SCRIMMAGE: The Rodgers boys light it up

CORVALLIS—A few days back, an observation in a BF.C practice report noted OSU's offense appeared poised to translate recent practice gains to Thuesday's full scrimmage. Sure enough, big plays mixed with a few well sustained drives typified the scrimmage action. The defense had their moments, but could not limit the quick strike. A look at all the action -- drive by drive -- plus audio and more.

The referees were on at hand this time around for the full scrimmage at Oregon State unlike last week, as the Beavs moved the schedule up and scrimmaged Thursday rather than the initially planned Saturday. Not padded up for what was likely the last full scrimmage of the Beavs' fall camp were Sean Canfield, Jeremy Perry, Jeremy Francis and Pernnell Booth.

Scrimmage: All drives started from the 20 yard line from own half.

Drive: 1 QB: Lyle Moevao
The offense goes three and out and on the third down, Sammie Stroughter gets sandwich tackled by Al Afalava and Keenan Lewis downfield. Stroughter was shaken up on the play.


Drive: 2 QB: Justin Engstrom
Damola Adeniji catches a short one and Jacquizz Rodgers punches it across for a first down on the very next play. Engstrom hooks up with Quizz on a short pass and he was gone, covering 69 yards on the play. TD Quizzman. Rodgers made two fantastic cuts along the way to paydirt. He was aided by a solid block from Aaron Nichols well down the field. Exciting stuff from Quizz, and it was only the beginning.

Drive: 3 QB: Lyle Moevao
Ryan McCants runs for a first down but the offense goes three and out from that point. On third down, Shane Morales was open but Greg Laybourn manages to make up enough ground to get a hand on the ball resulting in an incompletion. Brandon Hughes almost picked a pass on the previous play but with Adeniji turning into a defender, the wide receiver knocks it down.

Drive: 4 QB: Lyle Moevao
McCants has another first down run and then Quizz gets laid out on back to back plays by Keaton Kristick and Laybourn. On the ensuing snap, Chris Johnson catches a sharp pass from Moevao and beats Keenan Lewis for a long TD. Nice pass by Moevao, though Johnson made most of the 70-yard scoring play happen after the catch. Lewis did not look happy after that one.

Drive: 5 QB: Justin Engstrom
Adeniji almost makes a spectacular catch downfield. Not the best of throws, and he really had to adjust to be in a position to make the attempt. Tim Clark rises to the occasion and knocks the ball away just before Adeniji could fully secure the pigskin. The offense goes three and out.

Drive: 6 QB: Justin Engstrom
Quizz somehow manages to stay on his feet on a run that looked like it was destined to be stopped at the line of scrimmage. He gained an extra five yards on the play. The defensive coaches were heard loud and clear during the sixth drive, telling their unit to play until the whistle was blown. The offense goes for it on fourth and short and makes it. Then came the fly sweep. James Rodgers takes it 70 yards to the house. There were at least a couple of instances where it appeared the defense would catch him. But JR just blitzed on passed everyone before breaking the final line of defense, a cornerback's would-be tackle, for the TD. Chris Johnson made a nice block up front allowing Rodgers to get the corner.

Drive: 7 QB: Lyle Moevao
Sammie goes high to reel one in, but again gets drilled hard in mid air, this time by Tim Clark -- both a nice offensive and defensive play there, as much as that is possible. Quizz then takes the handoff and runs the distance for his second TD of the day. He nearly went untouched on the 64-yard romp, courtesy of some great blocking by the o-line and in particular from a monster block by tight end Howard Croom. The offensive side of the sidelines got fired up and Croom and Gregg Peat, who had a nice block of his own on the line, run all the way down to the end zone to congratulate Quizz on the score.

Drive: 8 QB: Justin Engstrom
After a nice run by McCants, the offense fails to convert a third and short. They go for it on fourth down but a false start ends the drive.

Drive: 9 QB: Justin Engstrom
On the very first play, Lance Mitchell picks off the pass and takes it back 40 yards for a TD -- making a couple of nice moves of his own along the way. Even though Mitchell seized momentum for the D and ran it back for six, ball security was not the best. It was something of a surprise in the end he didn't get the ball knocked loose -- he was carrying it like the proverbial loaf of bread in one hand and it was well exposed during the runback.

Drive: 10 QB: Lyle Moevao
A couple of long passes to Stroughter go incomplete -- excellent coverage by the secondary on both occasions. Shane Morales was open on the third down play, but Moevao slightly overthrows him.

Drive: 11 QB: Justin Engstrom
Another three and out for the offense. Nichols makes a short grab. The third down pass gets tipped and a very alert Gabe Miller catches it but is stopped short of a first down.

