There’s been a lot of talk about the defensive mindset the Oregon State football program will take under new coach Gary Andersen and his staff.
While the Beavers will no doubt put quite a bit of emphasis on defense, the offense will get its share of attention.
Andersen brought Dave Baldwin in from Colorado State as the offensive coordinator to guide the Beavers through the transition.
The Rams averaged 497.8 yards a game last season under Baldwin, who said he plans to put together an offense at OSU utilizing multiple personnel and formations with a variety of motions and shifts.
“Faster pace at the line of scrimmage, no-huddle, huddle some. Change the tempo,” Baldwin said.
“We’ll run some read option with the quarterback. Hopefully we’re capable of doing that and spread it out and do what a lot of these people in this conference are already doing with maybe more tight ends and different personnel shifts and motions than what they’re doing.”
Baldwin said that among Pac-12 schools, UCLA’s offense probably comes closest to what he envisions at OSU.
“So they’re probably closer in the conference and then the Oklahoma States have had tight ends in their packaging throughout the years,” he said.
“I think everything revolves around what your personnel is and if we are talented at that position, then we can utilize them. If we don’t, we can go to more two-backs and four wideouts, that type of deal. It all depends on how our breakdown comes down in spring and into fall camp as to how we evolve.”
A big change will come at quarterback.
Mike Riley preferred tall, big-armed pocket passers such as Sean Mannion and Derek Anderson.
Andersen and Baldwin are looking for athletic players who can get out and run as well as throw.
Baldwin likes what little he’s seen of the returning group, including Luke Del Rio, Marcus McMaryion and Nick Mitchell.
“They’re athletic and they do have some talent, so it will be interesting to see if they’re capable of doing what we want. It certainly looks like they can,” Baldwin said.
“Marcus has tremendous athletic ability and so does Nick Mitchell and then the kid, Seth Collins, coming in who’s very athletic.
“It’s going to be fun at that position.”
The Beavers are strong at receiver with Caleb Smith and Kellen Clute back at tight end as well as starting wideouts Victor Bolden, Jordan Villamin, Richard Mullaney and Hunter Jarmon, along with plenty of depth.
“As a group, the wide receivers is a very talented group and young group and a physically very, very impressive group,” Baldwin said. “They’ve got tremendous size to go with athletic ability, which is exciting.”
The offensive line is largely intact and Isaac Seumalo is expected back after missing the season with a foot injury.
Baldwin is looking for long, lean, athletic linemen that can block in a zone concept offense.
“It’s an interesting change of styles,” he said. “So can they run like we want them to do and be out in the zones and get out in spaces and do those kinds of things?”
Baldwin’s coaching tree begins with Jack Elway, who mentored him at Cal State Northridge, San Jose State and Stanford.
After coaching at the junior college level, Baldwin was hired to lead the Cal State Northridge program. He coached SJSU from 1997 to 2000 and was the offensive coordinator at Cincinnati, Baylor, Michigan State and New Mexico before landing at Utah State with Andersen.
“I’ve had some great people that I’ve worked for and I’ve learned a lot in that process,” Baldwin said. They’re all different, from the Gary Andersens to the Jim McElwaines to the John L. Smiths to the Rocky Longs.
“I spent three years with Gary. We went to Utah State together and developed that program that hadn’t won in many years.”
Baldwin spent that past three seasons at CSU and is now back with Andersen.
“I’m really excited to be back not only with the guys in this office but him because of how he treat kids and what his expectations are and how he makes it fun in this process,” Baldwin said. “It’s hard enough to win but you’ve got to have fun to go with it.”
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