Young Beavers look to rebound against San Jose State
ANNE M. PETERSON
Sep. 18, 2015
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — San Jose State has it tough this season with games against Auburn, Boise State and BYU.
The trip to Oregon State (1-1) on Saturday doesn't seem as daunting for the Spartans (1-1).
The Beavers, in their first season under coach Gary Andersen, are young, are learning new systems and start a true freshman at quarterback.
It could be the perfect opportunity for San Jose State to shake off a 37-16 loss at Air Force last weekend.
"I don't think there are major fixes — don't throw the baby out with the bathwater," third-year coach Ron Caragher said. "I think the guys have played pretty good."
The Spartans, however, are just 4-10 on the road under Caragher. The team's last nonconference road victory over an FBS-level opponent came in 2012, when the Spartans won 12-0 at Navy.
Oregon State, a one-touchdown favorite, is also coming off a 35-7 drubbing by Michigan at the Big House. Like San Jose State, the Beavers are looking to learn from the loss and move on. The sooner the better.
"It's a process, and we knew we would run into some adversity along the way. We've run into some adversity and we'll keep doing what we do and we'll get prepared to play again," Andersen said.
Here are some things to know for San Jose State's visit to Oregon State on Saturday:
ALMOST A SPARTAN: Oregon State true freshman quarterback Set Collins was very nearly a Spartan, but suddenly changed his mind and headed to Corvallis.
Caragher praised Collins and essentially said there were no hard feelings: "If players chose to go somewhere else, that's their prerogative."
Collins, who played at Granite Hills High School in Southern California, has thrown for 171 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions through two games this season. He's also run for 180 yards.
"He's a good player," Caragher said. "And good players rise to the surface."
OTHER CONNECTIONS: Current Oregon State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin was head coach of the Spartans from 1997-2000. He led San Jose State to a 40-27 victory at Stanford in 2000, which was the last time the team beat a Pac-12 opponent on the road.
The Spartans' last victory against a Pac-12 opponent came in 2006, when they defeated the Cardinal 35-34 at Spartan Stadium.
DUAL QBs: San Jose State uses two quarterbacks, senior Joe Gray and junior transfer Kenny Potter. But the idea is to get to a place where there's a clear starter, Caragher said this week.
Oregon State's situation was similar going into the opener against Weber State, when Andersen said he would play both Collins and redshirt Marcus McMaryion. Collins separated himself in that first game, but the Beavers continue to rotate McMaryion in at times to give him experience.
TAGO UPDATE: San Jose State junior linebacker Christian Tago took a scary helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter against Air Force and left the game. Tyler Wilson was ejected from the game for targeting. Tago's status for Oregon State was uncertain.
But the Spartans could see the return of tackle Keenan Sykes (knee) and defensive end Cedric Lousi (foot).
MORE BARRS-WOODS: Andersen says he expects to see running back Storm Barrs-Woods play for the entire game against San Jose State. Barrs-Woods did not play the first half against Michigan because of a knee injury that had bothered him just before the game.
Andersen told reporters on Thursday that Barrs-Woods managed himself well over the course of the week in practice.
"We put him in the game (at Michigan) and we gave him some opportunities, but Storm is still getting himself back," Andersen said. "To say that he's 100 percent back today and ready to go? Storm's probably gonna say that. But I want him to feel comfortable, to get Storm in the game when he's 100 percent."