The Beavers should have opened the season at home vs. Hicktown State

The Beavers should have opened the season at home vs. Hicktown State

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this but a few things have to be said after Oregon State's humiliating 58-27 defeat at Colorado State Saturday afternoon:

  • I thought the Beavers were past this sort of thing. In Gary Andersen's third season, I expected Oregon State to have reached a level of toughness that would have prohibited such a disastrous loss. Andersen himself called it "embarrassing."
  • The Beavers were outscored 34-7 in the second half but worse, they were manhandled -- pushed all over the field. That should not happen to a Pac-12 team playing a Mountain West team. Losing is one thing -- being bullied is quite another.
  • Andersen fell on his sword, as coaches so often do. "We can all call it what we want," he said. "Yeah, it was a close game at the half, turnovers, blah blah blah. … when you have a team do what they did to us … we couldn't answer the bell in the second half. I'm not saying it's anybody else's fault but mine. I'll put it right on me."
  • The Beavers got punched in the mouth and didn't respond. That's not good.
  • Oregon State comes home to play host to Portland State in its next game as the Vikings, who were solid in a 20-6 loss at BYU Saturday, continue their season-opening, million-dollar march to finance their program with games out of their weight class. But OSU better be careful -- the Vikings won't give up in the second half. They won't quit. And after watching both teams Saturday, I had to wonder if Portland State is the more physical -- and more disciplined -- of the two teams.
  • I cannot imagine a worse way for the Beavers to open the season. And I can't really understand why the game was scheduled in the first place. Season-openers are for home games against Hicktown State,  not teams on the rise playing inaugural games in new stadiums.
  • I suspect the Beavers will get it together this week. But I don't expect much of a season from them. The schedule now says a sub-.500 season and no bowl trip. Oh well.

 

Patriots trade Brandin Cooks to Rams for first-round pick

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USATI

Patriots trade Brandin Cooks to Rams for first-round pick

Brandin Cooks' odd Patriots tenure is over. 

When the Patriots traded a first-rounder and change to the Saints for Cooks' services last offseason, Cooks was 23 and Jimmy Garoppolo was still in Foxboro. It stood to reason that the team had perhaps the two most important skill positions set up well on offense for a long time. 

One year later, Garoppolo is in San Francisco and Cooks -- shockingly -- is headed to Los Angeles. The Pats traded Cooks to the Rams along with a sixth-round pick Tuesday for the 23rd overall pick and a fourth-rounder in this month's draft

[READ MORE AT NBCSPORTS.COM/BOSTON]

Oregon State Beavers baseball team back in action

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Oregon State Beavers baseball team back in action

JARREAU BROWN 

Oregon State’s baseball team picked up right where it left off last season. Coming off of a College World Series appearance in 2017, the Beavers returned a boatload of talent. That group of players included Nick Madrigal, the Pac-12 Player of the Year. A somewhat disappointing end to the season could’ve allowed for a hangover effect by many teams. However, at the midway point of the year, their record sits at 21-4. My guess is there was Pedialyte given out after the loss in the College World Series or the Beavers got a hearty meal because there’s no hangover.

What’s interesting about this team is so much of the work has been done without their star, Madrigal, who’s only played six games due to a hand fracture. He was red-hot before the injury, hitting .560 with two home runs. The keys to the offense now belongs to Trevor Larnach, the freshmen right fielder who leads them the team with 30 RBI’s and 7 home runs. He should draw 1st team Pac-12 considerations. Aside from his power surge, there’s not much pop in the lineup as the team has a combined 10 home runs not including him. Similar to last year’s team, most of their runs are manufactured by timely hitting and great batting averages across the board.

With somewhat pedestrian offensive numbers, a large amount of the onus falls on the pitching staff. Luke Heimlich is back for his senior year and hasn’t skipped a beat from his 2017 campaign in which he went 11-1. Currently leading the staff with a 5-0 record and his 2.01 ERA is best amongst the starters. The closer may be their biggest weapon on their staff. Jake Mulholland’s 8 saves in 11 appearance sounds good, but his 1.54 ERA is far more impressive.

The team is coming off a pretty rough patch losing 3-4 and their weekend series to Utah. They’re home for Nevada to start the week and head to Tucson after for a weekend series against Arizona. The series has huge Pac-12 implications as they’re in a three-way tie at 6-3 for second the conference and two games behind 5-1 Stanford for the lead.

