FALL CAMP DAY 3: The D rises, Quizzman cometh

CORVALLIS--Day Three at OSU saw sloppy play on offense, as the receivers and quarterbacks failed to approach the high performance level displayed Saturday. Quarterback Sean Canfield sat out the session with shoulder soreness, but Mike Riley said it's to be expected. The defense stood out, the punters improved, Jacquizz Rodgers showed some of what the buzz is all about, plus more audio from Riley.

An inside look at more of the action on Day 3
Skelly drill
Without either line taking part, Lyle Moevao hit James Rodgers and Chris Johnson on some short passes. Keenan Lewis broke up a pass, and Bryant Cornell nearly had an interception after breaking up a short pass. Ryan Katz, in with the twos with Canfield out, hit Kyle Brown for a good gain -- Brown made some nice adjustments to haul in the catch. Katz completed another to Casey Kjos and then threw a beauty to Aaron Nichols -- alas, Nichols dropped it. Justin Engstrom completed passes to Taylor Kavanaugh, and thrice hooked up with Kevan Walker.

11-on-11 drill
Moevao connected with Brady Camp on a couple of occasions, but would have been sacked by Keaton Kristick on one play. It's not full contact yet but Ryan McCants threw a nice "block" on one play. Suaesi Tuimaunei makes a good "tackle" on Kevan Walker, helping him to the ground on a short pass completion. Jacquizz Rodgers made three spectacular runs, reminding people why he was so highly sought after. On one of them, someone accidentally got their hand caught in his shorts and he nearly lost them, prompting a bout of loud laughter from Sammie Stroughter.

The next set of reps didn't go so well for the offense. The coaches tried to sharpen things up, having them re-huddle on a couple of occasions after they saw the wrong formation from the offense. The defense broke up most of the passes here, and the runs didn't go far either. The final play saw Stroughter making a great over the shoulder catch on a deep pass thrown by Lyle Moevao. James Dockery ended the session by picking off Ryan Katz pass as the receiver lost his footing -- it was a heads up play by Dockery.

Red zone offense (no lines)
Stroughter, Brady Camp, Damola Adeniji and Casey Kjos all had spectacular TD receptions in red zone drills. Each of the four catches stood out because the pass catcher beat the defense in really tight coverage. It was nice a way to end the day for the quarterbacks and receivers.

Play(s) of the day
Jacquizz Rodgers' three runs during the 11-on-11 drills. The freshman changes directions laterally in a split second and quickly finds the hole to run through. He's a pretty exciting player to watch.

Overall, a sluggish day from the offense on Sunday, though they made up for some of it during the final red zone drill. Jacquizz Rodgers looked like the real deal on Day Three, but it's early and the pads have yet to come on. Bottom line on Sunday, defense wins the day over an off-target offense. The best part of the day, frankly, was probably the effort from the punters -- they did well in the practice. Once the team gears up in full pads, the Beaver Nation should start to get a better idea about both offensive and defensive lines, and the line backers.

The QBs and receivers had a relatively sloppy outing on Sunday, though they cranked it up a notch at the end of the session.

But too many drops and errant throws throughout prompted Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf to be more vocal than they had been the first two days. Langsdorf continually emphasized the need for everyone involved to be more focused, and prepared, on every single play.

Not to be outdone, naturally, line coach Mike Cavanaugh expressed some ear-ringing displeasure with his hosses on more than one occasion.

THE QUARTERBACKS WORKED on handoffs and passing situations with the running backs early on. Sean Canfield was in uniform, but didn't throw any passes on Sunday.

He was slightly sore after two straight days of extended throwing -- though he wasn't fully letting things rip either day, he still threw a lot of passes -- and coaches had him take Sunday's session off as a precaution.

Riley said the overall malaise from the offense was typical of a third day in camp -- the Beavs are practicing longer than normal and it's getting warmer, and that combination often results in some some uneven play, he said.

A theme running through Oregon State's practice on Sunday focused on the number 212, as in raising their play one degree results in cresting the boiling point. Riley told the team they were playing at around 154 degrees at one point on Sunday.

Subscribers can listen to Mike Riley's post-practice comments on that, the overall assessment of the third day, how Canfield sitting one out was "nothing surprising", some praise for Katz and more, here:

O-lineman Jeremy Perry was again held out of some drills on Sunday as he heals up from knee and ankle injuries.

Besides their agility drills, the corners were practicing man-on-man defense and red zone defense. Brian Watkins picked off a pass in spectacular fashion, drawing a round of applause from his teammates.

Soon the linebackers joined in and practiced their communication and assignments. Cornell, Kristick and Tim Clark ended up breaking a handful of passes. Tony Wilson also turned in some nice plays in the drills.

Still, there were some TD completions and a few instances of face guarding that might have drawn a flag had it been a game. Overall, the defense looked good on Sunday.

IT WAS A warm, sunny day in Corvallis. Getting there early to watch the punters, the team had shells on for the first time this practice session.

Johnny Hekker and Ryan Allen were the punters on Sunday and what a difference a day makes -- both consistently punted well, and it's the first time in the early going of fall camp that could be said.

Allen's a lefty and his punts came out in a tight spiral most of the time. He had good hang time, and looked the part of a Pac-10 punter. Hekker wasn't too far behind, he had a nice outing as well.

It was a welcome change to see them punt well after a poor outing yesterday, although there were still three or four miscues on Sunday included among the good boots.

THE SPECIAL TEAMS got in work on their punt blocking technique, both in getting to the ball and what to do after they got there.

The kickers attempted field goals with pressure coming at them. Justin Kahut looked confident and solid. They also drilled on some fake field goals but the defense smelled them out pretty good on Sunday.

Vave Walker earned a few compliments from the coaches for his play. Also looking good on special teams was Lance Mitchell. They later moved to working on downing punts after they have hit the ground. As in games, there were some tricky hops, with the coaches encouraging them to get in to a better position.

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