As a freshman last season, RB Storm Woods burst onto the scene for the Oregon State Beavers, nearly rushing for that coveted 1,000 yards as the Beavers rolled to an impressive 6-0 start to the 2012 season. The Beavers would finish up 9-4 overall, including a loss to the Texas Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl, one of Woods’ more impressive efforts ironically. Woods finished up with 948 yards and 13 touchdowns, which is about as much as you can ask for a freshman running back. So, you have to ask, what does 2013 hold for the Pflugerville, Texas native?
With head coach Mike Riley readily admitting that the quarterback situation at OSU is still up in the air between junior Sean Mannion and senior Cody Vaz, from a skill position standpoint, Woods is the most solid returning player on the offensive side of the ball. He, along with four starters returning on the offensive line, may very well dictate the pace of the Oregon State offense on most occasions.
As far as Woods staying fresh as the season progresses, that shouldn’t be an issue. Terron Ward, who last year carried the ball 68 times for 415 yards and six touchdowns, returns behind Woods, giving Riley a two-headed monster at running back that can have Pac-12 defenses cringing. But, ultimately, Woods is where the key to success lies.
This is what Oregon State coach Mike Riley needs to realize, 100%.
In last year’s loss to Texas in the Alamo Bowl, Woods made a statement in front of the entire country, leading the way for the Beavers. With OSU looking as if they were going to knock off the ‘Horns, Riley inexplicably abandoned his successful running game in favor of his questionable passing attack. And, as they say, the rest is history.
Barely cracking the 200-pound mark, Woods isn’t going to be the bruising work-horse that’s going to carry you through the game. He is, however, the man that can break the game wide open before you can blink an eye. With hard-nosed defenses being virtually non-existent in the Pac-12, Woods is the perfect back.
If Oregon State can improve the passing woes that plagued them the second-half of last season, and Woods can take care of his part, state of Oregon residents will have a lot more to talk about than the uniform colors of the guys in Eugene.