OSU freshman running back eager to rev up

CORVALLIS — Every Oregon State player — and coach and fan and business owner who took a financial hit — was frustrated when last week's opener against Nicholls State was postponed because of Hurricane Isaac, but for running back Storm Woods, the disappointment stung a little more.

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the debut of Woods, the redshirt freshman who has been tasked with reviving OSU's ground game. For years, the Beavers have been known for a potent rushing attack and have produced their share of stellar running backs in the Pac-12.


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(If you need a refresher course, look up career numbers for Ken Simonton, Steven Jackson, Yvenson Bernard and Jacquizz Rodgers.)

But after a season in which Oregon State averaged just 87 rushing yards per game, much is expected early of Woods.

"I couldn't wait. I've been going against the Beavers for about a year and half, and I was ready to play somebody else," laughed Woods. "But this week it's finally here!"

Also here, says Woods, is a strong bond with his offensive linemen, a chemistry that will be necessary if Woods and the Beavers want to get bowl eligible.

"Everybody's asking me what I'm going to do if I score a touchdown and I just tell them I'm going to celebrate with the big guys," Woods said. "If it wasn't for the big guys I wouldn't get anything."

Woods said he's particularly close with junior left tackle Michael Philipp and even has a secret handshake with Phillipp, someone he calls "one of my favorite people on this team."

Junior Colin Kelly, the starting right tackle, said the camaraderie between Woods and the line is evident — and crucial to OSU's success this season.

"Well, I'm not on the Michael Philipp level because we don't have a handshake, and now I'm jealous," joked Kelly. "But yeah, having a good relationship is definitely important. If you don't click, it doesn't work. I think Storm has worked to build a good relationship with all of us on the O-line and we all want to win games, so we want to do good for each other. I can't wait to watch what he does this season.

"The bottom line is that if we do a good job, he'll make us look good."

Meanwhile, fullback Clayton York sat out again Thursday, and Mike Riley said he is doubtful York will play. Sophomore Tyler Anderson is up next on the depth chart.

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