SCRIMMAGE: D dominates, but...

CORVALLIS -- Other than a slight wind chill, you couldn't have asked for a better day in Corvallis for the first spring ball scrimmage – unless you were the Beaver offense. Indeed, it was the OSU defense who owned the day with four interceptions and a variety of huge hits.

Safety Lance Mitchell set the tone for the already fired up defense with the first interception of the day off of QB Cody Vaz.

Not long after that, LB Michael Doctor lit up RB Jovan Stevenson on a running play. Wide receiver Kevin Cummings was nailed by LB Cameron Collins, forcing a fumble that was recovered by S Anthony Watkins, who ran it into the end zone.

CB Sean Martin also picked one off of Mannion and took it in for six.

Mike Riley said today's scrimmage was a first-down scrimmage, meaning a gain of four yards was a win for the offense and a loss of four yards was a win for the defense. Riley concluded that both sides of the ball played pretty even, but it was hard not to conclude that the day belonged to the D.

Regardless, Riley said the Beavs have a lot of work to do, in a lot of areas, before they will become a good football team.

Riley was glad to finally let the team loose for full contact and said they needed to have that. In doing so, we saw more of what Terron Ward and Malcolm Marable have to offer.

Riley's thoughts on Ward were that he is very football savvy and aware, while Marable has the cutting skills that give him something of a resemblance to Jacquizz Rodgers.

The running back situation became a bit clearer today and each player showed some stuff.

If the season started tomorrow, it looks like McCants would have to learn how to make the short passes work because his running game isn't getting him anywhere in the chase for the starting job. Stevenson looks like the obvious front-runner at this point.

At the end of the day, the stats spoke for themselves as far as the running game is concerned — Stevenson 7-48, Ward 9-40, Marable 7-29, McCants 4-14.

Ward and Stevenson tied for longest carry of the day with a 13 yard gain.

The receiving corps was a bit better than the running back, but not by much. Markus Wheaton caught a few of his usual midfield passes from Vaz. And WR Darrell Catchings had the offensive play of the day with a 56-yard catch downfield.

There were four fumbled snaps between the quarterbacks and centers and you could hear Coach Cavanaugh yelling each time.

Both Vaz and Mannion were seven of 13 passing, Mannion throwing two picks and Vaz with one. Vaz threw for 137 yards (56 of which came from Catchings catch alone), and Mannion tossed for 62 hashes.

Vaz is still taking the reps with the 1s, but it was Mannion who was firing off cannons downfield to WR Obum Gwatcham and WR Geno Munoz.

Since the shuffle on the offensive line pre-spring, Riley has been happy with what he's seen so far. As for competition, Michael Lamb has been challenging Burke Ellis for his right guard spot with the 1s.

Aside from that, no changes on the line, it's still RT Michael Phillip, RG Ellis/Lamb, C Grant Johnson, LG Josh Andrews and LT Mike Remmers in the starting spots.

  • RB Jordan Jenkins was at practice with his arm in a sling. Jenkins underwent shoulder surgery for a torn labrum earlier this week.

  • Not as many locked out NFL Beavers around practice today. But CB Brandon Hughes, CB James Dockery, TE Howard Croom, and Jacquizz Rodgers were all hanging around.

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