O-line rises back up: FALL CAMP DAY 14

GRANT JOHNSON

CORVALLIS -- It was all about the details for the Beavs, with Portland State now about only about 10 days away. Down in the trenches early on in the session, the offensive line found their rhythm and Grant Johnson was among those leading the way. And Beaver quarterbacks, they haven't had a whole lot of time in the pocket of late but things looked a little different today at the jump.

Special teams focused on kickoff and field goals. Justin Kahut looked spot-on, nailing all his kicks, while Matt Barker struggled mightily.

Barker, however did show a much stronger leg and consistently drove returners back inside the five yard line on kickoffs, while Kahut barely managed the 10-yard line.

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Injured running back Ryan McCants worked with a jugs machine, which fed him ball after ball to work on his hands.

Keaton Kristick and Stephen Paea had sort of new practice jersey which featured feathers on the shoulder pads, or as Kristick put it "Beaver Whiskers." Either way, in this writer's opinion, they were a bit hideous and hopefully are never seen worn inside Reser Stadium.

A new face on the field -- No. 86 Devon Krell (6-3, 215) a walk-on tight end out of Hilo, Hawaii. Krell was not in pads, having to go through the NCAA mandated acclimatization period just like his teammates did. It's hard to tell until the pads go on but Krell looked athletic and was quick in pass routes, but not the prototype size for the tight end position.

Coach Mike Riley was very specific today in his teaching and focused heavily on details.

In The Trenches:
A better showing by the offensive line today. Whatever it was that clicked, hopefully can be bottled for the remainder of camp and into the season.

The defensive line found it tough to penetrate early on, even when knowing there is no threat of a pass.

Fullback Will Darkins led the way on one Jacquizz Rodgers run -- Darkins exploded into the hole, leading with his face and gave Devin Unga a good pop, opening up a nice crease for Quizz to jet through for a nice gain.

Grant Johnson, the versatile, do-everything lineman, later pulled and kicked out an oncoming defender beautifully. However, Quizz picked the wrong hole and the play went nowhere. A rarity from the reigning Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year.

While the big guys knocked skulls, the skilled players again worked on 1-on-1 pass drills. Yesterday, the defense did a good job covering some routes but got beat on others quite a few times. Today, the offense had their way with the secondary, even when there was no pass rush.

Indeed, Beaver quarterbacks had an awful lot of time to wait for the receiver to get open.

Micah Hatfield had a great grab with a defender draped all over him. Hatfield is a small target that will need to put some weight on in the coming years, but he's shown this camp he can flat out catch.

James Dockery had great man coverage on Geno Munoz later and broke up a Ryan Katz delivered toss to the outside. Dockery remains tough, especially on certain routes.

We'll be back with more from Day 14 a little later on.

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