Scrutinized OSU offensive line faces 'big chore' at Arizona State
CORVALLIS - Oregon State's offensive line, under scrutiny through much of last season, will be a focus again Saturday when the Beavers visit Arizona State for a game at Sun Devil Stadium.
The Beavers threw for 287 yards but ran for only 88 in last Saturday's 27-19 loss to UCLA.
'We have to find balance,' OSU coach Mike Riley said. 'Our total productivity was not good. We need to run the ball. It's going to be a big chore against (the Sun Devils). They don't like you to run on them.'
Oregon State had 10 yards rushing at halftime against UCLA. Jovan Stevenson replaced Terron Ward and carried seven times for 47 yards after intermission.
'I don't know what the difference was,' senior tackle Mike Remmers said. 'Part of it was coming in at halftime and seeing on the board we'd rushed for 10 yards. We know we're better than that. We pushed ourselves really hard the second half to make that stat go up.'
O-line coach Mike Cavanaugh said he graded his charges at 'about a C' against the Bruins. Sophomore Grant Enger, in his first start at guard in place of injured Josh Andrews, 'was pretty solid,' the coach said. 'He had times where he did well, and a couple of rough spots. But overall, for his first start, he did a good job.'
Junior tackle Colin Kelly, in his first season as a starter, 'has been physical,' Cavanaugh said. 'He's coming along.'
As for the senior starters - Remmers, guard Burke Ellis and center Grant Johnson - 'They need to pick it up,' Cavanaugh said. 'We have to trust our technique and finish blocks. We can't engage and stop.'
• Cavanaugh, on the Sun Devils' defense: 'They're really athletic, one of the best defenses in our conference. They're tough, play hard, have veteran guys who know their scheme. It's a good challenge again for us.'
• Remmers, on OSU's pass-blocking against UCLA: 'We did pretty well. We didn't have any sacks, probably because Sean was doing a great job of getting the ball out quickly. There were a few too many hits on him, though. We want zero hits.'
The Beaver O-line was close to having a great day against the Bruins, Remmers sad.
'We did some great things, he said. 'It seems like one thing always went wrong to ruin the whole play. We're working real hard to get everyone on the same page.'
• Andrews, who injured a knee against Wisconsin, is back running.
'That's really good news,' Riley said.
Andrews could be ready to return as early as Oct. 15 against Brigham Young.