CORVALLIS – Lots of nuggets coming out of Oregon State on Saturday. A trio of o-linemen sat out on Day 18 but the tight ends unit made some noise while a scout team WR turned heads. Also, OSU's head man reveals two additional players who will burn a redshirt year. All that and more in this Day 18 offensive report from BF.C.
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Week Three is officially over for the Oregon State Beavers -- from here on out it will be all about game prep for the orange and black. Saturday's practice was characterized by a non-participant list and silver linings -- when the veterans were away or on the sideline, the youngsters played.
But first, OL Sean Harlow
and WR Victor Bolden
are no longer on the bubble for playing time. Both freshmen will see action in 2013 for the Beavers.
"We are going to play Bolden – he has just made too many plays to watch the games," Riley said. "Everybody has seen (that he can play), we've just got to play him."
Harlow also earned playing time. Having him in the depth is also beneficial because OSU is thin there. The 6-4, 284 pound lineman will likely line up at tackle in 2013, as he has been filling in on the outside edges of the OSU line this fall.
Meanwhile, with just one week left until game day, there has been no official declaration of who the starting split end will be for the OSU receiving unit – Obum Gwacham
or Richard Mullaney
-- and there may not be.
"I think the best thing I can say right now -- I don't know who is actually going to take the first snap (against EWU)," Riley said. "But I think they will both play."
Day 18 Injured/Resting List
WR Brandin Cooks, RB Terron Ward, RB Storm Woods, RB Chris Brown, C Isaac Seumalo, OL Gavin Andrews, OL Grant Bays, WR Stevie Coury, WR J.C. Grim and TE Will Hopkins (no longer wearing boot)
CB Rashaad Reynolds, CB Sean Martin, LB Michael Doctor, LB D.J. Alexander, LB Michael Greer, S A.J. Hedgecock and Steven Christian (dressed, ran a few drills but still very limited)
Practice Notes – Day 18
Oregon State sat three tailbacks on Saturday. Brown, a freshman tailback who has been showing more explosion as the third string option, was sporting a boot Saturday and joined Storm Woods and Terron Ward on the sidelines of Tommy Prothro Practice Field. Woods was not in shells but remained an active member of huddles and other plays calls. Ward seemed to be walking with a slight limp but seemed OK. Woods, Ward and Brown, in that order, are the Beavers' RBs but Jovan Stevenson, who recently returned to the RB corps after a year spent at corner, took over the first team reps on Day 18.
Sophomore center Isaac Seumalo was still out, letting a bruised knee heal up more. Seumalo was relieved by Josh Mitchell, OSU's go-to-guy at center of late. Grant Bays, a redshirt freshman linemen who has seen increased playing time on the 2's, was also incapacitated for Saturday's practice. Bays generally plays as a left guard with the secondary OL. His time off from practice has opened the door for junior O-lineman Roman Sapolu (6-2, 284) to snag reps adjacent to Michael Philipp when filling in for Josh Andrews.
Gavin Andrews is battling an illness. Harlow covered for Andrews at right tackle with the 1's for the vast majority of Saturday's practice session. Silver linings exist here – valuable experience for Harlow and Garrett Weinreich was also back in pads and practicing with the scout team on Day 18. The 6-6, 311-pounder is returning to action for the first time since a bad knee injury last year in fall camp.
Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion split reps with the 1s on Saturday. Vaz owned the lion's share of the snaps, and both QBs were about even on the day. Both QBs had a high completion percentage.
Caleb Smith and Connor Hamlett shined in red zone drills. Smith and sophomore Kellen Clute split time with the 1's as the starting TE alongside Hamlett at the H-back slot for most of the day. Clute ctoninues to look more and more comfortable. In my mind, he still rests behind Smith and Hamlett but the sophomore has been increasingly impressive.
Dustin Stanton worked a little bit with the 2's on Saturday before he was swallowed up for drills with the scout team. Tyler Perry was having a strong day until an awkward looking fall on a slightly overthrown pass saw him limping gingerly off the field and receiving attention from the training staff.
Smith and Stanton shared did some extra work small number of plays against the scout team defense Saturday.
Walter Jones, another freshman receiving possibility, has some speed and soft hands but had a couple drops in traffic on Saturday. Ryan Murphy's impending footfalls were the cause of at least one of those mishandled passes.
Jones wasn't the only player with a drop – Mullaney and Hamlett both bobbled passes from Mannion and Vaz they should have caught on third down drills. The OSU offense was successful on third downs otherwise.
Senior wideout Micah Hatfield showed a lot of effort on Saturday. Hatfield spent a lot of time as the first team flanker in lieu of the absent Cooks, with Bolden close behind. Hatfield, along with Clute and Stevenson, showed a lot of athleticism in certain drills.
Riley has named Cooks the top candidate for time as a punt returner come game day. Bolden and Ward are the most likely to return kicks.
Redshirt freshman walk on Blair Cavanaugh had another good day. Cavanaugh's versatility continues to impress me. He beat CB Steven Nelson on one pass from Kyle Kempt, using his speed and size to effectively hide behind larger players and pick up extra yardage.
Running with the 1's – Day 18
QB – Cody Vaz/Sean Mannion
TB – Jovan Stevenson
FB – Tyler Anderson
H-Back – Connor Hamlett
TE – Caleb Smith
LT- Michael Philipp
LG- Josh Andrews
C- Josh Mitchell
RG- Grant Enger
RT- Sean Harlow
FL – Micah Hatfield/Victor Bolden
SE – Richard Mullaney
SB –Kevin Cummings