CORVALLIS – OSU's running game looked good even without a key cog on Wednesday, OSU's final two-a-day of fall camp. One TE put up solid day with the 1s, another got a stern lecture. Both QB's had strong outings but we're no closer to finding out who starts. And the No. 1 o-line took care of business despite being one key man down. Here is the offensive rundown of the first session of Day 15.
was once again mum on the topic of the starting QB decision. We're 10 days away from the Beavs' home opener against Eastern Washington but the Portland Tribune reported Riley may play both QBs in Week 1. The newspaper did not, however, opine that Riley would wait much longer before making an announcement on who would start.
Riley did offer some insight into his "starters" however.
"We are in a position where our curve ball for other teams is changing the personnel groups," Riley said. "I keep more players engaged with our team by doing that."
OSU's head man was mum on whether or not OSU will see a scrimmage this week, or at all, with the opener on Aug. 31. Riley cancelled a planned earlier scrimmage as injuries began to hit harder.
Practice Notes – Day 15, Session 1
Riley on senior slotback Kevin Cummings – "He is playing the best football of his life right now. He could coach the position, I think." Riley went on to state that Cummings may be poised to have his best year ever. Riley alluded to the possibility that veteran players like Cummings will be seeing time at varying positions and spots within the offensive makeup in order to keep those curveballs flying come the regular season.
Junior QB Sean Mannion had an impressive run with the 1's during team drills and Eastern Washington prep on Wednesday. Mannion is having a strong week so far and this is the fourth practice in a row where the junior has looked a little sharper – in a word his play has been crisp. He is throwing a relatively low volume of INT's compared to his spring camp numbers.
Senior Cody Vaz had a nice day as well, although he tossed a pick. But Vaz, who has been hot and cold from one day to the next, displayed good accuracy and made good reads on the day. Vaz was sharp in certain drills the Beavs ran though on Wednesday, as was Mannion.
RB Storm Woods sat out for the first session of Wednesdays two-a-day with a tight hamstring. Terron Ward filled in on the 1's and shouldered some of his reps with the 2's to boot. Freshman tailback Chris Brown moved into the No. 2 slot and things ran smoothly for the rest of the day. Woods is expected to resume his spot at the top of the depth chart when he returns.
Micah Hatfield sure must be a fast healer. One day after Riley said he thought the WR would be out "for a while", Hatfield was back running with the 2s on Wednesday. The 6-1, 181-pound flanker and general utility man for the receiving corps had a few solid looks on Day 15, and a beautiful grab in the latter stages of practice. He appeared to be used sparingly, and Riley and WRs coach Brent Brennan surely want to ease him in as Hatfield has been out a good 1 ½ weeks.
Dustin Stanton, the 6-4, 250-pound redshirt freshman tight end, has had some impressive moments this fall camp but Wednesday wasn't one of them. Stanton drew a loud and abrupt talking-to from Riley, about 30 yards away, after the young tight end was apparently out of position for what the play required.
On Wednesday, sophomore Kellen Clute subbed in at TE for the Caleb Smith, who has been in shells and carrying his helmet the past couple of days. Clute (6-5, 245) had already been the beneficiary of quite a bit of playing time with the 2's, and he has sticky hands.
Hamlett was applauded by tight ends coach Kyle DeVan after the junior dual-threat set a strong armed wall in front of an incoming linebacker. Devan gave his charge a pat of encouragement and a little jibe after the play.
Sophomore offensive lineman Josh Mitchell continued to play in the stead of sophomore center Isaac Seumalo, who continues to rehab. Mitchell (6-3, 290) is one of the better second team members, and an all-purpose blocker. Mitchell has been getting a lot of work at center this week and has shown steady improvement – he looked good on Wednesday. Riley offered another timetable for Seumalo's return, now citing this evening or tomorrow's session as the target date.
The o-line didn't hear as much from coach Mike Cavanaugh Wednesday, which I've come to equate to a good day for the unit. Michael Philipp, Grant Enger and Gavin Andrews manhandled the scout team D-line and linebackers at the end of the day. Grant Bays ran with the 2's with Justin Addie and Roman Sapolu, and Sean Harlow showed some impressive technique blocking on the left end as No. 2 to Philipp.
Sophomore Richard Mullaney and junior Obum Gwacham continue to battle at split end. Mullaney ran the most with the first team on Wednesday, while Gwacham spent time as a target for both Mannion and Vaz when OSU ran Eastern Washington prep the last segment of practice. Gwacham has spent time with the 2's for the last three days, though that could also be to just try and allow Mullaney to make up for lost time to injury earlier in camp. Either way you slice it, both Gwacham and Mullaney seem likely to see extensive time against EWU as both offer varying skills sets.
Jordan Villamin had some sweet grabs today when the starting defensive rotation and the offensive scouts faced off for EWU prep. Freshman QB Kyle Kempt was under pressure and he tossed a wobbly pass to Villamin to alleviate the rush coming at him. The pass would have been out of reach for other members of Kempt's receiving arsenal, but Villamin got a body on his defender and quickly shot a hand out to tip the ball back toward his body and reel it in.
Running with the 1's – Day 15 Session 1
QB – Sean Mannion
TB – Terron Ward
FB – Tyler Anderson/Michael Balfour
H-Back – Connor Hamlett
TE – Kellen Clute
LT- Michael Philipp
LG- Josh Andrews
C- Josh Mitchell
RG- Grant Enger
RT- Gavin Andrews
FL –Brandin Cooks (minimal), Victor Bolden
SE – Obum Gwacham/Richard Mullaney
SB –Kevin Cummings