Bulletin wire reports

First up

Oregon St. at Colorado St.

When: 11:30 a.m. Aug. 26 TV: CBSSN

Southern Utah at Oregon

When: 5:15 p.m. Sept. 2 TV: Pac-12

There is no doubt that Oregon State struggled to throw the ball consistently last season.

The Beavers passed for 2,086 yards, raking 110th out of 128 FBS teams.

Jason Phillips was brought on board as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach to point the team in the right direction.

Phillips, who played receiver for University of Houston during the run-and-shoot days, was the offensive coordinator for the Cougars in 2010 and 2011, the latter year when Case Keenum led the nation in passing yards, TDs, completions and attempts as Houston went 13-1 and beat Penn State in the Ticket City Bowl.

The Beavers are stocked with strong running backs and head coach Gary Andersen likes to run the ball, so there is not going to be a sudden transformation into an Air Raid offense. Phillips just wants to simplify the passing game for the players.

“We’re not an Air Raid team. We’re a Beaver team that’s going to do the things that we were doing successful last year,” he said. “Hopefully we have improved the passing game enough to where it can catch up with our running game so that we can be a more explosive offense.”

Phillips does want the Beavers to play with a quicker tempo in the passing game.

“I think it’s just trying to keep the tempo up and maybe not having a humongous playbook and having a whole bunch of things that we have to do. But having a set core of things that we do really well and that we can do fast and we’ll give teams a lot of different looks,” starting quarterback Jake Luton said. “I think that’s a big thing is just the speed and knowing exactly what we need to do.

“Anytime we can speed up the tempo and try to get the ball over the top, or if we’re keeping it short and we try to get it into the hands of our guys. We’ve got playmakers across the board and anytime that I can dump the ball off and get it into the guys and let them make a play is huge for a quarterback.”

Crosby healthy again for experienced Ducks O-line

If success starts up front, the Oregon Ducks should have a fighting chance this season behind an experienced and talented offensive line.

Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal inherited five players with significant starting experience and quality depth at each position.

Left tackle Tyrell Crosby, who is back healthy after last year’s foot injury, has rejoined a group that includes 2016 starters Calvin Throckmorton, Jake Hanson, Brady Aiello and Shane Lemieux.

Seniors Jake Pisarcik, Doug Brenner and Evan Voeller are also competing for significant playing time, along with redshirt freshmen Logan Bathke, Jacob Capra and Sam Poutasi.

After missing Oregon’s final nine games last season and being limited in the spring, Crosby has been on the first team during preseason camp ahead of Aiello.

“The more I practice, the more and more I feel like I used to. I’m feeling good, and I’m getting confidence with each rep,” Crosby said. “I’m feeling really good right now. Probably the last time I felt this good was last year during camp.”

The newcomers to the unit include 6-foot-7, 308-pound junior college transfer George Moore and true freshmen Cody Shear and Alex Forsyth.

“When you have that moving depth chart, I think that helps all the guys understand they can be the guy,” first-year head coach Willie Taggart said. “There’s nothing like having competition and having guys go hard every single day.”

South Florida was No. 5 among FBS teams in rushing last season under Taggart, averaging 285.3 yards per game. The Ducks’ streak of leading the Pac-12 in rushing for 10 consecutive years was snapped in 2016 as Oregon (226.4 ypg) finished second behind Arizona (235.0 ypg).

With the emphasis the new staff put on the players adding size and strength in the weight room, the offensive line simply believes it will be lethally productive again.

“The improvements that most of the guys made were kind of ridiculous,” said Aiello, who is listed at 6 feet 7 inches and 302 pounds, up 12 pounds from last season. “We put on a lot of muscle, added a lot of strength.”

Before joining Taggart’s staff at Oregon, Cristobal spent four seasons as Nick Saban’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach at Alabama. The Crimson Tide won the 2015 national championship and lost in the 2016 title game to Clemson.

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