| An inside look at more of the action on Day 2|
Skelly drill |
The Beavs' skeleton drill, so named for the lack of lineman, (although the Beaver o-line is involved in this case and working on their timing), opened with Lyle Moevao connecting with Sammie Stroughter on a couple of occasions -- even with tight coverage by Brandon Hughes. Keenan Lewis turned in a really nice play early, breaking up a pass intended for Darrell Catchings. Sean Canfield completed a couple passes to Kyle Brown, with Tim Clark providing coverage. Brown put a nice move on the corner on one of the completions, easily gaining the upper hand on the play. Ryan Katz hooked up with Damola Adeniji on a nice gainer, but missed an open Aaron Nichols down the filed on a long attempt. Moevao and Stroughter looked in fine form, hooking up on a number of completions to the defense's chagrin. Stroughter broke out some nice moves and Moevao was patient, allowing him to find open space before letting it fly. Catchings also got in the mix, with some nice grabs. Canfield failed to find Casey Kjos in traffic later in the session, and Suaesi Tuimaunei broke up one pass. Ryan Katz completed a nice lob pass for a big gainer -- a really smooth and calculated throw by the freshman. Canfield came back with completions to Kjos and tight end Brady Camp.
The offense faired better than yesterday when both lines joined in the action. Katz continued to impress, especially when he's throwing on the run. For the defense, Victor Butler knocked down a pass and Slade Norris also got a hand on one. The QBs also appeared to have been "sacked" on a few occasions, though the Beavs are not yet going full contact. On one of the "sacks", Katz failed to run or throw the ball when the receivers were not open. The coaches were on him straight away, explaining that some sort of play should develop and he couldn't just hold on to the ball. Still, Katz continues to impress. Brennan Olander turned in a really nice play late, breaking up a pass across the middle. The 11-on-11 saw only a handful of running plays, with Saturday's emphasis in the drill on the pass.
Play of the day
There were several highlight grabs by any number of players. This reporter will go with Geno Munoz's diving catch of a hard, low thrown pass from Katz. Munoz's momentum was such that he ended up snatching the ball and then rolling a couple of times in quick succession before springing to his feet.
The story of the day was the wide receivers -- and the tight ends -- turning in a bevy of great catches, and it was a sustained effort throughout the entire session. Their play seemed to fire up the QBs in the process -- Moevao had a solid day, but perhaps Katz stood out most on Saturday. Mike Riley has said this offseason that it's 99 percent certain Katz will redshirt in order to preserve a year of eligibility with Moevao and Canfield about to enter their junior years. Still, Katz is showing a lot of upside in the camp's early going and should have Beaver fans excited about the future. Moevao is still looking for consistency on the deep ball, firing long on an occasion or two Saturday. The defense failed to pick off a pass in the skelly or 11-on-11 drills.
Aaron Nichols snared one and drew praise from Riley. And yet, he was upstaged the very next snap by freshman Geno Munoz, who made a spectacular diving grab, receiving a well deserved round of applause from coaches and spectators.
Something that was evident was the way the QBs raised their game when the receivers started to grab anything near them. Katz looked really sharp on most of his throws -- tight spirals and delivered with some heat.
The offense later went through some red zone drills. Darrell Catchings, Taylor Kavanaugh, Sammie Stroughter and Damola Adeniji all came up with TD receptions. When the deep ball was thrown, Chris Johnson, Shane Morales and James Rodgers each turned in highlight catches.
You can listen to Mike Riley's post-practice comments on the importance of building confidence quickly, the day receiver Chris Johnson turned in and Riley's thoughts on what he'll accomplish this year, a welcome lack of injuries and surprises in the early going, the emergence of Slade Norris and more, here:
The running backs early on worked on handoff technique, while the o-line drilled on their blocking schemes. The tight ends also worked on their blocking fundamentals under the watchful eye of graduate assistant Tim Euhus. The practice was helmets and shorts, full pads won't come on until the fourth session, so there wasn't real hitting going on.
Still, the initial impression from this chair was that both Brady Camp and Howard Croom looked best in blocking schemes. When the tight ends joined QBs, they turned in an almost flawless period (or round) working on medium range throws.
Offensive Danny Langsdorf coordinator was primed watching the tight end group catch pass after pass, reminding the QBs and TEs they had a perfect round going. It didn't last, but Croom made a really nice one handed reception and Brady Camp followed that up with an even better grab.
THE LINEBACKERS worked on ladder drills, along with the safeties and corners, early on. Once the LBs, as they did on Friday, went into the facility to practice inside, the safeties and corners worked on an agility and interception drill against receivers. There were a few drops by the defensive backs, but the most consistent performance looked to have been turned in by Brandon Hardin.
The quarterbacks, after their initial warm ups, were joined by the receivers and worked on some short routes. All the quarterbacks were generally on target, with Moevao and Katz standing out from the rest. Both looked good away from the pocket as well and making throws on the run.
The running backs got some time working on both inside and outside runs on Saturday. Except for one fumble, things moved along smartly.
The offense did a round of drills by themselves and Moevao looked sharp, completing all his passes. At the same time in the far corner of the field, the defensive backs worked on their deep coverage, mostly timing their jumps right before the pick attempt. Greg Laybourn and Austin Hall were in the thick of things and being vocal. Indeed, the entire defense, as usual, was really loud on Saturday.
Later, the corners did some more defensive one-on-ones with the receivers, and found succes deflecting the pass most of the time, though they failed to pick one off. They worked on on-field communication in the next set of drills, talking out the various offensive formations and changing assignments as needed.
THE DAY BEGAN for this reporter viewing the final kicks from the Beaver punters. This area was one of concern coming out of spring ball and while early in fall camp, it remains as such, with seemingly quite a bit of work to be done before OSU gets to a consistent, Pac-10 level.
Special teams worked on punt and kickoff returns blocking, with a pair of gunners also going through their paces. Stroughter, Kavanaugh and Catchings soon joined in, returning punts, and gave the defenders some practice against a live return man. Stroughter was again in a real cheerful mood Saturday, making noises every time he got past the runners until Morales and James Dockery combined for an almost sandwich like "tackle". Stroughter was the first to applaud the effort from the two.
OSU place kickers attempted field goals with a defensive rush to contend with -- Justin Kahut looked solid and converted all of his attempts. Johnny Hekker missed a couple, but it still seems he takes an extra beat pause right before he makes contact. The defense, however, failed to block any kicks, and it was unclear whether they were allowed by the coaches to do so in the absence of pads.
The second day of fall practice welcomed a relatively warmer, sunnier day and there was a nice breeze blowing across the field for the entire length of practice. There was a good sized crowd at hand to take in the Saturday session.