Last week on Talkin' Ball we were fortunate enough to have great interviews with Gary Andersen and Willie Taggart. Yes, on the same show.
They were both very forthcoming about their teams but there was no way we could learn answers to what, for me, are the most pressing questions about Oregon State and Oregon:
What will they look like? How will they, you know, actually play? And we may not really know that until the early season, non-conference games are out of the way.
In the case of the Ducks, it's a new coaching staff with a quarterback who performed well last season as a freshman. Justin Herbert, at times, looked like a pro last year. He has great promise. But how will he be used this season? Taggart has employed a lot of option in the past and will he run Herbert? It's always interesting when a new coaching staff comes in to see how players might be used differently or more effectively than they were by the previous regime.
The Ducks have their usual stable of great running backs and I'd assume, given their shortage of receivers, they'll be run heavy, at least early in the season. But who knows? Herbert can really sling it and those runners will set up some great play-action opportunities.
The same questions are even more relevant with the Beavers. Oregon State will be going with a quarterback, Jake Luton, who is by all accounts a pro-style, big-arm guy who is much different than what Andersen has had at OSU. Will the Beavers open it up more? I'm not sure, because they also have some outstanding running backs capable of controlling games on the ground.
How will these guys play? What will they look like? What will their style be? Will they be gamblers or play it safe? What will they become known for?
It's the most intriguing thing about the upcoming season at both schools.