In wake of OSU’s heartbreaking loss to Utah, there has been a lot of banter about what Mike Riley and the Beavers need to do to keep up with the constantly-getting-tougher Pac-12. The numbers don’t lie — conference play hasn’t been kind to the Beavers lately.
Sweeping changes aren’t coming anytime soon. The program isn’t going to get a sugar daddy donor, start landing 5-star recruits left and right, or fire Mike Riley. But after watching other games this past weekend, there are smaller changes that could have a big impact.
One of them being to develop a QB who can buy extra time, not just for himself, but the offensive line and wide receivers. I know what you’re thinking, “Haven’t Beavers fans been clamoring for a mobile QB for awhile?” The answer is yes.
But fans haven’t always been realistic about the issue. The harsh truth is that Andrew Lucks and Marcus Mariotas don’t grow on trees. Also, QBs such as them can pretty much pick where they want to play.
While having that caliber of QB would be awesome, it would just be nice to see Beaver QBs coached and encouraged more to extend plays with their feet, whether it’s with a few steps or rolling outside. It makes things that much harder for opposing defenses and can to lead big plays, which haven’t materialized very often for the Beavers this season.
Think about a QB such as Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams (sorry to bring up a name you’d erased from memory). He’s not the fastest guy in the world, but he makes plays because he knows when and how to use his feet to extend a play. Another great example: Russell Wilson (who sadly, also has beat OSU).
Looking at OSU’s roster, there’s a QB who could fit this mold: freshman Marcus McMaryion. He reportedly runs a legit 4.5 in the 40-yard dash, yet is considered more of passing QB. Best of both worlds, right? But the bigger question is would McMaryion, or whoever is the starter next season, be coached to extend plays more often?
That would be a simple change that pays off big for the Beavers. More importantly, it’s not some knee jerk reaction that requires a lot of money or someone to be let go. It’s just a matter taking a more forward approach with the offensive philosophy. (RW)