Drive: 12 QB: Justin Engstrom
Another holding penalty on the o-line. John Reese catches a pass but is securely wrapped up by Will Darkins. Aaron Nichols beats the CB and gets open, but the throw again was a little beyond his reach. No matter. Nichols makes a full length dive and snares it. Had it been more accurate, he was likely gone for a TD. As it was, it still resulted in a nice gainer. The drive continues and Patrick Henderson gets called for pass interference on Kyle Brown, (though it looked like a clean defensive play from where this reporter was standing._ Engstrom then hooks up with Damola Adeniji for a sweet TD -- nice route running and an equally impressive throw finishes the first sustained drive by the offense for a score.

Drive: 13 QB: Lyle Moevao
A holding penalty makes it first-and-twenty. Moevao tries to find Stroughter but he once again is left with no breathing room and is bracketed in by the corner and the safety. Victor Butler breaks through and "sacks" Moevao on the third down play.

A couple of days ago, this correspondent had posed the question about the offense translating their recent success at practices into the scrimmages. That happened today via some big plays and a couple of well sustained drives.

Together the Rodgers' brothers accounted for 243 all-purpose yards (Jacquizz – 162; James- 81) during the 55-play scrimmage at the Tommy Prothro Football Complex.

The defense tackled well for most of the scrimmage and had some standout plays of their own. Unfortunately for the D, there were three big runs they couldn't stop, and all went for touchdowns.

The OSU second string receiving corps appears too good for most any second string secondary. The No. 2 receivers managed to get open most of the time and would have had more TDs had the QBs been in a better rhythm and found them in stride. Adeniji and Nichols each had great outings -- Adeniji with a pair of 15 and 8-yard TD receptions. Also notable was the blocking of the receivers on a couple of the long TD plays.

McCants and Quizz had a lot of carries between them -- and they were tackled fairly hard on most every play. Still, McCants managed to find positive yards on every one of his runs, finishing with 50 yards on 10 carries. Quizz, meanwhile, is just mesmerizing to watch. On both of his touchdown runs, he made hard, sure cuts without sacrificing virtually any speed.

The tight ends were not a huge part of the passing offense on Thursday but they did a great job blocking. Chris Johnson and Shane Morales also had solid outings today. Morales was perhaps unluckiest of all the wideouts not to have been on the receiving end of accurate passes -- he managed to get open on a number of plays. The d-line appeared to have sacked the QB on a a handful of occasions.

If the o-line can hold the charge and give Moevao just enough time for the offensive play to develop, the receivers will get open. And the QBs are doing a good job finding them most of the time but on Thursday, there was a little left to be desired.

Nevertheless, the offense wins this scrimmage without a doubt. The defense's vulnerability on big plays might be an area the coaches will look hard at for the next two weeks. Lyle Moevao had a poor completion percentage but all in all, he had a good scrimmage and didn't make any major mistakes -- mental of physical. It was refreshing to watch Justin Engstrom develop before your eyes. He's improving rapidly, getting better at his reads and throws and his growing confidence is apparent.

The final two-a-day practice session will be held Friday, with the Aug. 28 opener at Stanford now less than two weeks out.

Drive: 14 QB: Justin Engstrom
Nichols makes another catch for a first down. Again, he beat the corner, was open and Engstrom found him. Morales for probably the fourth time gets open down the field but Engstrom overthrows him again. McCants makes a sweet run and gains a first down. Another incompletion to an open receiver, this time it was Nichols. Finally, Morales has one in his sights and brings it in for a first down. On fourth-and-thirteen, Morales catches another one and just enough to get a first down. Morales showed excellent awareness of the first down marker and he looked to run the route perfectly. Adeniji gets his second TD catch of the day on the very next play.

Subscribers can listen to Oregon State head man Mike Riley talk in depth about the scrimmage and, among other topics, why the Beavs are looking to add former Corvallis High center Jon Roy as a walk-on now rather than later, in two audio clips here:


Scrimmage for the young guns
Taylor Kavanaugh had two big catches, one on a TD from Ryan Katz. Kevan Walker also had a long TD reception.

Play of the day
James Rodgers's run for a TD. There were at least two defenders who appeared to be in prime position to make the tackle but Rodgers just hit the nitro boost button and he was gone. He also broke a valiant effort by the corner to tackle him and prevent the score. Also notable was the textbook block by Chris Johnson on the play.


The punting on the day was average, with John Hekker appearing the most consistent of the group.

Starting kicker Justin Kahut was held out of the scrimmage with some soreness and backups Matt Barker, Ryan Allen and Sean Sehnem all saw action. Allen and Sehnem had average days, while Matt Barker looks to be improving on an almost daily basis.


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