By Kevin Hampton

Corvallis Gazette-Times

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Oregon St. at No. 14 Southern California

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

TV: Pac-12 Line: USC by 34

CORVALLIS — Darell Garretson’s return to the football field did not exactly go the way he wanted.

Garretson was Oregon State’s starting quarterback last year but his season was cut short by an ankle injury against Utah on Oct. 15.

He began 2017 as Jake Luton’s backup but got the start against Washington after Luton was injured at Washington State on Sept. 16.

Garretson and the Beavers struggled all game to move the ball against the Huskies.

The Beavers managed a paltry 184 total yards and a big chunk of that came in the fourth quarter. Garretson completed just 11 of 22 passes for 74 yards.

“As far as my performance, obviously there’s things that I could do better, but I played all right in my opinion,” Garretson said. “Not where I wanted to play. But we’ve just got to get better. We’ve got to get better in all phases of the game. Up front, quarterback spot, everywhere else. We’ve just got to play better, so whatever we’ve got do to make those changes, we’ll make it.”

Said OSU co-offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven: “I’ve never had a quarterback that came out of a game that didn’t have a decision or two that he’d like back or a throw or two that he’d like back, so you just try to keep those to a minimum and go out there and execute the best you can, and I thought for the most part he was able to do that.”

The Beavers could not run or pass against the Huskies. OSU rushed for 110 yards and could not gain any footing up front against the Washington defensive line.

Garretson said the Beavers thought they could run the ball and create some momentum.

“So on offense we’ve got to get the ground game going, obviously,” he said. “We’ve got to get the pass attack to get where it needs to be. We need to take some shots downfield and make some plays on 50-50 balls and I think our guys can do that, too, so we’ve just got to make plays when they need to be made.”

The Beavers decided to go with a short pass game that focused on targeting the running backs.

Garretson had a long pass play of 19 yards, but that was to Ryan Nall out of the backfield.

“It wasn’t in the game plan really too much to vertically get downfield,” Garretson said. “They were pretty good in the secondary and they’re good up front, too, so we had to take whatever the defense was going to give us.”

McGiven said Garretson is 100 percent healthy and prepared well to start the Washington game.

The next step is to build some continuity around the quarterback.

“Obviously, when he was the backup a lot of the reps got devoted to Jake in that role, and sometimes when you’re not taking all those reps you’re taking reps with some different guys,” McGiven said. “And now you’re back to square one in terms of trying to get some chemistry and trying to get continuity with those guys and trying to mold the schemes each week and get those guys to where they function well together in the passing game as a unit.”