THEY HAVE TO walk before they can run. So says one axiom of college football coaching. The OSU d-tackles did not enjoy consistent success early on. But after Hawaii's first drive, it was as if someone flipped a switch and they've been making an impact ever since. Wednesday, coach Joe Seumalo had some new moves for them to work on. Meanwhile, corners Keenan Lewis and Tim Clark had solid outings.
Seumalo had some advanced teaching lessons for his steakeaters, and had them go against the o-line scout team without their helmets. There was no contact, of course, they were just some lessons and techniques he wanted to impart.
The defensive tackles have elevated their game since the season began -- the improvement by Stephen Paea and Pernnell Booth has been marked over the last three games. Meanwhile, Brennan Olander and Sioeli Nau are two who are making more and more of an impact in rotation.
CB Brandon Hughes (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday. Tim Clark started in his place out on the right island and did a great job. Hamstrings can be one of those nagging, lingering injuries and with Washington State on the schedule and Clark an able fill-in, he might be one Mike Riley sits down to heal up for at least another week.
Defensively, fellow CB Keenan Lewis had the play of the day, snaring a long interception in the end zone.
Both Sammie Stroughter and Al Afalava (groin) practiced on Wednesday, with Afalava sitting out a good portion of the time though it's perhaps more precautionary than anything else -- coaches are loathe to risk re-injury in practice. Afalava played part time against Utah and he might play less than a full game against WSU although maybe for a different reason -- OSU is a whopping 30-point favorite.
It was feast or famine for Darrell Catchings on Wednesday -- he had a strong showing with a handful of TD receptions. And Riley has talked frequently of his high potential. But he also had a couple of drops on Wednesday to go along with the good, failing to reel the ball in entirely. The coaches were not too happy on the latter, and made Catchings aware of their displeasure.
Sean Canfield took reps as the second string QB and looked comfortable on all his throws. The one area he didn't shine as brightly was when executing the hurry up offense.
James Rodgers looked particularly quick running the corners on Wednesday.
There were some spectacular catches here and there; two that come to mind were by Casey Kjos in double team coverage and a leaping catch by John Reese in the end zone.