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Oregon State at Minnesota mini-preview: Can the Beavers upset the Golden Gophers?

For more on Oregon State go to Building the Dam.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State Beavers are still pretty far away from contention, but this could be a potential rebuilding year gone right if Gary Andersen's recruits pan out. Oregon State suffered from injuries, defections, roster turnover, and experience woes. Two of those things (health and experience) figure to improve in 2016, and should give the Beavers ample opportunities to pick up wins in 2016.

It starts on the road in Minneapolis.

How Oregon State could spring the trap: The Beavers added a lot of junior college talent so they will not be as inexperienced as last season. Minnesota also will be lacking some of their more explosive weapons in 2016, so Oregon State's defense could hold the Gophers at bay for at least a half.

The Beavers do have an experienced offensive line that can contain a Minnesota defense for at least a time. With a good enough gameplan Oregon State could use that strength to take control. While they lost their lynchpins in Nick Mitchell and Isaac Seumalo, both figure to be

How Oregon State could get bulldozed: Minnesota was good at football last year, and particularly good at the start of last season. Oregon State was not good at football against any Power 5 school. The Gophers are returning the bulk of their defense to try and keep Utah State quarterback transfer and Beaver starter Darell Garretson at bay, and nothing to this point suggests the Beavers will have any playmakers to produce points.

The Beavers did manage to score points near the end of last season, but they were against some of the worst defenses in the conference. Minnesota's offense can be methodical at grinding inferior opponents away.

Prediction: Unless Garretson comes out dealing and the Beavers jump out to an early and quick lead, expect a close first half followed by Minnesota pulling away slowly but steadily. Minnesota has the depth that Oregon State currently lacks to beat the big boys.