Drew Eubanks is taking his talents to the NBA

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Drew Eubanks is taking his talents to the NBA

Drew Eubanks is taking his talents to the NBA. The 6’ 10” 250 pound junior forward announced today on his personal twitter account that he will be forgoing his senior season at Oregon State University and will be entering the 2018 NBA draft.

The Oregon native from Troutdale, Oregon, played in all 32 games of his freshman season with the Beavers and earned the starting spot beginning his sophomore season. During his sophomore year, Eubanks was named Pac-12 Honorable Mention and earned Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable recognition. He will finish out his career at Oregon State averaging 11.7 points per game, 6.6 rebounds per game, and 163 total blocks. 

Eubanks near averaged a double-double during his sophomore season with 14.5 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game.

The Oregon State Beavers finished with a 7-11 Pac-12 conference record this season after making the NCAA March Madness tournament Eubanks’ freshman year but falling in round one to VCU 75-67. His sophomore season showed more promise behind the sophomore sensations of Eubanks, Tres Tinkle, and Stephen Thompson Jr. The future looked bright for these three to take over the program, each earning valuable minutes as sophomores, but then an injury to Tinkle which made him miss most of the season (his redshirt year) put a lot of the load onto Eubanks and Thompson Jr.

No word yet on the status of Tinkle and Thompson Jr. if they will follow in the same footsteps of Eubanks to declare for the NBA draft or stay for their senior year.

Time to re-Build The Dam: 2018 National Signing Day

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Time to re-Build The Dam: 2018 National Signing Day

After finishing 0-9 in the PAC-12 conference, the Oregon State Beavers football team will look a bit different next season. A complete rebuild of the coaching staff, the hiring of former player Jonathan Smith to build the dam as head coach, and bringing back a familiar face to the crowd in assistant head coach Mike Riley (OSU head coach from 1997-1998, 2003-2014), the Beavers are starting this next season off from scratch. On this National Signing Day, Beavers football have signed 11 new committs to their roster.

Here is a list of their commits:

 

 

Smith was the right pick for rebuilding the Beavers football program

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© Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Smith was the right pick for rebuilding the Beavers football program

By 

If there’s one thing that the PAC-12 is known for, it’s quarterbacks. Nearly every team is manned by a quarterback with regional recognition like Jake Browning at the University of Washington, or Justin Herbert at Oregon. Other teams have quarterbacks with national recognition like Josh Rosen of UCLA or Sam Darnold at USC.

Realizing that the PAC-12 is the conference of quarterbacks, Oregon State’s new coaching hire of former UW co-offensive coordinator and QB coach, Jonathan Smith, is a grand slam. It’s understandable that fans can have reservations over hiring former players or coaches, but Smith’s resumé suggests a deep commitment to offense and the quarterback. These factors are desperate needs for rebuilding programs.

Smith played for Oregon State at the end of the nineties as a quarterback. He notched a huge win for the program against Notre Dame at the end of his career there, going 11-1 during the 2001 season. He then became a graduate assistant for the OSU football team.

Afterwards, he held stints as QB coach at the University of Idaho and the University of Montana, showcasing his understanding of the position as he contributed to nationally ranked offensive success at both schools.

Smith’s career took off when he landed at Boise State in 2012. There, he’d met with former Boise State coach Chris Petersen and subsequently coached quarterbacks for two seasons. This tandem led an extremely efficient system, as their quarterbacks averaged a 150 QB rating for two years. The Boise State team only threw 18 interceptions in two seasons.

Petersen left Boise State and brought Jonathan Smith along with him to the University of Washington. This time, Smith would also be handed responsibility of co-offensive coordinator of the Husky football team.

Besides contributing to the College Football Playoff appearance last year, Smith displayed the ability to shift the offense this year from a high-flying machine to a focus on the ground game. The Huskies were decimated by injuries on the offensive side of the football this past year, but Smith still able to put up enough points to get past Utah and Washington State to finish the season strong.

Coach Smith heads back to Oregon State, a program near rock-bottom. Smith brings a well coached offensive style befitting needs of a rebuilding program.

Plenty of questions remain. It’s important to keep an eye on the recruiting platform, and whether currently committed quarterbacks decide to stay or leave. For the most part, fans shouldn’t expect a huge shake-up in just this first year. Recruiting is difficult and the process gets a little murky when a new coach arrives.

It’ll be interesting to see how this coaching staff ties out as well. Smith is younger, so his football network is still a little thin, but there’s never a perfect time to become a new head coach, right? Fans should expect a fun football system run by coaches who’ll like to keep things open and loose.

