STEPHEN PAEA: Leads a dominating d-line
CORVALLIS--On an afternoon expected to be the conclusion of the Sean Canfield to Darrell Catchings show that was displayed for a majority of spring practices, the defense brought their A-plus game, virtually shutting down a pass offense that had put up gaudy numbers during team scrimmages the last two Fridays. the injury bug bit the Beavers again, potentially putting a hole in the offensive line.
The Beaver D intercepted OSU quarterbacks five times, and Peter Lalich was put into his first scrimmage situation.
“It was intense,” Jovan Stevenson said about the spring game. “It was fast-paced. A lot of running; my legs are a little tired. It was fun overall experience, going to take this into the fall. I know what to expect here at Oregon State, I know what to expect from a game-time experience.”
Sean Canfield threw three interceptions on his own during Saturday's scrimmage, the last of which came on an attempted pass to senior wideout Damola Adeniji. Canfield faked the handoff to running back Stevenson, stepped back to pass and threw the ball into triple coverage, in the vicinity of Keaton Kristick and cornerbacks James Dockery and Tim Clark.
Dockery came away with the pick. The senior quarterback completed 20 out of 32 pass attempts for 182 yards. His solo touchdown pass came on a fade route to junior tight end Brady Camp midway through the scrimmage.
THE DEFENSE ON Saturday was as stout and aggressive as they have been all spring -- and the Oregon State rush defense was as beastly as it has been in a while, especially with junior defensive tackle Stephen Paea in the middle and linebacker Keaton Kristick roaming about.
As he has been throughout the spring, Kristick was in on a slew of plays, and seemed to find himself in the backfield or in on a tackle every other play, if not seemingly every play.
The senior strongside linebacker continues to impress Beavers head coach Mike Riley, who has not hesitated this offseason to put Kristick on the upper echelon of players in the Pac-10.
“It is definitely an honor but this is a team game," said Kristick of the praise. "And I think our defense is going to do well, that is what I am excited about.”
THE BEAVERS' OFFENSIVE LINE took yet another hit today when left tackle Timi Oshinowo went down with an apparent knee injury early on in the scrimmage.
The 6-6 junior is in an open competition with redshirt freshman Colin Kelly for the starting left tackle position. It was unclear postgame what the extent of the injury is, Riley said that an MRI will be taken and his status will be revealed then.
Oshinowo joins fellow tackle Wilder McAndrews and guard Michael Lamb as the injured offensive linemen on the roster.
THE DEFENSE PROVIDED a fearsome pass rush throughout, whether it was the ones, twos or threes on the field.
“Too many turnovers, some pretty good defense -- I was really impressed in general with some people in particular,” Riley said after the scrimmage. “I really noticed (junior defensive end) Gabe Miller off the edge, playing fast, and I think that there was a lot of guys that have progressed over spring ball. I think we made progress and I think this was a good culmination day, and I wish we had more.”
OFFENSIVELY FOR THE BEAVS, Stevenson, the freshman running back out of Tucson, Arizona, continued to take snaps with the first-string offense, and looks to be becoming more and more comfortable with the situation.
Stevenson took six rushes for 40 yards on the day and also made four receptions for 31 yards.
Throughout the spring session, Stevenson took many harsh licks, with Kristick on the giving end of a good amount of those hits. Kristick laid into Stevenson this afternoon after a short run, but the running back popped right off the ground, a tribute to the kid’s toughness and tenacity. It was one of many hard hits by the linebacker on the day.
“That’s football. That’s part of the game,” Stevenson said. “You have to get up. You’re going to fall lots of times, but to be a man you have to get up.”
IT WAS LALICH who was the most impressive quarterback on the day, though his turn did come against a mixture of the twos and threes. He completed 10 out of 17 pass attempts for 214 yards and two touchdowns.
The junior quarterback threw one interception but showed good pocket presence and good field vision, particularly on his 45 yard touchdown pass to freshman wideout Jordan Bishop. On the play, Lalich dropped back to pass, was able to step up in the pocket and deliver a deep bomb across the middle of the field to Bishop. Bishop made the catch perfectly in stride for a touchdown, Lalich’s second.
Many fans in the stands were heard shouting words of support for Lalich in his first appearance in an Oregon State scrimmage. One fan in particular, in what is during the season student section, did not have anything else good to say the majority of the scrimmage, was loudly supportive of the quarterback.
“He made some plays,” Canfield said about the junior. “He has a big arm. For the amount of time he has been here he knows the playbook, which is surprisingly good to see. We saw him out there for the first time today and he made some plays, it was good to see.”