CORVALLIS -- The evening session on Day 9 was almost solely dedicated to the first and second teams…
Tailback Terron Ward remained on the sideline today - apparently still favoring a tight hamstring that initially acted up toward the end of the first half of Wednesday's two-a-day.
TE Caleb Smith and OL Gavin Andrews remained inactive with concussion-like symptoms.
Safeties Anthony Watkins and Chris Miller did not participate.
Gone but not forgotten: Chase Eldredge, Kendall Hill and Garrett Weinreich are out. Eldredge and Hill are out at least until the end of fall camp, Weinreich for the season. Eldredge and Hill are on the field every day though and were again today, watching and learning.
The Day – In a Nutshell:
"It was pretty vanilla you know," said Mike Riley, referencing the first official scrimmage of fall camp. "It was pretty basic football on both sides of the ball - not a lot of blitzing, not a lot of exotic stuff. It was clean, and I like that."
In fact, the officials only had to stop the action twice to call a penalty – the first occurred on the third drive on a defensive hold by D.J. Welch that gave the offense a first down. The second penalty was a false start by redshirt freshman WR Richard Mullaney on the fourth drive downfield that cost the Beaver's five yards and set up second-and-ten.
The offensive line unit looked better prepared today than they have all of fall camp. Not only did they keep Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz well protected (not allowing a "sack" for the extent of practice) - they did not incur a single penalty. That said, the defense run against them was, as Riley alluded to, very basic.
"I asked the referee to call us for offside, illegal procedure, holding – all that," Riley said.
And good news on the home front for an offensive line that has been the subject of much scrutiny throughout the off season.
Play by Play & Depth Chart for Drives 1 & 4
First Drive: The 1's on Offense
Quarterback – Sean Mannion
Tailback – Jordan Jenkins (two plays) / Malcolm Agnew (remainder of drive)
Fullback- Tyler Anderson/ Clayton York
Tight End- Colby Prince / Connor Hamlett
Wide Receiver: Markus Wheaton (X) Brandin Cooks (Z) Obum Gwacham (Slot)
Offensive Line: OT Michael Philipp – OG Josh Andrews – C Isaac Seumalo – OG Grant Enger – OT Colin Kelly
The 1's on Defense:
Defensive Line: DE Dylan Wynn – DT Castro Masaniai – DT Andrew Seumalo – DE Scott Crichton
Linebackers: Michael Doctor (Weak) – Feti Unga (MIK) – D.J. Welch (Strong)
Cornerbacks: Rashaad Reynolds – Jordan Poyer
Safeties: Tyrequek Zimmerman (Free) – Ryan Murphy (Strong)
Whistle blows – play starts on the offense's 30 yard line:
First and Ten – Mannion to Cooks on a quick hitter – Cooks gains five yards on the play.
Second and Five – Jenkins run for a gain of one, maybe two yards.
Third and Four – Agnew in for Jenkins - Mannion throws to Gwacham for a cool five yard gain and a first down – tackle made by Reynolds.
First and 10 – Ball on the offense's 41 yard line – Mannion quick throw to Cooks caught – Cooks dodges attempted tackle by Murphy but loses his balance and fumbles the ball. Cooks recovers his own muff and heads out of bounds – gain of six.
Second and Four – Agnew runs for a gain of three. Tackled by Seumalo.
Third and One – Agnew again - gain of three and a first down.
First down and Ten – Ball on the opposition's 47 yard line – Play action fake to Agnew turns into a throw to Anderson, gain of seven.
Second and Three – York comes in for Anderson on a substitution – Two yard run by Agnew.
Third and One – Storm Woods comes in for Agnew– Mannion throws to York for a gain of seven and a first down.
First and Ten – (Ryan Handford substitution for Poyer) Ball on the opposition 31 yard line – Short run by Storm Woods for a small gain of maybe a yard.
Second and Nine – Pass from Mannion to Wheaton, gain of nine, just shy of a first down.
Third and Inches – Run by Woods for a gain of five and a first.
First and Ten – Ball on the opposition's 15 yard line – short run by Woods, gain of maybe two yards.
Second and Eight – Mannion lofts the ball over Handford in the end zone, pass caught by Gwacham for 13 yards and a touchdown.
Fourth Drive: The 2's on Offense
Quarterback- Cody Vaz
Tailback – Jenkins/Woods/Brown
Tight End – Tyler Perry
Wide Receiver – Obum Gwacham (X) Brandin Cooks (Z) Kevin Cummings/Richard Mullaney (Slot) Micah Hatfield (4th)
Offensive Line - OT- Justin Addie/Michael Philipp OG - Josh Mitchell/Jake Welch C -Roman Sapolu/Josh Mitchell OG- Grant Enger OT – Derek Nielsen
The 2's on Defense:
Defensiva Line: DE Devon Kell – DT Mana Rosa – DT – Joe Lopez – DE John Braun/Noa Aluesi
Linebackers: Caleb Saulo (Weak) – Joel Skotte/Rueben Robinson (MIK) – Jabral Johnson (Strong)
Cornerbacks: Sean Martin, Ryan Handford, Malcolm Marable, Larry Scott
Safeties: Peter Ashton (Free) – Micah Audiss (Strong)
Whistle blows – play starts on the offense's 30 yard line:
First and Ten – Vaz to Perry for a gain of eight yards.
Second and Two – Vaz pass to Micah Hatfield caught, but stopped for little or no gain on a tackle from Scott.
Third and Two – Vaz pass to Perry complete for a gain of 10 yards that moves the chains.
First and Ten – Ball on the offense's 48 yard line – Pass from Vaz to Mullaney – Mullaney dodges a defender and gains two yards after the catch – gain of seven hashes total.
Second and Three – Vaz completes a pass to a wide open Cooks– Cooks turns the ball upfield for a gain of 25 yards and a first down.
