CORVALLIS – Oregon State's offense was heating up Wednesday despite the cold weather and part of the reason was a new face -- the Beavs brought a defender into the offensive formations. Oh yes, we're looking right at you, Dylan Wynn. Meanwhile, OSU's defensive line showed versatility in the trenches and in their red zone work, and Brandin Cooks made his return to practice.
The Daily Riley
Look, it's an offensive guard – no, it's a fullback. Wait it's… defensive end Dylan Wynn
working in with the Beaver offense?
Yep, that's right, the junior got looks on Wednesday at fullback and also, in effect, as an extra o-lineman.
"I've been thinking about it, he'd been asking for a while," Mike Riley
said of Wynn's adding to his d-end role. "He was one of the most ferocious guards I'd ever seen play in high school, he was terrific. And he can help us with some of this stuff."
By stuff, Riley is making reference to the running game, whether that's blocking or carrying the ball. OSU's head man pointed out that little tweaks and alterations such as this have been happening at OSU and around the Pac-10/12 for years now. He even attributed the mastery of the subject to former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh, and the Cardinal multiple times a game this season will bring in as many as eight offensive linemen on short yardage plays.
Riley mentioned that Wynn is very enthusiastic about his new set of duties, and while the junior's role in the offensive playbook is likely to be minimal and situational at this larte stage of the season, it has not prevented him from giving it a 110 percent effort when he does sees snap on offense. Wynn received blocking advice from OL Coach Mike Cavanaugh as practice was winding down, and Cavanaugh showed him exactly where you want to block on an opponent to get the best leverage.
Junior flanker Brandin Cooks (hamstring) was running with both the first and second team offensive units Wednesday. Cooks received a healthy portion of the first team reps, and he was a part of just about every play, even if he served as more of a casual observer on a few reps. Cooks continued to share looks with freshman wideout Victor Bolden and senior Mitch Singler for the day, but when the ball did go his way he displayed great hand-eye coordination and showed no signs of favoring his injured hammy.
Cooks, along with junior H-back Connor Hamlett, junior tight end Tyler Perry and sophomore TE's Caleb Smith and Kellen Clute, all made some nice plays on offense. The Beavs' red zone work ran the gamut on where the ball was spotted and which Beaver receivers were used in which situations.
Red zone drills lasted for the last 20-30 minutes of Wednesday's session, and the ball was spread around, arguably more than has been normal.
At running back, sophomore Storm Woods and junior Terron Ward had a good day running the rock, thanks mostly to some powerful play by the offensive line. Washington has shown a tough defense at times this year so the Beaver running backs look to have their work cut out for them.
About halfway through practice, the starting offense took it down a notch and between Riley, receivers coach Brent Brennan and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf , coaches demonstrated to players exactly how formations and certain routes in the pattern should look. This routine lasted about 10 minutes and has not been altogether uncommon in 2013. Riley has mentioned throughout the week that proper detailing of games and player expectations needed more attention from coaches in practice, and this was a good example of that.
Oregon State's defensive coordinator Mark Banker has his troops work on some different formations and packages on Wednesday. And DT Mana Rosa and ends Scott Crichton and Wynn looked particularly fast getting off the snap.
Wednesday's practice also played host to scout team QB Kyle Kempt trying to mimic the UW QB – but which one will play on Saturday? Senior starter Keith Price (shoulder) has not had his status released for the game yet by UW as freshman Cyler Miles has continued to take all the reps in practice. While neither is a true running QB, both have the ability to take off when the play breaks down and turn in long gainers, the kinds that can kill a defense.
I only saw one defender make an interception on Wednesday, and that was redshirt freshman safety Zack Robinson. Other players had a shot at a pick - fifth-year senior Steven Christian and junior safety tandem Tyrequek Zimmerman and Ryan Murphy chief among them – but failed to reel in opportunities from the hand of Kempt. Zimmerman's near-pick earned him a ribbing from senior slotback Kevin Cummings, whereas Christian's miss lead to some backseat coaching from linebacker Michael Doctor.
Missed interception opportunities aside, practice was full of strong pass defense on behalf of both the 1's and 2's under secondary coach Rod Perry. This was especially apparent with senior nickel corner Sean Martin, who was flying to anything in his vicinity with the intent of getting his mitts on the pass.
When the defense took to defending the scout team offense down inside the 20, freshman MIK Rommel Mageo, Zimmerman and junior WIL D.J. Alexander were all very effective, reading plays quickly and reacting well in open space.
Running with the 1's
QB – Sean Mannion
TB – Storm Woods
FB – Tyler Anderson (Dylan Wynn got reps)
H-Back – Connor Hamlett
TE – Caleb Smith
LT- Michael Philipp
LG- Josh Andrews
C- Isaac Seumalo
RG- Grant Enger
RT- Sean Harlow
OL – (Dylan Wynn got reps)
FL –Brandin Cooks
SE – Richard Mullaney
SB – Micah Hatfield/Malik Gilmore
DE – Dylan Wynn
DT – Edwin Delva/Siale Hautau
DT – Mana Rosa
DE –Scott Crichton
WIL –D.J. Alexander
MIK – Rommel Mageo
SAM –Jabral Johnson
CB- Rashaad Reynolds
CB- Steven Nelson
CB-Sean Martin (Nickel)
FS – Tyrequek Zimmerman
SS – Ryan Murphy