On paper, there were definitely better coaches out there. Beau Baldwin from California was widely expected to be pursued, as well as Jim McElwain. Their records are respectable and both candidates actually notched big wins over PAC-12 opponents.

Rest assured, fans wouldn’t have been satisfied with these hires. Baldwin has only been coaching in the PAC-12 as a coordinator for about a year, while McElwain was just fired from Florida. Neither bring quite the sense of excitement that a young quarterback guru like Smith potentially brings.

Next year, Oregon State comes to Seattle on November 17th, pitting a match between student and teacher. Smith has a very long year ahead of him, but the future looks bright as the Oregon State program looks to rebound from a tough year.

Oregon State Beavers Hit Home Run With Jonathan Smith Hire

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Oregon State Beavers Hit Home Run With Jonathan Smith Hire

BY JARREAU BROWN

The dark cloud continued over the program in Corvallis after getting stomped by rival Oregon on Saturday. What many thought would be a year to build on after a solid close to the 2016 season, the Beavers have taken a giant step back. Opening the year with a blowout and struggle to beat FCS Portland State was the proverbial writing on the wall for what was to come. Next was the departure of head coach Gary Andersen following their 38-10 drubbing at the hands of USC. As bizarre as it may sound, at that point it was their most narrow margin of defeat at the time. However, help is on the way! (or at least we hope.)

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So, who do the Beavers go after? A hot shot OC to bring fireworks to the rainy weather? Defensive hard-nosed coached to instill physicality? My thought is they need a program leader. One that can establish a true culture and identity.

With that being said, we introduce Jonathan Smith.

Smith was previously the co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at the University of Washington. He checks many of the boxes alumni would want, starting with being a Beaver from 1998-2001. He was originally a walk-on, which should bring somewhat of a lunch pail mentality to a team lacking toughness. Remember the last time Oregon State finished ranked in the top 10? Me neither. However, Smith was a part of the #4 ranked Beavers team that won a Fiesta Bowl and Championed an 11-1 record as the game’s MVP. The 2006 season, which saw them go 10-4, has been the best since. He’s had stops at Idaho, Montana and Boise State prior to Washington—all as an OC and QB coach.

One of the top things you can expect from a team coached by Smith will be a solid run game. Jay Ajayi was his featured back at Boise State and his current UW offense ranks in the top 40 in the nation. Don’t smile too hard, Ryan Nall. In the three years at UW, Smith’s offenses have averaged 28, 29, 41 and 34 points per game—a slight upgrade from the 19.4 by this year’s team.

The next step is hiring a staff. It’ll be interesting to see who he hires to run his defense, but with him having such strong ties to the offense, I’d expect a complete coordinator. One who may have some previous head coaching experience.

Oregon State names Jonathan Smith head football coach

Oregon State names Jonathan Smith head football coach

CORVALLIS -- Jonathan Smith, one of the most successful student-athletes in Oregon State University history, has been named head football coach of the OSU Beavers, Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Wednesday. His appointment is contingent on the completion of all university hiring processes.

“We are very excited about having Coach Smith lead our program,” Barnes said. “We interviewed several qualified candidates and Coach Smith emerged as our top choice.  He brings to Oregon State football an impressive plan to build our program. He has a unique perspective on what it means to be a part of Beaver Nation and to be successful for our student-athletes on and off the field.”

Smith is the first OSU graduate to serve as a Beaver head football coach. He returns to Corvallis after a highly successful stint at the University of Washington as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  Smith spent the last four years with Washington, helping the Huskies to the Pac-12 Conference 2016 championship, an appearance in the College Football Playoff and ending the year with a No. 4 Associated Press Poll ranking. Washington earned a share of the Pac-12 North division title this season, and is ranked No. 13 in the nation while awaiting its selection to a bowl game.  

“I want to thank President Ray and Scott Barnes for their confidence in presenting me this opportunity to return to Oregon State University to be the head coach,” Smith said. “I also want to express my gratitude to Coach (Chris) Petersen for providing me a path to realize my dream as a head coach.”

With Smith as offensive coordinator, the 2016 Huskies narrowly missed setting a school scoring record, averaging 41.8 points, which was tops in the Pac-12 and eighth in the nation.

The 38-year-old Smith molded junior Jake Browning, the first true freshman season-opening starting quarterback in Huskies’ history, into one of the top players at the position in the country. Browning was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and has been among the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy over the last two seasons. 

