Oregon State mailbag: Kicking game woes, reporting injuries, annoying visiting bands, Luke Musgrave status

It’s time for the weekly installment of the Oregon State mailbag, where readers ask questions and The Oregonian/OregonLive’s OSU beat reporter Nick Daschel attempts to answer them.

Here goes:

Any chance we see (Jack) Colletto taking snaps at TE? Or maybe running routes from something like an H-back position? – Andrew

I could be mistaken, but I believe Colletto has already lined up as an H-back or tight end. If not, it’s in the offensive package. Outside of playing offensive line, Colletto is likely to play anywhere on offense.

Are you worried about Everett Hayes and field goals going forward? After the Montana State game I’m worried he may not be 100% for some time. The depth at that position is questionable. – Robert W

Depth at kicker is a question for every team. It’s a concern, for sure. It’s something I’ll try to investigate if it continues to be an issue.

What does Oregon State do well that people don’t talk enough about? – Jerrod E

Defense. It’s understandable. OSU was terrible just a few years ago. The defensive coordinator was fired less than a year ago. But the Beavers’ 2022 defense is, at least, solid. We’ll find out if it’s elite, at least at the Pac-12 level, during the next two games.

Are reporters required not to report on injuries during the week or is that just an unwritten rule? No offense Nick, but the absolute worst part of game day is logging onto your twitter 10 minutes before game time and seeing all the surprises of who is not playing that day. – Neil D

That’s the worst part of game day? Not a warm beer, traffic jam on I-5, 30 people lined up at the men’s room? Truth is, reporting injuries is tricky in 2022. Most, if not all FBS coaches, want to keep a lid on injuries for various reasons. We’re not allowed to watch practice during the week, so it’s difficult to know who gets hurt during the week.

I usually find out about injured players who will miss the game two or three hours before a game. When I know, I report. Smith is better than most coaches. If he knows on a Monday that a player is out, he’ll let reporters know. Many coaches would keep it under wraps. There’s more I can write on this subject, but the bottom line is, this is football. There are going to be injuries. Be ready for that when you sit down to watch the game.

“Tribute to Troy” got me thinking- is there any protocol over when marching bands can play during the game? – Alison W

I asked an OSU official. Here’s the answer: “The bands are coordinated by marketing. We split up between downs and end of timeouts. However, visiting bands sometimes play when they want to play and then we do our best not to have battling sounds while also trying not to allow a visiting band to take over our atmosphere.”

Still no further info when Alton (Julian) is coming back yet? – Bryan M

I’ve asked. We’ll see if I get an answer before Saturday afternoon. I wouldn’t expect much, if Julian is active. It’s been almost a year since he played.

With the Beavers’ great start, how has this affected recruiting, if any? — @2022SportsGuy

It has the attention of recruits, for sure. But the impact of a big season rarely shows up until next year’s recruiting class, which in OSU’s case is the 2024 cycle. This season might win over a recruit or two for 2023, but it’s mostly about the upcoming sophomores and juniors. Too early to tell. That said, it wouldn’t hurt Oregon State to put on a show Saturday because of the myriad recruits in attendance at Reser.

How is OSU men’s soccer looking? Any talk about increasing seating capacity at Paul Lorenz field? Winning the Pac 12 Championship last year over Washington was an electric atmosphere. Those final games were pretty packed. – Bennett

This isn’t quite the team of a year ago, but give it some time. The Beavers lost a lot from last year’s historic squad. OSU is coming off a nice 2-1 win at No. 10 Denver. We’ll soon find out where the Beavers stand, as Pac-12 play begins next Thursday at No. 20 UCLA. Of OSU’s final 11 games, seven are against Top 20 opponents.

As for seating, I haven’t heard of plans to upgrade. But if Oregon State men’s soccer continues to be a hot ticket, that could change.

Love the hot start! Where do you rank the following concerns for the team heading into USC & Utah: Penalties; Lack of Sacks; Kicking uncertainty? — @Balias_Info

Not too concerned about penalties. This is a veteran team and the only game where it seemed to be an issue was the opener. Lack of sacks? That’s a tough one because it’s more about impacting the quarterback. A pass rush can be effective if it forces a quarterback to throw earlier than he wants, without getting the sack. That said, OSU needs to be better in this area vs. USC and Utah. Kicking, probably the No. 1 concern. If it comes down to a 45-yard field goal and Everett Hayes’ leg injury is bothering him, that’s a problem.

Do you foresee OSU ever hosting another non-conference football game in Portland? – Charles R

Ever is a long time. Perhaps sometime in the next century. But for the next few decades, no. OSU sunk $161 million into remodeling Reser Stadium to build cash-generating assets. Oregon State isn’t going to give up for a trip to Portland.

Not that it matters much, but if Utah and OSU both win this weekend, is the PAC 12 network still going to host the most likely top 15 match up the week after? — @RichRod

The game is locked into the Pac-12 Network, even if they’re 1-2 next Monday morning.

I’m assuming (Trey) Lowe has some non-football related issues. Is there a need to be concerned about Lowe not returning yet? Hope whatever is going on gets resolved and he’s back 100% — @TheDigitalDam

Unclear on the injury, but it happened in the Boise State game. He’s out for a while.

Why no Colletto against Montana St.? Would have liked to see him get some runs in that game. — @ds1527

Colletto took several snaps on offense. He just didn’t handle the ball. There was no need to give future opponents more video to examine.

Soo… Any timeline for (Luke) Musgrave’s return (the 14th person to ask this I’m sure….) — @beaverjuice77

Musgrave is out for a while, but I’m told he should be back at some point this season. Just a hunch… perhaps he returns following the bye week Oct. 29.

Ok, how can you possibly justify putting the OSU-Utah game on PAC-12 (Network) again? This is the kind of stuff that’s driving fans away. At this point, I wouldn’t be shocked if OSU straight up wasn’t televised. That’s how disrespected we are at this point. – Kyle W

I’ve explained this before, but here it goes again. Each team has a minimum number of Pac-12 Networks it must fulfill. ESPN and FOX drive these decisions. They’ve made it clear that USC and Utah are relevant. ESPN and FOX want those teams available later in the season, so they’re willing to forgo a USC-OSU or Utah-Oregon State game early in the conference season to make that happen. It’s not a disrespect of Oregon State. The biggest, most attractive games are late in the season. That’s a fact. ESPN and FOX are making sure they’re televising those games, not the Pac-12 Network.

–Nick Daschel | ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

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