Coach: Dennis Erickson
23-12-0, 3 years
2001 Record: 5-6
at Fresno State LOST 24-44
at New Mexico State WON 27-22
at Washington State LOST 27-34
at Arizona State LOST 24-41
at Southern Cal LOST 13-16 (OT)
at Oregon LOST 14-17

2001 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

With the size of a safety (6-4, 227 pounds), Richard Seigler is not bad dropping into pass coverage. - (AP Photo)
2002 Outlook

This Beaver team needs to re-establish the improving trend seen in 1999 (7-5) and 2000 (11-1). This season will show which path Dennis Erickson's tenure will take - every other year rebuilding/reinventing a sagging OSU squad, or setting a consistent winning standard for years to come. With OSU's abysmal 2001's 2-4 start, the first 4 games (all non-conference) will set this year's tone. If the Beavers aren't 3-1 or 4-0 by then, conference openers USC and UCLA will smell blood.

In the PAC-10, everyone can pass well. The line in the proverbial west coast sand is drawn between teams that can establish/stop the run and teams that cannot. Defense wins championships and sometimes just the game - more often than not in the run-porous PAC-10. Simply stated, if these guys can both stop the run defensively and establish the run offensively, then success will follow. If the Beavers pass defense is close to their 2001 numbers (13th ranked with 174 pass yds/game, holding opponents under 200 pass yds/game 7 of last 8 weeks), the run stopping will happen.

Look for their red-zone defense (.870 in 2001) to be a key indicator of improvement. The offensive key may be simple competence in holding the ball. In 2001, OSU's turnover margin ((-8)…96th ntl rank) made many games harder than needed and evidently affected the team's success. But all bets are off going into the civil war…may the Beavers dam themselves to victory.

Projected 2002 record: 7-5

QB - 3 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 4 DB - 4
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Derek Anderson, 17-41-3, 263 Yards, 1 TD

Rushing: Steven Jackson, 74 att., 390 yds., 5 TD's

Receiving: James Newson, 57 rec., 968 yds., 5 TD's

Scoring: Ryan Cesca, 10 FG, 29 PAT, 59 pts.

Punting: Carl Tobey, 68 punts, 39.2 avg.

Kicking: Ryan Cesca, 10-16 FG, 29-29 PAT, 59 pts.

Tackles: Richard Seigler, 93 tot., 54 solo

Sacks: Noah Happe, 7 sacks

Interceptions: Mitch Meeuwsen, 3 for 22 yds.

Kickoff returns: Steven Jackson, 7 ret., 34.3 avg.

Punt returns: Josh Hawkins, 33 ret., 6.4 avg.


OFFENSE: Jonathan Smith-QB, Ken Simonton-TB, Vincent Sandoval-OT, Chris Gibson-C
DEFENSE: Kyle Rosselle-DE, James Allen-WLB, Jake Cookus-FS

written by: David Hershorin

Oregon State lost two players in Ken Simonton and Jonathan Smith who together have 32 school records (Simonton finished second in PAC-10 career rushing yards, Smith 3rd in PAC-10 career passing yards). Unproven replacements/starters Steven Jackson (5.1 yd/rush in 2001- 6'1", 224lbs) and Derek Anderson (6'6", 238lbs) need to hit the ground running for the offense to re-establish an identity for 2002. Their size should help the learning curve of experience. But no fullback makes it tough.

What is proven is the receiving corps. The offense returns 3 of the top 4 reception leaders from 2001. WR James Newsome (57), TE Tim Euhus (27), WR Shawn Kintner (17) and WR Seth Trimmer (16 rec, 19.0 yd/rec in 2001) will provide big targets (all over 6"0") for the budding Anderson. It will be critical, though, for the Beaver's backfield to become part of the passing attack. If the tailback isn't seen as a receiving threat through play-action, etc., then defenses will be able to isolate linebackers into coverage schemes. Somewhat unproven as a hands guy, this makes Jackson's job clear - catch the ball more in order to improve the running game. And if the run is enough to pull 8 men into the box defensively, those receivers will get open often with their experience. We'll have to see if the 2001 Beaver's .850 offensive red zone conversion rate continues.

