As the summer winds down and my touring and vacation season comes to an end, I wanted to make sure I got out a few season prognostication articles before we go all in on PSU preparation.
So I am going to do a three part post over the next day or so, which will include Things I Know, Things I Think and Things I Hope.
THINGS I KNOW:
1. I know that OSU has an NFL caliber Quarterback in Sean Mannion. .After this season he will most likely own all of the passing records that the conference and school have. If OSU can find a run game and the defense can stop teams consistently, he has the potential to pass for more yards than last year. There is a lot left that has to happen, but every day the line gets more and more solidified and the backs are working hard to make sure we can count on them.
I watched the WSU game from last year yesterday, and you really see some of what Sean can do, but also some of the things he worked on this off season. If his balance improves, his footwork improves and he can get the ball out quicker, as Garrett said when he was hired, Sean left about 200 yards and two TD’s on the field last year in that game.
It is interesting how some bad games in the past have jaded some in Beaver nation, but when you talk to opposing coaches, scouts and, more importantly, watch his games outside of the live environment of being a fan, you realize how special Sean really is. He may not go to New Your for the Heisman ceremony or be on the cover of Sports Illustrated (thankfully) but when it counts, when teams are looking for the guy that is going to take them to the next level and be their Peyton Manning or Tom Brady they are going to give Sean a good, long look.
I am confident in saying I KNOW we will have a great and future NFL starter at Quarterback this year.
2. We will have a better defensive line this year than last year. There is no denying that teams were able to run on us last year. Teams like UW and USC had no problems getting yards on the ground against the Beavers, especially after Braun went down. Even typically poor running teams like WSU were able to have big gains on the ground. This year, while we are missing NFL draft pick Scott Crichton, the Beavers have added a lot of talent at the defensive line. Being six deep at tackle frees up OSU to do a lot, as well as having a multitude of different types of players to choose from at defensive end.
This defense has the personnel and front seven depth to be similar to the 2007 team. I don’t thin kit will be easy to run on the Beavers this year, and that means teams will have to pass. I am not sure what the pass rush will be like, but that pocket will survive well in the middle, so my guess is teams will struggle to throw the ball as well. If our safeties and corners can focus less on the run and more on the pass, I think OSU will have a very good defense and very good season this year.
Regardless, I am confident in saying that I know our defensive line will be better overall than last year’s.