Next hurdle for Beavers QB Seth Collins? The Big House

Publish date:

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Freshman quarterback Seth Collins hurdled his way into the job as Oregon State's starter. The next obstacle is Michigan at the Big House.

The prospect of playing in front of more than 100,000 people isn't rattling the dual-threat QB; he's looking forward to it.

''Just really excited. It's something you dream about as a little kid, growing up playing youth football,'' he said. ''Really, (it's) just a sense of urgency to see some film and work hard this week. It's a big opportunity.''

Collins was solid in his debut against Weber State last Friday, sharing quarterbacking duties with redshirt freshman Marcus McMaryion.

Since neither quarterback had ever taken a snap in a college game, Oregon State coach Gary Andersen and his offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin decided both would play for the opener.

Collins quickly separated himself, throwing for 92 yards and two touchdowns while also leading the Beavers with 152 yards rushing on 17 carries. Oregon State won 26-7.

It was the most rushing yards for an Oregon State quarterback since Tim Alexander ran for 205 in the 1996 season against Northern Illinois. Collins was also the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Beavers since David Moran against Washington State in 1996.

The El Cajon, California, native had one play that particularly stood out: His hurdle of Weber State free safety Josh Burton on a run in the second half.

Beavers running back Storm Barrs-Woods was already a big Collins fan, but the hurdle was something else.

''When he did the hurdle I was like, `All right, all right,''' Barrs-Woods said, smiling. ''Other than that I wasn't surprised at all by the performance. That's who Seth is. He's a guy who's always locked in, he stays focused. And he loves football, he truly loves football.''

Andersen was quick to say following the Weber State performance that Collins would be the starter going forward.

However, the Beavers will continue to play McMaryion, too, in order to get him some experience. Andersen said both could play Saturday when the Beavers travel to Ann Arbor.

''Seth's gonna take the first snap, so that's that magical word of the `starter.' So, yeah, that's out there. He'll take the first snap and, at this point, it's scheduled for him to get the majority of the snaps. But we have to continue to prepare ourselves as a football team to play the whole year, and giving Marcus an opportunity to prepare knowing that he has a really, really good opportunity to get into that football game and play is important at this point,'' said Andersen, the former Wisconsin coach who is in his first season with the Beavers after Mike Riley departed for Nebraska.

Michigan, which is playing its first season under Jim Harbaugh, was regrouping after a season-opening 24-17 loss to Utah last Thursday. The Utes stuffed the Wolverines' running game, allowing just 76 yards rushing on 29 carries.

Quarterback Jake Rudock, a graduate transfer from Iowa, also solidified his position as Michigan's starter in the opener. He threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions.

About Andersen's only criticism of Collins after his first outing is that he's going to have to learn when to take risks - like the hurdle - and know when not to.

His second test comes Saturday.

''Seth has a game under his belt, which is invaluable at this point,'' Andersen said. ''The challenge for Seth, just like everybody on this team, is to understand who you're playing and what you're lining up against. Take care of yourself first, execute the game plan and know exactly what type of game it's going to be.''