LATE SESSION: Moevao, Sammie & crew go up top

CORVALLIS--It wasn't that long ago this fall camp that the Beaver defense was in full lockdown mode, owning the airwaves and shutting down the pass. But camp can be like an up and down roller coaster and Lyle Moevao, Sammie Stroughter and the rest of the black and orange grabmasters have held the upper hand of late. Friday under the lights at Reser, the Beavs found success up top early and often.

The Beavs went to the shells (shoulder pads and helmets) for the second of two practices on Friday at Reser, the last two-a-day of Oregon State fall camp. Sean Canfield, Jeremy Perry, Marcus Henderson and Slade Norris were not padded up for any action today.

The special teams units had a relatively good session of practice. All three punters were consistently booting the ball. The kicking game was fairly good too, though Ryan Allen did miss one from about 37 yards out.

11 vs none
Things went smoothly for most part. When the QBs misfired on a couple of occasions, offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf reminded them that there was no defense around to put any pressure on them.

11 vs. 11
Some players just seem to bring out their best when the practice moves to Reser and Sammie Stroughter is one of them. Stroughter was making his impact felt all over the field Friday night, causing headaches for the defense throughout, and whether the ball was thrown his way or not. Additionally, the QBs did find him in stride most of the time on the evening session, something that hasn't always been the case between the quarterbacks and pass catchers this fall camp. Indeed, Lyle Moevao hooked up with Stroughter on the very first play for a TD.


The defense regrouped and tightened their coverage and on the next couple of plays, Moevao finds no one open and ends up running with the ball. But that comes with it's own set of problems for the stop corps -- Moevao had some room to roam and took full advantage of it. Moevao looks to be in good shape this year running with the ball and much lighter than last season. Shane Morales also caught one from Justin Engstrom for a good gainer (pictured). Jacquizz Rodgers was wide open on the final play of the scrimmaging and Moevao hits him on the numbers for the score.


Stroughter continued his mastery over the defense with a couple of early grabs -- good throws by Moevao on both occasions to beat some tight defensive coverage. Morales was rewarded for a nice route with a great throw by Justin Engstrom for a TD. (pictured) For the first time in the last few days, one of the Beaver QBs hit a wide open Morales in full stride, (as overthrows had been more the order of the day in previous sessions.) Damola Adeniji has had a nice run of late, with Thursday's two-touchdown performance in the scrimmage on to Friday's morning and evening practices. A really nice grab by Adeniji here in the skelly session. Howard Croom makes a nice sliding catch and received some words of praise from the coaches. Croom is probably the best blocker among the TEs and if he can be an offensive threat too, defenses might be in for a really hard time to consistently contain the OSU offense.


11 vs. 11
Jacquizz Rodgers makes a nice run and looked like it might be paydirt time again, but the defense managed to stop him after a gain of about 20 yards. But James Rodgers, on a fly sweep, takes it to the house. But then Adeniji got hit in the facemask by a throw that he wasn't ready for -- this seemed not to please the coaches much. It was a broken play and didn't look like the ball would wind up coming his way, but he appeared to lose focus for a moment, was slightly late to react and the ball bounced off his grill. Adeniji bounced back from his mistake to snare a nice catch a couple of plays later. Stroughter then made a sick move on Keenan Lewis, turning quickly after the catch and running for a TD (pictured.) It's hard not to feel for Lewis on that play -- there are not many DBs in college football who could have stayed with Stroughter there. Tim Clark made a great break up in the secondary to close out the session.


Red zone skelly
On the very first play, Moevao lofts a perfect pass to the corner of the end zone to Stroughter who had Brandon Hughes beat. But Stroughter uncharacteristically drops it. Stroughter was livid with himself, and everybody in the stands including this correspondent couldn't believe our eyes, he's made so many difficult catches look routine this camp and this was one of the easier ones he had. Moevao failed to connect for a TD on his next couple of tries but then connects with Stroughter, looking to redeem himself with a great leaping catch in the end zone (pictured.) Again, just not much Lewis could have done differently -- it was good coverage. Engstrom had a very nice stretch here, hooking up with Chris Johnson, Brady Camp and Adeniji (twice) for TDs. Ryan McCants also zipped his way in for a TD run.

Mike Riley calls a halt to the proceedings and gets the team in a mini huddle to get things organized, and perhaps to get the ones focused after some sloppy first team play during the red zone skelly.

Two minute drill with the lines
Driving from their own 20-yard line, the offense did a much better job this time around. Damola Adeniji made a spectacular diving catch. Touchdown catches by Chris Johnson and also John Reese followed. There would have been even more scoring but Lance Mitchell made two great diving break ups in the end zone.

Play of the day
Damola Adeniji's diving catch in the two minute drill. The ball was severely underthrown but Adeniji turned around at the right time and then evaded the CB to make the diving grab.

The defense continues to be vulnerable to some big plays, as was punctuated in the Thursday scrimmage. The offense is looking good and the number of mistakes made has come down significantly. They are still getting used to some of the newer plays in the playbook but they have done a good job with it so far of fine tuning and working out the kinks. The defense played fine against the run for the most part on Friday, but the long passes are haunting them a little bit. This is a decided turnaround from just a few days ago, and from when Riley marveled at the pass coverage his defense was bringing to the table. The guess here is the secondary will rebound and return to the lockdown form of sessions past, in the not too distance future.

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