The depth-chart for Oregon State’s season opener Thursday night at Minnesota is out (see page 11, the last page of the Game Notes), and there aren’t many surprises. That’s mostly good, as it means the Beavers are mostly healthy, but there is a notable absence.
Sean Harlow, who would be Oregon State’s starting left tackle in a perfect scenario, isn’t even on the 2/3 deep, which means red-shirt freshman Blake Brandel, who has taken the reps with the 1s all summer and fall, will get the start.
Harlow suffered a fractured ankle last year during the Colorado game, above, and needed 2 surgeries in the off-season, but was cleared the week of the beginning of summer camp, He’s only recently began doing much more than sideline work though, and today he said its “pretty official” he will red-shirt this season.
This tends to confirm what coach Gary Andersen said back on media day, when he put the odds at 50/50 that Harlow would return this year. The senior was named one of the team captains, and will travel with the team whether he dresses or plays or not.
Oregon State will probably hold off on making the red-shirting official for a while, just in case of a rash of injuries, and with a bye, and 16 days after the opener before the home opener against Idaho State, that’s smart; there’s no reason to jump the gun just in case.
Dustin Stanton is shown as the starter at RT, which says he should be recovered from the illness that sidelined him much of last week.
The mild surprise of the depth chart, though one that was already beginning to appear in the scrimmage week before last, is that Seth Collins has supplanted Hunter Jarmon, and will join Victor Bolden and Jordan Villamin as starting wide outs.
One of the stars of camp, true freshman Trevon Bradford is the 4th listed starting wideout, when Oregon State uses 4, and fellow true freshman Art Pierce will apparently see some snaps, co-backing up Ryan Nall with Tim Cook. Cook provides Nall-like size, but Pierce has far more quickness, so its probably situational as to which one gets the nod when Nall needs either a break, or the situation calls for a 2 back set. That’s a rarity in Oregon State’s offense, but it is in the game plan.
Defensively, Dwayne Williams is shown as starting, so its expected he will be ready to go, after being in various degrees of limited participation since getting dinged early in the Thursday scrimmage last week.
In fact, both Williams and Devin Chappell are expected to be in 2 places at once when the Beavers are in dime, which means the secondary will be in something of a fire drill in those situations.
The secondary will definitely have their work cut out for them, despite the fact that Minnesota is a run first offense. A glance at the Gophers’ depth chart reveals starting WRs that are 6’3″, 6’4″, & 6’5″, and they also have a TE that’s 6’10”. Jump balls and rebounding could be in the works!
Only 3 days to go!
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)