| An inside look at more of the action on Day 4|
Skelly drill |
The offense came out really fired up and played extremely well today compared to yesterday's lackluster performance. WR Damola Adeniji made the defense sweat today -- he had a half dozen catches by himself. Watching Sammie Stroughter run routes is a treat for the eyes. He worked himself open on most plays even with the Beavs' best defenders on him. Dwight Roberson made a great deflection on a long ball -- both he and the receiver went airborne on the play, and Roberson swatted the pass away. Cameron Collins picked off a tipped pass, and to his credit he was very alert and focused on the play otherwise it would have bounced harmlessly on the turf.
The offense continued to torch the defense with good passing plays. TE Gabe Miller got in to the action, hauling in a few receptions. The defense did turn in some good plays, but they were mostly isolated. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers drew some oohs and aahs from the crowd and his teammates, breaking off some highlight reel runs. Safety Bryant Cornell seemed to be involved in just about every successful stop the defense had against the offense's rushing attack. Jeremy Francis looked like a power runner on Monday, and found good success on the afternoon.
Third down skelly
The defense won this round by a good margin. The QBs failed to let fly on a couple of occasions -- mainly because of good coverage by the secondary.
The offense got back on top of the defense here. Sammie Stroughter made a great grab along the sidelines on a deep pass by Lyle Moevao. For the defense, Kristick made a diving deflection. It's early in fall camp and the other 'backers certainly aren't lacking, but Kristick might be the Beavs' strongest, most athletic linebacker so far as of Day 4.
Red zone Skelly
Shane Morales put a whale of a move on Al Afalava, resulting in a TD reception. Sammie Stroughter followed it up with one of his own and Adeniji finished for the red hot offense with another score.
No. 1 offense vs. No. 2 defense, red zone skelly
The offense clearly won this battle, with Moevao connecting on three TDs in a row -- Sammie Stroughter, Darrell Catchings and Gabe Miller on the receiving end. Moevao seemed to be really reading his receivers well on Monday.
Play of the day
Sammie Stroughter's catch on the long bomb from Moevao. Stroughter reeled in the pass with one hand, while managing to stay on his feet, and then continued his run towards paydirt.
The find of the day was Adeniji. Great route running, and he really finished those routes with some very nice catches. Riley was extremely happy with the way he played today, as can be heard at the beginning of the audio clip. One other positive was the re-emergence of the tight ends on Monday. More than just the good number of catches they had, it was the blocking that stood out most. Howard Croom was this reporter's pick of the day, along with Gabe Miller. Both simply did a crisp job blocking on the run and in passing situations.
In full offense drills, the first team o-line was as follows: RT Wilder McAndrews, RG Adam Speer, C Alex Linnenkohl, LG Gregg Peat and LT Andy Levitre.
Center Marcus Henderson, listed as the starter on the depth chart, spent a second day on the sidelines, apparently suffering from a flu bug.
The second team o-line in the drill: RT Mike Remmers, RG Ben Motter, C Ryan Pohl, LG Burke Ellis and LT Una Smiley.
Quarterback drills saw Sean Canfield take a couple sets of reps before taking the rest of the session off.
There's more from Riley on Canfield for subscribers in the head man's post-practice comments, along with praise (at the start of the clip) for Adeniji, an update on injuries and on Brent McNeil, who had an asthma attack on Monday, plus more, here:
The Beavers practiced in shells on Monday -- no full pads or full contact just yet, but there was still some popping going on.
It was relatively hot day on the field today with the mercury stretching into the 90s and the level of play rose with it at times and especially on offense -- certainly a much crisper practice overall than Sunday's outing.
In drills featuring the offensive line and running backs vs. the d-line & linebackers, the Beavs put a heavy emphasis on blocking on the all-running drill. Again, although the Beavs aren't going full contact just yet, there were some seriously hard hitting going on during this drill.
The offense won the battle most of the time, thanks in part to some deft blocking by the tight ends -- this group doesn't only catch passes. Linebackers Keaton Kristick and Slade Norris made their presence felt from the defensive side.
MEANWHILE, IN D-line vs O-line drills, featuring one-on-one action, things got interesting.
Defensive end Victor Butler seemed to get the better of everyone he went up against in the period -- he has some very swift moves.
On offense, Tavita Thompson looked like a beast out there, swatting away d-linemen like flies. The hoss is serving a suspension until Week 8 and a brief editorial comment is appropriate here -- Shame on the NCAA.
Others that were impressive during the one-on-one line drill were Grant Johnson and Colin Lyons on offense, and DT Stephen Paea for the defense.
THE SPECIAL TEAMS concentrated on kick-off and punt defense on Monday. Vave Walker impressed for the second day in a row.
There were very encouraging signs from the punters, the second day in a row there's been positive news to report on that front.
Riley dished out some praise for Sean Sehnem after practice and deservedly so, but from this chair Ryan Allen definitely had the best day of the two.
Riley is a positive kind of coach, and his post-practice remarks on the punters were very positive, though critics could argue that the punting wasn't quite as good when the rush was on Monday -- and there were some definite lapses the first two days of camp. Still, in the final analysis, the group performed fairly well under the pressure on Monday, and in an overall sense.
Kicker Justin Kahut continued in a good rhythm day after day. He did have a miss on a 47 yard attempt but only by inches -- the pigskin made contact way up the pole and he has, as Beaver fans saw during the spring game, a lot of oomph in his leg.
Meanwhile, Matt Barker's kicks consistently flew over the top of the uprights on Monday -- the freshman out of Sprague, Wash. seems to connect considerably lower on the ball, resulting in a lot of height on his kicks.