First and Ten – Ball on the opposition's 20 yard line – short run by Brown for a gain of two.
Second and Eight – Vaz throws to York, has it for a split second but York gets popped by Martin before he can control the pass and it falls incomplete.
Third and Eight – Vaz lets go on a pass and its caught in the end zone by a leaping Mullaney for a gain of 18 yards and a touchdown.
Practice Notes/Scrimmage Notes:
Quarterbacks – Combined, Mannion and Vaz threw only three incomplete passes and had a touchdown apiece.
Mannion's control in terms of his accuracy has improved and he looked really calm under weak pressure today, especially with the play-action (Mannion even scrambled for a few yards during the third drive from scrimmage).
Vaz moved around in the pocket a bit more than Mannion today and as a result, he was able to make a lot of plays open up in the short game.
"Both of them are playing well, and I've been saying that all along," Riley said. "I think they are efficient – we have two guys that can win in this league."
Tailback – While Riley maintained that today is absolutely not an indicator of who will be named the Beavs go-to-guy when carrying the rock, it doesn't make their performance as a whole any less impressive. All four active tailbacks (remember, Ward sat out) played with precision and saw a lot of good looks courtesy of the offensive line.
Agnew, who had a touchdown running the ball with the 2's on the second drive and looked the best today, is also probably the best blocking tailback out of the active corps – he had two solid cut blocks today that opened up lanes for fullbacks York and Anderson to catch and run through.
Woods and Brown saw less carries than Jenkins and Agnew, but played with a bit more gusto for the limited time they were on field. Woods had success on the second and third series with both the 1's and 2's - he showed a knack for dodging defenders and picking up that extra yard here and there. Woods and Brown both looked mostly solid down near the goal line, especially in the short passing game.
Fullback - Both Anderson and York looked really good today. They set up some big blocks on the few occasions that Riley decided to mix it up a little. But they looked most impressive in the passing game today, each claiming a handful of catches and a first down apiece when their numbers were called.
Tight End - Perry and Hamlett both lit it up a bit this afternoon – Perry had three receptions with the 2's. Hamlett only had two short receptions but really did good work in the blocking packages. Both showed good acceleration into their blocks and an ability to hold those blocks moving downfield.
Wide Receiver – It was all about Gwacham, Cooks, and Mullaney today.
Wheaton only saw one drive (the first) before Riley stuck him on the sideline (to keep him healthy we presume). Cooks gathered in the most receptions today and looked dynamic in certain routes, getting the offense close to the end zone on a couple occasions.
Gwacham and Mullaney are both impressive weapons down near the goal line – they used their bodies to their advantage and jump up and over defenders to make big grabs in the clutch. Gwacham also saw some good grabs on certain routes, but Mullaney has been the story for the last few days when it comes to receiving.
"He has done really well," Riley said. "We are not very deep, but we are good at receiver. And he put on show last night (during the second half of practice), it was interesting. The other guys were even appreciating it as we went through practice. We are going to get him into the games and utilize him."
Offensive Line - As mentioned before, by far the most impressive day to date for the offensive line squad on the 1's and 2's.
Particularly solid were Philipp and Kelly, who managed to stuff Dylan Wynn and Scott Crichton on nearly every play. Even if the defense is as basic as it gets, winning those battles against Wynn and Crichton is noteworthy.
Most of the successful runs were due in large part to the efforts of Enger and Andrews. They played with gusto today and really spread the D-line thin on numerous occasions, allowing the tailback to eke through and get into the secondary. Addie also set a few pancakes with Sapolu.
Defensive Line - While the offensive line got the better initially of Wynn, Masaniai and Crichton, they were still mostly getting to the ball carrier shortly after the ‘backs were breaking through the line. Wynn, Kell, Seumalo and Fifita all displayed quick feet and good recognition, and moving into the flat when called for.
And while there was a good cumulative rushing yards, none of the carries were for really big gains.
Masaniai and Seumalo struggled a bit during the first drive to breaks blocks and plug up the middle but as the afternoon progressed, they started winning more and more battles against the O-line and pushing them back easier.
Rosa too showed good recognition and got his hands up to make a big pass deflection on a first-down play. He was commended loudly by defensive line coach Joe Seumalo.
Linebackers - All in all, not the best day for the first unit.
They looked a little rusty defending the pass, but for the most part showed awareness in getting to the run. D.J. Welch's holding penalty set up a first down for the opposition on the first drive and Feti Unga struggled here and there on pursuit angles on the running backs. Unga also missed a tackle against Jenkins on the third drive that gave the offense a fresh set of downs.
The 2's at linebacker actually looked a bit more prepared today on defense, as Skotte and Johnson played sharp defense against the inside run – and Johnson managed to tackle Brown for a loss during the second drive.
Secondary - Zimmerman and Murphy both looked like seasoned pass defenders today, and while the two of them were on the field, Mannion had difficulty completing any passes over 10 yards and was forced to come off his primary.
Zimmerman had three tackles between the two drives he played in, and Murphy caused Cooks to stumble and fumble the ball on the first drive.
Ashton and Audiss were stellar.
They were very physical on the 2's today, each with a pair of tackles. They are both smart players – each of them recognizes a run swiftly and are quick to get to the ball carrier. Their closing speed is also worth noting.
Reynolds saw a lot of work today, and proved that he is up to the task of playing with endurance and in the hot weather. He is talented at making plays against the run and short pass, but struggles here and there in deep coverage, especially against taller wideouts that can get higher than him and make a grab (this was especially apparent in the red zone).
Martin, Marable, and Handford also saw a lot of work today. Though they struggled pretty consistently against some of the better throws form Mannion and Vaz, they limited the damage, making sure to be in on any tackle within five yards of their zone.
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