Jake Luton Named Starter For Oregon State

After practice today in Bend, Oregon State coach Gary Andersen made what was apparent last late winter official, naming Jake Luton as the Beavers starting quarterback.

After churning through a half dozen quarterbacks in his first 2 seasons in Corvallis, none of which were able to establish anything consistently resembling Pac-12 quarterbacking, the 6’7″, and back up to 235 lbs., Luton was brought in from Idaho by way of Ventura Community College. Luton then struggled through a digestive illness during winter practice, losing 30 lbs, but still established himself as the Beavers’ best option, showing strongly in the spring winter game.

After getting healthy over the spring and early summer, Luton needed less than a week since Oregon State started summer camp to seize the starting job, after both of last year’s part time starters, Marcus McMaryion and Darell Battetson and Luton all got some reps with the 1s & 2s.

The decision will allow Oregon State to focus on developing offensive consistency that has been absent in the Andersen era, in part due to the uncertainty that a revolving door at quarterback was bound to cause.

With a solid backfield comprised of a 1-2 punch of Ryan Nall and Thomas Tyner, Luton’s distinct (from the rest of the Oregon State quarterbacks since Sean Mannion graduated) ability to stretch the field with accuracy and see where his strong arm is sending the ball to (at 6’7″, Luton in Oregon State’s tallest starting quarterback ever).

The impetus on offense will now shift to a retooled offensive line that graduated 3 starters off last year’s unit that will have to get the blocking job done, but with the knowledge that they have a strong armed passer who won’t flush from the pocket at the first sign of pressure, and a backfield stable that provides a game-long rushing threat, at least they should know where they need to be at all times, which is no small detail for an o-line.

If / when the line can get their timing together, it should in turn allow what has been an underachieving receiver group the last 2 years to blossom as well. That, and routinely working with the same touch and timing of incoming passes.

We should learn more at Friday night’s scrimmage at Summit High School in Bend (which will be at 7:30 PM, not 4:30 as originally scheduled, due to impending hot weather), which will conclude the Beaver’s week long camp stay in central Oregon.


2 thoughts on “Jake Luton Named Starter For Oregon State

  1. Gary Sedivy

    Do you trust Coach Anderson, or whoever is the O.C? After a couple of years of totally bungling the offense, and musical chairs with the QBs, I am not sure this coaching staff is adequate for the job. This is the second ( third) year that McMaryon has been shunted by some bright new star QB. Then we find the star is a collapsing red dwarf, with almost no offensive light at all. And running backs? It took two seasons to figure out Niall was perhaps the best back we had.
    I’m skeptical, but would love to be proved wrong.

  2. Andy Wooldridge Post author

    Your observations are a large part of the legacy of the lost last couple of years. And I do have concerns about someone who washed out at Idaho, which is a step down from washing out as a career Mt. West backup!

    The difference though is Luton actually has the tools to be able to be a Pac-12 quarterback, size and arm strength, which Garretson lacked, as well as Mitchell. And he has already demonstrated more ability to throw the deep ball than anyone since Mannion.

    Your concerns about the O.C., Kevin McGiven, are also spot on. I’ve has misgivings about him all along, as it was apparent he was in over his head in year 1, and while last year was better, there is still a long ways to go. The issue is Coach Andersen, by his own admission, is not an offensive expert, and defers to his offensive assistants a lot.

    This is the group that needed almost a full season to figure out Ryan Nall could run the ball, and didn’t need to be moved to LB, most of a season to figure out Mitchell should not be on an FBS field, and then couldn’t figure out how to use Nall or Collins.

    This season could be the turning point, where they take as much of a step forward as the offensive players might, or it could be the turning point that makes it clear that Andersen needs to make some changes, or be a change made himself.

    About year 3 can be a time when real progress emerges, as there has been time to figure out the situation and form and begin to implement a plan to do something about it.


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