The offensive line's left side looks solid. The right side will be starting somewhat fresh with two inexperienced sophomores (3 if you include C Matt Brock). The 2001 unit gave up a mere 10 sacks in the last 7 games, so the passing attack seems bankable. To harp an old song by now, the most critical job is for these guys to make the running game work. In the PAC-10, a proven ground game almost always equals success.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Derek Anderson-So Adam Rothenfluh-So
TB Steven Jackson-So Dwight Wright-So
WR Shawn Kintner-Sr George Gillett-So
WR James Newson-Jr Seth Trimmer-Sr
WR Kenny Farley-Jr Cole Clasen-So
TE Tim Euhus-Jr Jermaine Jackson-Sr
OT Lee Davis-Sr Brian Kilkenny-Jr
OG Mike Kuykendall-Sr David Lose-Jr
C Matt Brock-So Jason Fyda-Fr
OG Kanan Sanchez-So Brent Bridges-Jr
OT Doug Nienhuis-So Isaac Aronson-Jr
K Ryan Cesca-Sr Kirk Yliniemi-Jr



written by: David Hershorin

The run stopping has to improve from allowing 156 yd/game in 2001.
The line is anchored by Noah Happe (41 tackles, 10 behind the line of scrimmage) and Eric Manning (2001 1st team all PAC-10), with plenty of game time between the other 2 juniors starters. They need to stop the run better, period. Stopping the run in the PAC-10 even more so leads to winning. Easier said than done, huh.
Junior Richard Seigler (2nd team all PAC-10) is in the middle of a speedy group of linebackers (Sr. Matt Barnett 4.5 sec 40 yd dash) that will aid an experienced set of starting DBs. The LB's ability to quickly read developing plays becomes key - identifying play-action and adjusting during blitzes top that list. Seigler can do this, but his fellow LBs need to be as sharp. If the LBs are needed for extra run stopping, look for RBs in deeper pass patterns to breakdown any OSU zone coverages.

The pass defense need only pick up where they left off in 2001 (13th nationally, 174 pass yd/game). Senior CBs Terrell Roberts and Dennis Weathersby (OSU career record 44 pass defenses) will cover what they can well. The Beavers cannot afford any injuries here, as most backups have little experience. Soph. SS Mitch Meeuwsen will be the key to this backfield. In place of Sr. Calvin Carlysle, he had a breakout game against UCLA and started the rest of the year. Meeuwsen will need to live up to his selection to 3 Freshmen All-American teams last year. His instincts are uncanny in identifying offensive schemes quickly. This is why Meeuwsen will start, even with Carlysle healthy.

Special Teams: Although a 2000 all PAC-10 selection, Sr. PK Ryan Cesca will be easily replaced by Jr. Kirk Yliniemi if his 2001 year-end trend (5 out of 10 FGs) continues (close losses to USC and Oregon could have been won). How many kick/punt returning chores get passed to starting TB Jackson could go a long way to shaping the entire team's success. Will anyone step forward to take the return reins? And the 2001 33.1 net punting avg. has to improve for this team to win field position battles in close/defensive games.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Noah Happe-Jr Bill Swancutt-So
DT Eric Manning-Sr James Lee-Sr
DT Dwan Edwards-Jr Henry Anderson-Fr
DE Dan Rothwell-Jr Jayson Jean-Baptiste-Jr
SLB Nick Barnett-Sr Jason Jacobs-Jr
MLB Richard Seigler-Jr Jonathan Pollard-So
WLB Erik Tuma-Sr Seth Lacey-So
CB Terrell Roberts-Sr Aric Williams-So
CB Dennis Weathersby-Sr Jamaal Jackson-Fr
SS Lawrence Turner-Jr Shamon Jamerson-Jr
FS Mitch Meeuwsen-So Brandon Catenese-Jr
P Carl Tobey-Jr John Millar-Jr
Some are whispering that sophomore Steven Jackson will be a better back than Simonton.