As a student-athlete, Smith was a four-year letterman quarterback at Oregon State from 1998-2001.  He joined the program as a walk-on from Glendora, Calif. Smith earned his first start on Oct. 31, 1998 and never relinquished that role for the final 38 games of his career. The two-time team captain led the Beavers to the 1999 Oahu Bowl and the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, where OSU capped an 11-1 season with a dominating 41-9 victory over Notre Dame and a No. 4 final Associated Press ranking.

“Oregon State University is a special place and I have many memories of being a part of Beaver Nation,” Smith said. “I played for some of the best coaches I have ever been around and learned many of the qualities I have utilized in my coaching career.”

Smith left OSU as the school’s all-time leading passer with 9,680 yards -- he now ranks third among all Beaver quarterbacks in total passing yardage. At the time of his graduation his records included career touchdown passes (55); single-game passing yards (469 yards vs. the Huskies); and single-season passing yards (3,053 yards in 1999). He still holds the mark for the longest touchdown pass at 97 yards to Chad Johnson in 2000. Smith left OSU ranked No. 3 at the time in conference history for passing yards and total offense.

“I’m in the process of putting together a coaching staff that will share the same vision and goals that I have for this program,” Smith added. “I’m looking forward to working with the young men we currently have in the program and solidifying a recruiting class.”

His honors as a player were numerous while wearing the Orange and Black. He was the Fiesta Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player, earned Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week multiple times and was a two-time member of the Pac-12 Honorable Mention team.

Smith succeeded as a graduate assistant coach in 2002 and 2003 under both Dennis Erickson and Mike Riley, respectively. He helped the Beavers to the 2002 Insight Bowl and 2003 Vegas Bowls, and in the process assisted in the grooming of longtime NFL quarterback Derek Anderson.

Smith’s first full-time coaching position came at the University of Idaho in 2004, where he served as the quarterbacks coach through 2009. In his final season with the Vandals, the team ranked ninth in the NCAA for total offense (451.4 yards per game); 12th in the nation for passing offense (286.7 yards per game); and 20th in scoring (32.7 points per game). Under Smith, Vandals quarterback Nathan Enderle finished the year ranked No. 5 in the NCAA in passing efficiency.

From 2010-11, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) powerhouse University of Montana, leading the Grizzlies to the NCAA Division I semifinals in 2011. While Smith was at Montana, the Grizzlies’ offense ranked in the top 20 nationally in multiple categories.

Smith joined Boise State University for the 2012 and 2013 seasons as the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach and helped guide the team to the 2012 Mountain West Conference co-championship and to a victory over the Washington Huskies in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Following the 2013 regular season at Boise State, Smith followed head coach Chris Petersen to the University of Washington to serve as the Huskies’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

A three-year starting quarterback at Glendora (Calif.) High, Smith graduated from high school in 1997 and earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Oregon State in December, 2001.

He and his wife, Candice, have three children, Robert (9 years old), Bella (7) and Charles (3).

COACHING HISTORY

2014-2017 – Washington – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2012-2013 – Boise State – Quarterbacks
2010-2011 – Montana – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2004-2009 – Idaho – Quarterbacks
2002-2003 – Oregon State – Graduate Assistant

WELCOME RALLY: Oregon State will host a “Welcome Rally” that is open to the public Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Club Level of Reser Stadium.

What They Are Saying

“The one thing that gives me the most confidence is that since the first time I met Jonathan, that’s all he’s ever wanted to do; coach the game. Obviously, he’s an intelligent man; he could have done anything with his life. He didn’t even pursue his own athletic career because that’s what he knew from the start he wanted to do. I’m very excited to have a man with that kind of focus coming back to lead your program. This is something he has been preparing for, for a very long time. I’m excited to see him move up the ranks and get this opportunity.”  OSU record-setting running back Ken Simonton

“This is a tremendous move by Oregon State, not only for the players who are going to play for him, but also for the community. He’s a true Beaver. He has moved up the coaching ranks and really deserves this opportunity. You know it’s a win-win and I’m so excited for Jonathan.”  Former Oregon State and NCAA champion head football coach Dennis Erickson.

