CORVALLIS - It's a bye week for the Beavers so you would expect a number of players to be limited or held out of action. But defensive tackle John Braun's situation is something else entirely, with the bad news being that his season is over. Here's more on the injury front plus a rundown on the Beavers' practice...
Injury List & Daily Riley
"I think John Braun
(shoulder) is probably done for the year, it looks like he is going to have surgery," said head coach Mike Riley
. "Which is sad to me, he's a senior and has had a great year for us, we'll miss him. We need guys like (Edwin) Delva, (Siale) Hautau
to continue to grow. They played actually really pretty well against SC. That's kind of a silver lining to kind of a bad story."
Elsewhere, at tight end, d-tackle and linebacker, the news is better and the bye week should prove beneficial.
"I like the fact that we can get Connor Hamlett
a little bit more time to get back into it," Riley said. "We need about a week for Mana Rosa
to feel better, we need a week for D.J. Alexander
to feel better. So it will help our team to have a chance for these guys to get back."
Rosa was at practice Tuesday, donning a brace on his left arm and holding a play script in his hands.
"He will probably have to play with that brace," Riley said of the senior defensive tackle.
On the other end of the line of scrimmage, Grant Enger
's status remains in question (shoulder).
"Grant had an MRI, we think Grant's deal is going to be just getting better as he goes here," Riley said. "I don't think he is going to have surgery, I think they will prescribe some rehab for him, and hopefully he will feel good by the time we get to the game."
Riley closed out the media huddle by again noting that this bye week will provide a huge upside to the Beavers in terms of returning the bruised, battered and dinged to playing shape prior to starting Arizona State prep next week.
Junior quarterback Sean Mannion was not on the top of his game during Tuesday's practice. His throws were not as sharp - he overthrew a couple easier targets and tossed behind others. The key thing to note is that just a few months ago, this was almost commonplace for Mannion during practice, whereas the last few weeks have lent themselves to much sharper work. I'm going to chalk this one up to an off day for the junior signal caller.
Speaking of off days, is it possible for an entire receiving unit to have one? Oregon State's starting wideout platoon consisting of junior flanker Brandin Cooks, sophomore split-end Richard Mullaney, slotback Malik Gilmore and senior receiver Micah Hatfield struggled to reel passes in. Cooks dropped a couple passes that he normally snags with ease, and Hatfield was hampered by defenders who kept swatting passes right out from between his gloves. The upside is this – while the receiving corps may not have been catching at 100 percent, they did play with an intense amount of energy.
According to Riley, sophomore TE Caleb Smith (back spasms) is slowly rounding back into playing shape. Smith was an observer on the day, sporting workout clothes as Kellen Clute took the reps.
With Enger out, redshirt freshman O-linemen Grant Bays was the starting right guard with the first team O-line. Bays had a decent practice where he set strong blocks, but the biggest improvement I noticed has everything to do Bays' footwork. Bays seems more confident when he sets blocks now, and with a little fine-tuning and reinforcement of the fundamentals, the Beavs could have a solid option at guard with the youngster. In the near term, they have a talented No. 2 blocker should Enger return against ASU.
At running back, junior Terron Ward and sophomore Storm Woods were on point in short yardage scenarios and had some solid runs throughout Tuesday's session. The duo caught most of the passes that came their way and did good blocking work. Junior fullback Tyler Anderson struggled in some areas, but was a stellar blocker.
Running back Damien Haskins, who is redshirting, is faster on his feet than he was at the start of the year and has improved his ball handling skills. Haskins was pulling away nicely from d-end pursuers when the scout team offense went against the No. 1 defense.
Senior slotback Kevin Cummings (wrist) who will likely remain inactive for the duration of the season after sustaining a wrist injury against Stanford, did attend practice today, In sweats, Cummings appeared to be there to encourage his teammates
With the collective absence of Braun and Rosa, Tuesday was prime time for Delva and Hautau. The pair of junior defensive linemen had a heavy workload running with both the 1's and 2's. Delva struggled to disrupt the protection of the scout team O-line from time to time, but otherwise he was efficient in the middle. I will say this for Delva – by virtue of his quick hands, he is very adept at breaking away from a single blocker. Hautau is big, at 6-1, 345, and his skillset lends itself more to stuffing the run lanes, but don't count him out as a pursuit man – the junior is surprisingly light on his feet.
With Alexander out, freshman Caleb Saulo was the new WIL. Add Rommel Mageo's relatively new duties as the starting MIK linebacker into the mix, and it paints an interesting picture. OSU started off the season with a senior (Michael Doctor) and two juniors (Alexander, Jabral Johnson) as their primary LB platoon. Now, with just three games left in the season, OSU boasts just one mildly experienced junior and two freshmen as their starting three backing up the D-line.
Still, Mageo and Johnson played some serious hardball Tuesday. They were frequently aggressive to the rock, tough pass defenders and moved well. Saulo on the other hand proved his inexperience at times, slipping up on a few key assignments.
For roughly 15 minutes of practice, the first team offense and defense faced off in some hurry-up, where the offense tried to drive downfield quickly.. All in all, the drive was well defended by OSU's stop corps, young and old. Junior defensive ends Dylan Wynn and Scott Crichton were quick into the backfield, and junior corner Steven Nelson managed to keep Cooks locked down, eliminating Mannion's primary target and forcing him to consider other options, which affected his timing.
Senior corner Sean Martin and Junior safeties Tyrequek Zimmerman and Ryan Murphy were stout pass defenders as well. Martin and Murphy both knocked passes right out of the mitts of would-be catchers toward the beginning of practice.
Senior corner Rashaad Reynolds did not participate in practice with all signs pointing to him simply taking a breather.
Running with the 1's
QB – Sean Mannion
TB – Storm Woods/Terron Ward
FB – Tyler Anderson
H-Back – Connor Hamlett
TE – Kellen Clute
LT- Michael Philipp
LG- Josh Andrews
C- Isaac Seumalo
RG- Grant Bays
RT- Sean Harlow
FL –Brandin Cooks
SE – Richard Mullaney
SB – Malik Gilmore/Micah Hatfield
DE – Dylan Wynn
DT – Edwin Delva
DT – Siale Hautau
DE –Scott Crichton
WIL – Caleb Saulo
MIK – Rommel Mageo
SAM –Jabral Johnson
CB- Rashaad Reynolds
CB- Steven Nelson
CB-Sean Martin (Nickel)
FS – Tyrequek Zimmerman
SS – Ryan Murphy