Michigan Football Preview 2015

2015 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 128 of 163

THE WOLVERINE 2015 FOOTBALL PREVIEW ■ 127 BY RYAN TICE Oregon State was the site of two shocking decisions this offseason. First, head coach Mike Riley — who led the program from 1997-98 and 2003-14 — left for Nebraska. The Beavers then swiped Gary Anderson from Wisconsin, where he went 19-7 the past two seasons and guided UW to the Big Ten championship game last fall. The Badgers' loss is the Beavers' gain. However, the longtime Utah assistant — he was the defensive coordinator during their undefeated seasons in 2004 and 2008 — won't be walking into a made-for-success situation like he did at Wisconsin. Oregon State has a 29-33 mark over the last five years, and its record has gotten worse each of the past three campaigns. Anderson brings a spread offense with him, which is a change from Riley's pro- style attack. His offense will also have to break in a quarterback — the team does not return a signal-caller who threw a pass last year. The good news is fifth-year senior run- ning back Storm Woods is back after he led the team with 766 rushing yards and scored six times while splitting carries. The 6-0, 212-pounder, who has started 31 games over the past three years and rushed for 2,183 yards and 23 touchdowns, will be the featured back. He's also a proven receiver with 932 yards and two scores on 111 career catches. The five offensive linemen who started the final four games return, which could help Woods break 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career. Former All-Pac-12 second-teamer Isaac Seumalo, who was a team captain but missed last year with a foot injury, could play wherever is needed up front in his redshirt junior campaign. Junior wideout Victor Bolden is only 5-9 and 175 pounds, but he exploded for 72 receptions and 798 receiving yards last year. The speedster also rushed for 118 yards on just 19 attempts and is a dangerous returner. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Villamin pro- vides the wide receiving corps with some size at 6-4 and 240 pounds. He he broke out for 578 receiving yards and a team-best six touchdown grabs last year. Part-time starters Hunter Jarmon, a red- shirt sophomore wide receiver, and Caleb Smith, a senior tight end, also return after each hauled in 20 passes last year. Jarmon notched 334 yards and a touchdown, while the 6-6, 269-pound Smith has 47 career grabs for 564 yards and five scores. Fifth-year senior Richard Mullaney is also tall target at 6-3, but suffered a season- ending injury midway through last year; the sure-handed receiver posted 52 catches for 788 yards and three touchdowns in 2013. The unit should have plenty of weapons for the new quarterback. The defense, which is switching from a 4-3 to 3-4, returns only two starters — se- niors Jaswha James, an end, and Larry Scott, a cornerback. James was limited to seven starts due to injuries, while Scott opened every contest and led the Beavers with 11 passes broken up. Fifth-year senior defensive end Lavonte Barnett was also limited by injuries, but he started four times and led the team with 4.5 sacks. Redshirt sophomore Justin Strong re- ceived plenty of action as the team's nickel back last year and is the team's top returning tackler (56), and should move into the start- ing lineup this fall. The Beavers will rely on players who have played minimal meaning- ful minutes to make up their linebacking corps and remainder of the secondary. Redshirt sophomore kicker Garrett Ow- ens, who opened the season as the starting kicker before giving way to incumbent se- nior Trevor Romaine, is the only returner on the special teams. He attempted a school- record seven field goals in the season opener and made five, and then became the starting kicker again after Romaine left the team. He finished 11 of 13 with a long of 46 yards. Notes The Beavers must replace their top six tacklers and don't return any of the team's 11 interceptions last year … The one area they return a lot of production is wide receiver, which should help the new quarterback. Twelve players, who combined for 220 receptions, 2,668 receiving yards and 13 receiving touchdowns last year, return … Gary Anderson was named the No. 2 coaching hire this offseason, behind Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, by Athlon Sports' College Football Preview magazine. ❑ OREGON STATE • SEPT. 12 • GAME 2 2015 SCHEDULE Date Opponent 2014 Result Sept. 4 Weber State — Sept. 12 at Michigan — Sept. 19 San Jose State — Sept. 25 Stanford L, 38-14 Oct. 10 at Arizona — Oct. 17 at Washington State L, 39-32 Oct. 24 Colorado W, 36-31 Oct. 31 at Utah L, 29-23 (2OT) Nov. 7 UCLA — Nov. 14 at California L, 45-31 Nov. 21 Washington L, 37-13 Nov. 27 at Oregon L, 47-19 QUICK FACTS All-Time Series: U-M leads 4-0 First Meeting: U-M 18, OSU 7 (Oct. 10, 1959, at Ann Arbor) Last Meeting: U-M 31, OSU 12 (Sept. 20, 1986, at Ann Arbor) Head Coach: Gary Anderson, first year at Oregon State and 49-38 overall (8th year) Off./Def. Systems: Spread/3-4 2014 In Review: 5-7 overall, 2-7 Pac-12 (T-5th North) Final 2014 Ranking: Unranked Returning Starters: 9 (7 offense, 2 defense) Last Bowl Appearance: 2013 (Hawaii, vs. Boise State, W 38-23) Pac-12 Conference Championships (last): 5 (2000) RETURNING LEADERS Passing: None Rushing: Storm Woods (766 yards, 5 TD) Receiving: Victor Bolden (798 yards, 2 TD) Tackles: Justin Strong (73) Sacks: Lavonte Barnett (4.5) Interceptions: None New Coach Might Need Time To Change Results For Beavers Fifth-year senior Storm Woods has started 31 games over the past three years, rushing for 2,183 yards and 23 touchdowns. PHOTO BY KARL MAASDAM/OREGON STATE PLAYERS TO WATCH Offense: Victor Bolden, Jr., WR — The diminutive speedster won the kickoff returner job as a true freshman in 2013, but became an integral part of the offense last fall … Led the team with 72 receptions and 798 receiving yards, and he also rushed for 118 yards … Has 2,315 career all-purpose yards, although 1,198 came as a kickoff returner. Defense: Justin Strong, R-So., S — The 5-9, 192-pounder served as the team's nickel back and played in every contest last fall … Totaled 56 tackles, five tackles for loss, a sack, three passes broken up and a forced fumble.

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