is the worst Pac-12 pass defense against the best Big Ten pass offense a grave concern?
Well, it certainly isn’t a good thing. Oregon State’s less-than-stellar pass defense has been a point of concern for a few seasons now and through a handful of coaching changes, not much has been able to settle the issue with it. Besides stalwarts in cornerback Rejzohn Wright, who most know of great “Last Chance U” fame and nickel Jaydon Grant, there are some new faces being thrust into starting roles which will create a wait-and-see type of approach. Not exactly what most fans want to hear as they enter a new season.
5. Let’s talk BODY CLOCKS. How does the 7pm start help coming from the West Coast?
I mean it definitely can’t hurt, but I think most teams are just ready to get going at this point after watching Week Zero last week and practicing all off-season. After being demolished by Ohio State back in 2018 to start the season, it may be nice to just have a stronger showing in Big Ten country.
6. A prediction?
I’ve honestly gone back and forth just not knowing what the Beavers will look like, what Purdue will look like, if one coaching staff goes all “Scott Frost” and just completely forgets football, but I do think in the end, the Boilermakers take this one. I’ll give Oregon State a solid showing though.
Purdue 31, Oregon State 27