The Oregon State football team is expected to endure another tough season, this time under first-year head coach Jonathan Smith.

The Beavers, who finished 1-11 overall a year ago after Gary Andersen resigned as head coach at midseason, are predicted to finish last in the Pac-12 North.

Oregon State opens its season Saturday on the road, meeting fifth-ranked Ohio State in a nonconference game. The Beavers are 37-point underdogs.

Senior Jake Luton (6-7, 230) will open the season at quarterback. Luton passed for 161 yards and one touchdown in a recent scrimmage at Summit High School in Bend. Sophomores Conor Blount (6-1, 204) and Jack Colletto (6-3, 222) are the backups.

Junior Artavis Pierce (5-11, 201) is the top running back for OSU. The Beavers have a strong receiving corps with senior Timmy Hernandez (6-0, 198), junior Trevon Bradford (6-0, 179) and sophomore Isaiah Hodgins (6-4, 208).

Up front, OSU has returning starters in senior center Sumner Houston (6-2, 287), junior guard Gus Lavaka (6-4, 353), junior tackle Blake Brandel (6-7, 307) and senior tackle Trent Moore (6-4, 289).

Injuries have hit the Beavers during fall camp, sidelining strong safety David Morris (foot), defensive end Jeromy Reichner (foot), running back Calvin Tyler (knee) and tight end Noah Togiai (knee).

Junior placekicker Jordan Choukair (6-1, 195) has been a bright spot on special teams, converting six field goals in the Bend scrimmage — including two from 52 and 54 yards.

OSU faces Southern Utah on Sept. 8 in its home opener and begins Pac-12 play Sept. 22 against Arizona at Reser Stadium.

Sports Editor Tom Eggers can be reached at 541-957-4220.

or email teggers@nrtoday.com.

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Sports Editor

Tom Eggers is the sports editor for The News-Review. He can be reached at 541-957-4220 or by email at teggers@nrtoday.com.

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