“I’m very excited what he can bring to the program. He’s a young guy who has been there and knows how to get it done, and has been successful at other schools. He’s become a great coach and I think he’ll be a great leader for our school.” NFL veteran and OSU record-setting quarterback Derek Anderson

“What makes me happy about this hire are two things. Number one, he’s a player who competed at Oregon State and who cares about the university. But on the flip side, he was a player at Oregon State when we were at an all-time high. He knows what it takes to get there because he was there, he did it, and he was a part of it.” NFL Veteran wide receiver and Fiesta Bowl champion T.J. Houshmandzadeh

“What has always stood out to me about Jonathan is his competitiveness and his love of football. He was a great player for Oregon State and obviously what he has done as a coach speaks for itself. He loves Oregon State and I think he’s a great fit for the Beavers.” Former OSU Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and current Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst

‘I’m very happy for Coach Smith and his family.  Jonathan is an excellent football coach and an outstanding person, and I’m confident he will have a lot of success at Oregon State,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen

“An incredible hire for Oregon State and I’m very happy for Jonathan. When I joined the Oregon State staff I could tell right away that Jonathan Smith was going to be a head coach. A great leader; someone who thrives under pressure; an overall terrific field general.  He’s going to be a great head coach, it’s something he has always wanted to do, and Oregon State made a terrific choice.”  Former Oregon State assistant coach and current Los Angeles Rams’ receivers coach Eric Yarber

“First of all, I was one of the fortunate ones to see him play here, going from a walk-on to a superstar, leading our football program to one of the greatest years in the history of our team. Jonathan will be an absolute rock star as a head football coach. He will give us the energy, the excitement, the competitiveness, all those things. If I had to say one thing about him, is that he is  a competitor. Everything I’ve witnessed him do, first as a student-athlete here, and then during his coaching career, is not surprising because I know what kind of competitor he is. Not to mention the fact he is a first-class human being, and a quality family man. When I talked to him, one thing he said to me is how important the community would be to him and his family.” Oregon State baseball head coach Pat Casey

“This is an exciting time for Beaver Nation having one of its own come back to lead our football program moving forward. I spent a couple of years with Jonathan at the University of Montana and found him to be a class act, a hard worker and a sharp football mind.” Oregon State basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle

Jonathan Smith has the qualities needed at Oregon State

Jonathan Smith has the qualities needed at Oregon State

Somebody asked me the other day what qualities I thought the new Oregon State football coach needed to be successful.

After thinking a few seconds, a few traits came to mind: toughness, intelligence and personality.

You have to be tough to coach there, because so many things are working against you. There is that unfinished stadium, a low budget, low attendance, poor recent record and inconsistent recruiting that has led to a severe talent shortage, to name just a few of the road blocks. This is college football's version of "Mission Impossible."

It's a position where you are going to have to fight your way through troublesome situations. You better be smart, too. You're going to have to beat people with better talent than you have -- trick them, if you can -- and figure out a way to improve your talent on that low budget. And you better have some personality and be able to schmooze the people with money. You're going to need them to write some big checks.

Johnathan Smith, come on down!

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I remember covering some of Smith's games as a walk-on quarterback of the Beavers from 1998-2001. Undersized, he took a terrible beating on a lot of days. But he got up every time and just kept at it. In 2000 he was at the controls of the juggernaut that clobbered Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl and finished the season 11-1. And I remember talking to him after some of the beatings he took during his career and he was always cool, calm and in control. He never flinched.

On the football field, this was one tough customer.

Can Smith return the Beaver program to what it was in 2000? I have no idea. When you give an assistant coach his first head coaching job, you're always taking a chance. But in this case, I love the hire. Smith knows Corvallis and the northwest. He knows what he's up against and I'm sure is well aware of how difficult it's going to be to get that program cranked up again.

He's going to need a great coaching staff and I hope his university supplies him with the money to go get it. And he's going to need time and patience. The Beavers won one game last season, a narrow win over Portland State, which went winless in the Big Sky Conference. If you're going to expect a miracle turnaround, you're not realistic.

But over the long haul, I'm partial to the tough guys. I'd bet on Johnathan Smith.

Sources indicate Oregon State will hire Jonathan Smith as head coach

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Sources indicate Oregon State will hire Jonathan Smith as head coach

Oregon State has found it's new head football coach. 

Sources confirm OSU will hire Jonathan Smith as head coach, as first reported by the Oregonian. 

Smith is Washington's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Some background on Smith; He played quarterback at OSU from 1998-2001, was an OSU graduate assistant from 2002-03, coached the quarterback position at Idaho, Montana and Boise State. 

Beavers fans will remember Smith leading OSU during the 2000 season culminating with a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame and an 11-1 record. 

More to come as the story develops.