DAY 15: Offense in rhythm; Riley audio; pix
McCANTS WITH ROOM COURTESY OF THE HOSSES UP FRONT
McCANTS WITH ROOM COURTESY OF THE HOSSES UP FRONT
Beaverfootball.com Correspondent
Posted Aug 17, 2008


CORVALLIS--The defense was missing two top playmakers and the offense took full advantage Saturday. Still, some nice defensive efforts turned in by Keenan Lewis, Dwight Roberson, Brandon Hughes, Victor Butler and Tim Clark, among others. But the day belonged to the O. There's an update from Mike Riley on Sean Canfield in the day's audio clip, some nice art illustrating the action, plus much more.

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Subscribers can listen to Oregon State head man Mike Riley talk post-practice about the latest on Sean Canfield and what might be in store for the Beavs' backup QB next week, the emergence of center Alex Linnenkohl and more, here:

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Punting
Get out the roller coaster. It was back to an inconsistent afternoon after a couple of better days. John Hekker might well be slowly pulling out ahead of the bunch of three that includes Sean Sehnem and Ryan Allen, though it's probably still tight enough that any of them could be the starter come Aug. 28 at Stanford. Sehnem would seem the most likely challenger to Hekker's bid.

Kicking
The group looked just average Saturday with starter Justin Kahut still resting a groin injury. Matt Barker, Ryan Allen and Sean Sehnem all failed to impress today and though there's time left for any of the kickers and punters to get on a roll, special teams are nevertheless building up to some mysteries surrounding the season opener.


HOWARD CROOM

Skelly
James Rodgers starts the session with a nice grab. Howard Croom then beats the LB and busts his way downfield for a good gain (pictured) -- Lyle Moevao's throw was right on the money. Keenan Lewis comes back for the defense on the very next play and knocks a pass down.

Gabe Miller catches a short one, and manufactures five yards on a play that looked dead at the line of scrimmage. Taylor Kavanaugh catches a pass from Justin Engstrom, deftly splitting a double team. But Engstrom then overthrows an open Damola Adeniji.

Moevao on his second time around connects with Sammie Stroughter and then rifles a long one to John Reese for a TD.

Dennis Christopher forces a fumble out of Jacquizz Rodgers's hands but an alert Gabe Miller falls on it. Offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf was quick to remind Quizz to tuck away the ball securely.


ALEX LINNENKOHL AND O-LINE OPEN UP THE HOLE FOR RYAN McCANTS

11 vs. 11
Ryan McCants makes a nice run through the tackles to start off the scrimmaging. Great blocking by o-line on the play (pictured) to kick off the proceedings.

Chris Johnson, making good use of some extra playing time. catches another one. Isaiah Cook makes a great break-up of an Engstrom pass -- Nice recognition on the play by Cook.

Moevao makes another great throw in the middle to Johnson on the run. Coach Riley was really happy with the play and acknowledged it to the players. Run attempts by McCants and Quizz doesn't get too far.


JACQUIZZ RODGERS

Skelly
Dwight Roberson makes a good defensive play, giving reason to cheer for the defense. Jacquizz Rodgers takes a pass and the next thing you know, Quizz is in the end zone (pictured).

The defense comes back strong on the very next play, as Tim Clark sniffs out a short pass and tackles Quizz in the backfield. Sammie Stroughter ends Moevao's skelly reps with a nice grab. Justin Engstrom hooks up with the hottest receiver of late, Adeniji, for a TD. Next, Stroughter's touchdown bid is thwarted by some lockdown defense by Brandon Hughes.

11 vs. 11
Quizz starts with a big run. Linnenkohl, seeing lots of time lately with Marcus Henderson continuing to battle an illness, makes a monster block and then shows off his quicks, escorting Quizz down the field and looking for someone else to lay a hat on. Keenan Lewis almost picks off Moevao on the next play -- the closest Moevao has come to throwing a pick in a long while with the junior showing much improved decision making skills from this time last year.

The defense rises, as Cameron Collins makes a nice stop for the defense on a long pass attempt. Ryan McCants gets tackled for a huge loss by Victor Butler -- great penetration and timing on the jump by Butler.


SAMMIE STROUGHTER

On the next snap, James Rodgers does his best Superman impression and plucks a high pass out of mid air, and then manages to stay on his feet, and then takes it in for a TD. Sammie then beats out the CB for a TD of his own -- Engstrom's throw floated a bit and Stroughter had to twist and turn, adjusting to the ball to make the catch (pictured). Amazing play.

The scrimmaging ends with Keaton Kristick delivering a mighty hit on Quizz along the sideline and Riley called Kristick over to him. From this chair, it felt the defense might have been getting frustrated with the success offense has enjoyed of late and since the defense is limited by the staff in their tackling the vast majority of the time in camp in order to decrease the risk of injury, the frustration might have boiled over in the form of a hard tackle like that one. But it would also seem readily apparent there will be plenty of hard knocks delivered 12 days from now from the black and orange stop corps.


SHANE MORALES

Red zone skelly
Moevao threw TD passes to James Rodgers and Stroughter. The sticky-fingered receivers had a good round of catching the ball here, and Moevao was still throwing completions and moving the ball on the times he couldn't find an open receiver in the end zone.

Engstrom had a good round, with TD passes to Damola Adeniji, Taylor Kavanaugh and Shane Morales (pictured).

Two minute no huddle drills
This went much better for the offense than the previous day -- there were hardly any communication problems on the newer plays the coaches introduced recently, and Riley seemed happy with the play selection and the execution on offense. Adeniji continued to make some great catches, stating his case for playing time.


JAMES RODGERS

Play of the day
James Rodgers's flying catch and run for a TD (pictured). The eldest of the Rodgers brothers at Oregon State, he continues to amaze headed into his second season in Corvallis. How he managed to keep his feet on the play is a mystery.

Some of the more notable names sitting out Saturday with injuries, bumps, bruises and dings today were Bryant Cornell, Slade Norris, Henderson, Aaron Nichols, Canfield, Jeremy Perry, Darrell Catchings and Casey Kjos.

Summary
The offense seems to have made some solid connections and within the entire unit. Following the elevated QB and WR play of late, the TEs and RBs are also slowly gelling nicely into the system. The offensive line is also showing a few more flashes, on occasion even approaching a rock solid performance level, such as in the photo above picturing McCants' run, but consistency remains, decidedly, an issue.

The defense was missing two of their top players as they sat this one out and at times looked frustrated with the big plays they surrendered. They are still keeping their cool and making some excellent plays every now and then and it wasn't that long ago here in camp when they were consistently holding the upper hand against the offense.

The second team offense is overpowering the second team defense at this stage.

Engstrom is looking confident with each passing day and looks eager to solidify that back up spot. As heard in the audio clip above, Sean Canfield had an MRI on his surgically repaired shoulder and the results, said Riley, came back inconclusive but not negative. Canfield has battled soreness throughout virtually all of fall camp.

It was once again really hot in the valley for Day 15 and practice No. 20 of the Beavs' fall camp. Two-a-days might now be done with but it was a real effort to be out there Saturday, with temperatures soaring to as high as 100 degrees -- and even hotter on the field. Still, that didn't stop a good sized crowd from showing up at the Truax facility. But more than a few seemed disappointed to discover there was no formal scrimmage, apparently unaware the scrimmage scheduled for Saturday at the outset of fall drills on Aug. 1 had, earlier in the week, been moved up to Thursday by Riley. If you missed Thursday's scrimmage, click here for the complete rundown, replete with audio, photos and more.



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